U.S. Doctors Reducing Benzodiazepine Prescriptions

Recent years of rising prescriptions like Xanax and other anti-anxiety drugs has caused some U.S. doctors to evaluate the prescriptions they’ve written, according to a recent online post.

From 2004 to 2009, NYC emergency rooms saw an increase in the use of Xanax and similar anti-anxiety drugs of more than 50%. Data from the health department in NYC also showed that benzodiazepines were linked to over 30%t of all overdose deaths just 3 years ago.

Almost every overdose involved several drugs and benzodiazepine was always one of the drugs used. In the family of benzodiazepine drugs, Xanax is the most common anti-anxiety drug and was the 11th most prescribed medication just two years ago in America.

Psychiatrists in Louisville, KY have decided to halt all Xanax prescriptions with a self-imposed ban that is in place for one year.

Benzodiazepines work fast when it comes to stopping severe panic attacks but aren’t meant for long-term treatment. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has guidelines telling doctors to avoid prescribing Xanax to patients with a history of drug or alcohol abuse.

The APA guidelines give several reasons to be careful when prescribing it to addicts in recovery. One of them is if the patient has a history of abusing other substances, both legal and illegal. For them, this could be associated with a higher incidence of benzodiazepine abuse, better euphoric reaction to benzodiazepines and higher rates of use of Xanax during panic disorder treatment.

Some abusers of Xanax say anxiety and panic attacks are more intense following long-term usage.

The Physician Prescription Information Sheet from Pfizer says doctors are informed and warned about the possibility of dependence associated with Xanax, both psychologically and physically. Pfizer also says when Xanax is taken as prescribed it can be a significant treatment option and has helped millions of people.

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