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Withdrawal of benzodiazepines in elderly long term users does not produce significant adverse effects in the short term

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Q Does benzodiazepine withdrawal alter cognitive function, quality of life, mood, or sleep?

METHODS

Embedded ImageDesign:

Randomised controlled trial.

Embedded ImageAllocation:

Unclear.

Embedded ImageBlinding:

Double blind.

Embedded ImageFollow up period:

Twelve weeks.

Embedded ImageSetting:

Twenty five general practices in London and rural areas, UK; time period not specified.

Embedded ImagePatients:

104 long term (>6 months) users of benzodiazepines aged ⩾65 years (mean age 77 years) consenting to withdrawal. Exclusions: dementia or organic cognitive dysfunction; severe deafness or visual impairment; ongoing major psychiatric disorder; history of seizures; terminal illness.

Embedded ImageIntervention:

Tapering doses of benzodiazepines for 8–9 weeks followed by placebo until week 24; usual benzodiazepine dose for 3 months, then …

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