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Trimble, Michael R and Hindmarch, Ian, eds. (2000) Benzodiazepines. Petersfield: Wrighton Biomedical.

Benzodiazepines are powerful psychoactive drugs that were first approved for use in the 1960s. They have sedative/hypnotic, anxiolytic and anticonvulsive activity. The most common indication for their use is insomnia, particularly in the elderly when caused by anxiety or depression, pain or congestive heart disease. They are also useful adjuvants to neuroleptics in agitation and psycholsis. They are among the most potent antiepileptic drugs available, with activity against most seizure types and particularly useful in status epilepticus and refractory epilepsy.

The benzodiazepines do have behavioral and cognitive side-effects, some patients exhibit tolerance with long-term use, and there can be withdrawal problems in cases of over-rapid dose reduction or cessation. They have been famously associated with dependency, suicide and misuse. These negative effects have been massively publicized over the years with the result that a public and professional prejudice against their use has developed. Some of the criticisms leveled against the benzodiazepines are now considered to have been poorly informed and over-zealous.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Book
Drug Type
CNS depressants / Sedatives, Prescription/Over the counter
Intervention Type
Harm reduction
Call No
xi, 16
Wrighton Biomedical
Place of Publication
1 871816 43 2
pharmacology and toxicology, anxiety, addiction, sleep disorder, benzodiazepines, therapeutic agents
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Accession Number
HRB 1500 (Available)

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