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Benzodiazepines in Older Adults: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness, Cost-Effectiveness, and Guidelines [Internet].


McIntosh B1, Clark M1, Spry C1.


Ottawa (ON): Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health; 2011 Jan.
CADTH Rapid Response Reports.

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Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, Ottawa, ON


The use of benzodiazepines has been associated with several adverse effects including, ataxia, dizziness, over-sedation, anterograde amnesia, and dependence. The severity of adverse effects, particularly those associated with the central nervous system, may be greater in older adults. Therefore, close monitoring is typically recommended when benzodiazepines are used by older adults. In addition, several reviews and guidelines recommend that the use of long-acting benzodiazepines by older adults be avoided. High utilization by older adults and documented safety concerns indicate that a review of the evidence on the use of benzodiazepines by older adults is warranted.

Copyright © CADTH (January 2011).

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