Exploring characteristics associated with first benzodiazepine prescription in patients with affective disorders and related diagnoses

Vera De Carlo, Benedetta Grancini, Matteo Vismara, Beatrice Benatti, Chiara Arici, Laura Cremaschi, Giovanna Cirnigliaro, Luca Degoni, Lucio Oldani, Carlotta Palazzo, Ira D. Glick, Caterina Viganò, Bernardo Dell'Osso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: In patients with affective disorders, benzodiazepines (BZDs) are frequently administered at the onset, sometimes inappropriately. We sought to identify clinical variables associated with first BZD prescription in a large sample of patients with affective disorders. Methods: Four hundred sixty patients with mood or anxiety disorders attending different psychiatric services were assessed comparing those who received BZD as first treatment (BZD w/) and those who did not (BZD w/o). Results: More than one third (35.7%) of the total sample had received BZDs as first prescription. In relation to mood disorders, BZD w/ subjects more frequently (a) had not a psychiatrist as first therapist, (b) had anxious symptoms at onset, (c) had adjustment disorder as first diagnosis, (d) were treated as outpatients. In relation to specific diagnoses, (a) personal decision of treatment for major depressive disorder, (b) outpatient status for bipolar disorder and (c) longer duration of untreated illness for adjustment disorder were more frequently associated with first BZD prescription. For anxiety disorders, the presence of stressful life events and the diagnoses of panic disorder or specific phobias were more frequently observed in BZD w/ patients. Conclusion: Patients with affective disorders frequently received BZDs as first prescription with significant differences between and within mood and anxiety disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2695
JournalHuman Psychopharmacology
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • affective disorders
  • benzodiazepines
  • first pharmacological prescription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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    De Carlo, V., Grancini, B., Vismara, M., Benatti, B., Arici, C., Cremaschi, L., Cirnigliaro, G., Degoni, L., Oldani, L., Palazzo, C., Glick, I. D., Viganò, C., & Dell'Osso, B. (2019). Exploring characteristics associated with first benzodiazepine prescription in patients with affective disorders and related diagnoses. Human Psychopharmacology, 34(3), [e2695]. https://doi.org/10.1002/hup.2695