Does initial use of benzodiazepines delay an adequate pharmacological treatment? A multicentre analysis in patients with psychotic and affective disorders

Benedetta Grancini, Vera De Carlo, Mariacarlotta Palazzo, Matteo Vismara, Chiara Arici, Laura Cremaschi, Beatrice Benatti, A. Carlo Altamura, Bernardo Dell'osso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It is established that delayed effective pharmacotherapy plays a significant role in the overall burden of psychiatric disorders, which are often treated with symptomatic drugs, that is benzodiazepines (BZDs), in relation to their rapid onset of action and safety, despite long-term side effects. We aimed to assess the influence of initial treatment with BZDs on the duration of untreated illness (DUI) and whether specific sociodemographic and clinical factors could influence the choice of BZDs as first treatment in 545 patients affected by schizophrenia, mood and anxiety spectrum disorders. Statistical analyses (one-way analysis of variance and χ 2) were carried out to compare patients who used BZDs as first treatment (BZD w/) and those who did not (BZD w/o). The overall DUI, irrespective of diagnosis, resulted in significantly longer in BZD w/ versus w/o patients, who also experienced more frequently anxious/depressive symptoms at onset. Furthermore, BZD w/ patients more frequently autonomously decided to look for treatment (mainly refering to psychologists or general practitioners) and experimented more frequently phobias, than BZD w/o ones. The present findings suggest that initial BZDs treatment may prolong the overall DUI, although their prescription seems to be influenced by specific sociodemographic and clinical factors. Further studies are needed to confirm the present findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-146
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Clinical Psychopharmacology
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018

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Psychotic Affective Disorders
Benzodiazepines
Pharmacology
Therapeutics
Phobic Disorders
Anxiety Disorders
General Practitioners
Prescriptions
Psychiatry
Schizophrenia
Analysis of Variance

Keywords

  • anxiety disorders
  • benzodiazepines
  • duration of untreated illness
  • mood disorders
  • psychotic disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

Cite this

Does initial use of benzodiazepines delay an adequate pharmacological treatment? A multicentre analysis in patients with psychotic and affective disorders. / Grancini, Benedetta; De Carlo, Vera; Palazzo, Mariacarlotta; Vismara, Matteo; Arici, Chiara; Cremaschi, Laura; Benatti, Beatrice; Altamura, A. Carlo; Dell'osso, Bernardo.

In: International Clinical Psychopharmacology, Vol. 33, No. 3, 01.01.2018, p. 140-146.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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