Benzodiazepines in Ireland: Are they over-prescribed?

Dr Muiris Houston examines why Irish people over 65 are highest consumers of ‘benzos’ in OECD

Prescribing guidelines suggest benzodiazepines not be prescribed for a period greater than four weeks. File image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Prescribing guidelines suggest benzodiazepines not be prescribed for a period greater than four weeks. File image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

What are Benzodiazepines and what are they used for?

Benzodiazepines are a family of drugs used to induce sleep and to treat anxiety. They are also used as anticonvulsants and for intravenous sedation. Short-acting ones are used as hypnotics, while longer acting ones tend to be used as tranquillisers.

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