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May 17, 2018 by Kevin Pottie et al | College of Family Physicians of Canada

Deprescribing benzodiazepine receptor agonists

Evidence-based clinical practice guideline

(College of Family Physicians of Canada) – When offering BZRA deprescribing it is essential to be vigilant for pre-existing or incident depression or anxiety disorders. Psychiatric comorbidities are common in insomnia. In a 6-year longitudinal study using national data, individuals who both had insomnia and were taking a benzodiazepine had a 5-fold increased risk of developing depression and a 3-fold risk of developing an anxiety disorder compared with individuals who did not have insomnia and did not use benzodiazepines. This increased comorbidity might be due to pre-existing risk factors that initially triggered insomnia but might also relate to a biologic or psychological reaction to the consequences of insomnia or to pharmacologic changes associated with long-term BZRA use.

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