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Ugeskr Laeger. 2009 Oct 5;171(41):2999-3003.

[Benzodiazepine reduction does not imply an increased consumption of antidepressants. A survey of two medical practices].

[Article in Danish]

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  • 1Medicin Teamet, Region Midtjylland.



The consumption of benzodiazepines (BZ) and cyclopyrrolones (CP) has attracted great interest in recent years due to the serious side-effects associated with these drugs. Two medical practices introduced a more restrictive approach to the prescription of BZ and CP. The intervention reduced the total consumption of anxiolytica by 75% and hypnotica by 90% during the two and a half year period. There is a general lack of knowledge about whether an intervention of this nature reduces drug consumption in general, or merely substitutes the consumption of drugs. Here, antidepressants (AD) are especially relevant substitutes.


In two medical practices, the consumption of AD was followed before, during and after the intervention. Consumption was followed via the Danish Medicines Agency's website Ordiprax, which listed the amount of prescription medicines sold from pharmacies.


The total quantity of prescribed AD remained unchanged in the two practices (p = 0.05). There were minor shifts in prescription classes. This result should be seen in the context of the consumption of AD in the county as a whole, which rose by 8.6% per annum during the intervention period.


In the primary sector, it is possible to reduce the amount of BZ and CP without causing a concomitant increase in the prescription of AD. The two medical practices of the present survey did not introduce a deliberately restrictive approach, but simply an increasing awareness when prescribing to patients, especially regarding the duration of prescriptions.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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