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Research Letter
August 2016

Interrupted Time Series Analysis of the Effect of Rescheduling Alprazolam in AustraliaTaking Control of Prescription Drug Use

Author Affiliations
  • 1Centre for Big Data Research in Health, University of New South Wales, Australia
  • 2Pharmacology, University of Sydney, Australia
  • 3New South Wales Poisons Information Centre, Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Australia
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(8):1223-1225. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.2992

Alprazolam is significantly more toxic, has no additional therapeutic benefit, and is increasingly misused compared with other benzodiazepines.13 Due to concerns about the increasing use of alprazolam, in February 2014, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration selectively rescheduled alprazolam from Schedule 4 (Prescription Only Medicine) of the Poisons Standard to Schedule 8 (Controlled Drug), equivalent to Schedule II in the United States. This change resulted in increased restrictions for the prescribing and dispensing of alprazolam.4 The objective of this study was to determine the effect of rescheduling alprazolam on benzodiazepine prescribing, dispensing, and intentional poisonings.

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