Benzodiazepines

What are benzodiazepines for bipolar disorder?

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.

November 2021

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Last updated at: 4:32 pm, 29th November 2021
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Fact Sheet Technical Commentary
Tags:  Benzodiazepines

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