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Psychiatr Q. 2005 Fall;76(3):283-96.

Review of benzodiazepine use in children and adolescents.

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Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, NY 10016-9196, USA.


Clinically, benzodiazepines are used in adult populations much more frequently than in children and adolescents. There may be a number of reasons for this disparity including a dearth of well controlled clinical studies and the issue of dependence associated with long term use. However, over a ten year span there has been nearly a three fold increase in the use patterns for these agents in the child population. In open studies much of the literature has indicated potentially useful results, but these findings have not been replicated when more refined methodological studies have been conducted. The lack of encouraging results in these later studies may be attributable to a number of factors such as modest sample sizes and less than optimal patient selection. Nonetheless, with increasing prescriptions being written for these agents it is not clear what is compelling clinicians to use them. In this paper we will review the available literature on benzodiazepine use in the child and adolescent population, focusing primarily on psychiatric applications.

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