Benzodiazepines

What are benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines are minor tranquillisers that may be implemented as an adjunct to other medications in order to treat acute symptoms, such as agitation, aggression, irritability, and anxiety. They may also be used to treat side effects of antipsychotic medications such as movement disorders, including tardive dyskinesia. However, benzodiazepines are associated with their own side effects and are associated with well-established patterns of tolerance and dependence, so they are prescribed with caution.

What is the evidence for benzodiazepines?

Moderate to low quality evidence suggests the benzodiazepine lorazepam is less effective than intramuscular antipsychotics olanzapine and aripiprazole for reducing agitation in people with bipolar disorder.

April 2019

Last updated at: 5:05 am, 1st April 2019
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Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

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Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.