Defining patterns of benzodiazepine use in older adults

Maria D. Llorente, Daniella David, Adam G. Golden, Michael A. Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Benzodiazepines are disproportionately prescribed to older adults. Elderly adults with comorbid medical and psychiatric conditions, elderly adults taking multiple medications, and elderly women are the most likely adults to continuously use benzodiazepines. These are also the groups of elderly who are likely to experience adverse effects, including falls, accidents, and motor vehicle crashes. Despite recommendations for short-term treatment and the potential risks of long-term use, some patients continue to receive benefit for extended time periods, occasionally years. Future research needs to be directed at improved identification of which patients will benefit from intermittent versus continuous treatment while minimizing risk for adverse side effects. In order to advance the study of the risks and benefits of benzodiazepine use, we have proposed a set of definitions for classification of use. These definitions can be used to develop clinical guidelines based on empirically derived clinical research models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-160
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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