Adv. Psychiatr. Treat. 2012 18:250-258; doi:10.1192/apt.bp.110.008631
Benzodiazepines for anxiety disorders: maximising the benefits and minimising the risks
Benzodiazepines still play an important role in the management of anxiety disorders but dependence is associated with their therapeutic use. The key to effective and safe long-term use of benzodiazepines is: the careful selection of patients who might benefit from them; administration in clinical situations in which they are more likely to be beneficial; use of lower doses and in conjunction with an antidepressant, if possible; monitoring and managing their side-effects; and minimising the risk of withdrawal symptoms and relapse, mainly through tapering the dose and/or combining with effective psychological interventions.