The pattern of all index admissions for benzodiazepine self-poisoning to a university hospital in Karachi, Pakistan are described. Of the 329 medication self-poisoning cases, 84% were benzodiazepine overdoses. Diazepam was the preferred drug in 69% of these cases, with majority ingesting between 20-30 tablets of 5 mg each, 44% bought the benzodiazepine over the counter (OTC) for the purpose of overdose. The preference for benzodiazepines over analgesics (as freely available) may be related to the motives underlying parasuicide acts and their popularity as 'sleeping pills' in Pakistan. Educating the 'chemist' and limiting the number of tablets dispensed at a time are areas to consider in reducing the incidence and harmful effects of benzodiazepine overdoses in Pakistan.
Journal of Pakistan Medical Association
Khan, M. M.,
(1998). Benzodiazepine self-poisoning in Pakistan: implications for prevention and harm reduction. Journal of Pakistan Medical Association, 48(10), 293-295.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_psychiatry/64