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JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Benzodiazepines II: Waking Up on Sedatives: Providing Optimal Care When Inheriting Benzodiazepine Prescriptions in Transfer Patients

Jeffrey Guina, Brian Merrill
Journal of Clinical Medicine 2018 January 30, 7 (2)
29385766
This review discusses risks, benefits, and alternatives in patients already taking benzodiazepines when care transfers to a new clinician. Prescribers have the decision-sometimes mutually agreed-upon and sometimes unilateral-to continue, discontinue, or change treatment. This decision should be made based on evidence-based indications (conditions and timeframes), comorbidities, potential drug-drug interactions, and evidence of adverse effects, misuse, abuse, dependence, or diversion. We discuss management tools involved in continuation (e.g., monitoring symptoms, laboratory testing, prescribing contracts, state prescription databases, stages of change) and discontinuation (e.g., tapering, psychotherapeutic interventions, education, handouts, reassurance, medications to assist with discontinuation, and alternative treatments).

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