What are benzodiazpines? 

Benzodiazepines may be implemented as an adjunct to antipsychotic medication in order to treat acute symptoms of psychosis such as agitation, aggression, irritability, or anxiety. They may also be used to treat side effects of antipsychotic medications such as movement disorders including tardive dyskinesia, however they 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 on benzodiazepines?

Moderate to low quality evidence suggests no benefit of adjunctive benzodiazepines for improving agitation or excitation in the short term (up to 30 minutes); however benzodiazepines may be associated with a faster time to sedation, better global improvements (up to 60 minutes) and lower risk of movement disorders than antipsychotics alone. There were no benefits of adjunctive benzodiazepines for reducing the need for additional medication or hospitalisation, or for improving symptoms or aggression.

September 200

Last updated at: 5:44 am, 23rd September 2020
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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.