n South African Psychiatry Review - Current issues in the use of benzodiazepines for the treatment of insomnia : review article




Insomnia is the most common sleep-related complaint and the second most common overall complaint (after pain) reported in primary care settings. The benzodiazepines are still extensively used in the management of insomnia. Although short-term efficacy is established, long-term efficacy remains controversial, as relevant data are scanty and relapse, rebound and dependence on withdrawal not clearly distinguished. The advent of the newer non-benzodiazepine hypnotics have also led to an increased awareness of insomnia and treatment alternatives. This article reviews current evidence for the rational use of benzodiazepines.


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