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Examination of outpatient prescribing patterns for anxiety drugs

January 25, 2019

Bottom Line: Benzodiazepines (tranquilizers) are a large class of drugs with lots of potential uses from treating anxiety to other conditions including insomnia, seizures and neuropathic pain. This study used nationally representative data to examine patterns in outpatient prescribing of benzodiazepines and included more than 386,000 ambulatory care visits from 2003 through 2015. The rate of ambulatory care visits where benzodiazepines were recorded nearly doubled over the time period from 3.8 percent to 7.4 percent. Primary care physicians accounted for about half of all visits with benzodiazepines. Authors suggest addressing prescribing patterns could help curb growing use of benzodiazepines amid increased benzodiazepine-related overdose deaths.

Authors: Sumit D. Agarwal, M.D., Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, and Bruce E. Landon, M.D., M.B.A., M.Sc., Harvard Medical School, Boston.

(doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.7399)

Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
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About JAMA Network Open:JAMA Network Open is the new online-only open access general medical journal from the JAMA Network. Every Friday, the journal publishes peer-reviewed clinical research and commentary in more than 40 medical and health subject areas. Every article is free online from the day of publication.

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