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September 18, 1981

Benzodiazepine Prescribing in a Family Medicine Center

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY.

JAMA. 1981;246(12):1321-1325. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320120025020

We monitored benzodiazepine prescribing in a family medicine center for two years. A total of 1,886 prescriptions were written for four benzodiazepines in the following order of frequency: diazepam, chlordiazepoxide, oxazepam, clorazepate. The most frequent diagnostic indications were anxiety neurosis, hysterical neurosis, and vertebral column disorders. Most benzodiazepine recipients were women, but for alcohol abuse more prescriptions were written for men. More than half of the patients were between the ages of 25 and 44 years. Although daily doses were reduced for elderly patients, the course of therapy was often longer. Female physicians wrote fewer prescriptions for men than for women. More prescriptions for benzodiazepines were written during the summer months than during the rest of the year, and more were written on weekdays than on the weekend. Benzodiazepine recipients were given more prescriptions for other drugs than were the rest of the patients in the practice.

(JAMA 1981;246:1321-1325)