Document Type





Objective: To determine the point prevalence of benzodiazepine prescriptions for inpatients at a tertiary care university hospital in Pakistan and to correlate it with prescription patterns of various specialties, indications and demographic variables of the patients.Methods: This 24-hours point prevalence study was done at The Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi. By convenient random sampling, 208 inpatients were interviewed. Patients' files were also studied to record the drugs administered. Data was entered into questionnaires and analyzed by SPSS 10.0.Results: The point prevalence of the benzodiazepines was 21.2%. It was higher among males than females and among surgical than non-surgical patients. Midazolam was the most commonly used benzodiazepine, followed by Alprazolam and Lorazepam. Pre-anesthesia and psychiatric symptoms were the two most common indications. Oral route was used in 84% patients for drug administration and mean Valium equivalent dosage was 4.86 mg/day. Mean length of prescription was 3 days. Longer duration of hospitalization was a significant predictor of the requirement of benzodiazepine prescription (p-value = 0.020).CONCLUSION: Prescription pattern of benzodiazepines at a tertiary care university hospital is similar to that reported in the developed countries through monitoring at various levels by physicians, clinical pharmacist and nursing staff. Data regarding the prescription pattern of benzodiazepines is scarce, and it needs to be expanded to formulate clear guidelines regarding their prescription.


Journal of Pakistan Medical Association

Included in

Psychiatry Commons