Prescription of benzodiazepine sedatives in general practice

Holm, M.

Ugeskrift for Laeger 152(28): 2026-2028


ISSN/ISBN: 0041-5782
PMID: 1973314
Document Number: 366660
A review of the prescriptions dispensed by all pharmacists in the County of Arhus during a week in January 1989 resulted in information about 3,212 prescriptions for benzodiazepine hypnotics sedatives by the general practitioners in the county. The majority of prescriptions were for men in the age group 60-69 years and women in the age group 70-79 years. After age standardization, the extent of prescription was found to increase with age to reach extent of 267.1 and 347.9 defined daily dosages (DDD)/1,000 inhabitants/day for men and women, respectively in the age group of 90 years or more. A total of 70.8% of the prescriptions and 81.6% of the prescribed DDD were for preparations with prolonged effects. More of the elderly women than the middle-aged and younger women were prescribed preparations with prolonged effects (p less than 0.01). Prescription of tablets with double doses (2 DDD per tablet) were responsible for 40.4% of the prescribed DDD of hypnotics/sedatives with prolonged effect and 33.0% of the total quantity of medicine calculated in DDD. It is concluded that general practitioners should attempt to reduce the extent of prescription of benzodiazepine hypnotics sedatives and that the registering authorities should investigate the justification of continued registration of preparations with prolonged effects and that ths general public should be informed about how unsuitable employment of sleeping pills can be, except for very brief periods.

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