Objective: To estimate the prevalence of Benzodiazepine use in the outpatient setting of general medicine clinics at a single tertiary care centre.
Methods: The prospective prevalence study was conducted in the outpatient setting of Internal Medicine Clinics at Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, from November to December 2009. All subjects were interviewed after informed consent and variables were recorded on a specially-designed proforma. Apart from basic demographics and comorbid conditions, duration, frequency and route of benzodiazepine use, as well as the reason and who initiated it was noted. Chi-square test and t test was applied to see the association of socio demographic or clinical factors with the use of benzodiazepine.
Results: Of the 355 patients, 129 (36.33%) reported using the drug. The majority (n=86; 24.2%) were taking it on a daily basis. The highest numbers of patients using the drug were suffering from cardiovascular problems, 32 (25%) followed by 22 (17%) from endocrinology. Diazepam equivalent dose was around 7.04+4, with a inter-quartile range of 3-96 weeks. Alprazolam (9%) was the most frequently prescribed Benzodiazepine.
CONCLUSION: Benzodiazepine use is alarmingly high in the outpatient clinics of General Internal Medicine Department. There is no implementation of law to prevent its hazardous sale. In this regard all concerned should work collectively for awareness and irrational drug sale and use.
Journal of Pakistan Medical Association
Patel, M. J.,
Qureshi, A. W.,
Shehzad, M. F.,
(2013). Benzodiazepine use in medical out-patient clinics: a study from a developing country. Journal of Pakistan Medical Association, 63(6), 717-720.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_med_intern_med/48
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