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Praxis (Bern 1994). 2016 May 25;105(11):637-41. doi: 10.1024/1661-8157/a002363.

[Benzodiazepine Dependency in the Elderly: How to Deal with it].

[Article in German]

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1 Klinik für Alterspsychiatrie, Psychiatrische Universitätsklinik Zürich.


Benzodiazepine/hypnotic abuse and dependency increase with advanced age. Especially in the elderly, severe adverse events accompany the regular intake of these substances. Sedation, cognitive and psychomotor effects, falls, accidents and injuries are very frequent. The withdrawal of the medication is often associated with major complications. Therefore, prevention is important. These substances should not be prescribed against minor sleep and anxiety disorders and their use should not be restricted to 3–4 weeks. Withdrawal symptoms can include insomnia, anxiety, memory and concentration impairments, ataxia, and in severe states psychotic symptoms, delirium and epileptic seizures. Discontinuation treatment starts with primary-care practitioners, who are still the main prescribers. Long-lasting dependency, on the other hand, often needs in-patient treatment.


Abhängigkeit; Benzodiazepin; Entwöhnung; Entzug; Hypnotika; benzodiazepine; benzodiazépine; dependency; dépendance; hypnotics; hypnotiques; sevrage; withdrawal

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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