Researchers at the University of Milan and King’s College, London thoroughly reviewed the literature available on Medline and Cochrane regarding the use of benzodiazepines in anxiety, affective and psychotic disorders, as well as the available literature on benzos’ adverse effects. They conclude that the wide use that benzos have achieved in psychiatric and non-psychiatric disorders is not supported by the scientific evidence. There is “robust” evidence for short-term use in panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, “intermediate” evidence for social anxiety disorder and “poor” evidence for PTSD and OCD. However, the side-effects found in long-term use, and the risks of abuse and withdrawal effects “recommend a more cautious use of BZDs (short-term) than previously achieved.” Results will appear in European Psychiatry.
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