Lauren Gerlach

Gerlach et al. find high rates of long-term sedative prescribing for older Americans

MiCDA News Reference

Although long-term use of benzodiazepines, such as Valium or Xanax, is linked to higher risks for falls, car crashes, and broken bones, Lauren Gerlach and colleagues found that nearly a third of the low-income older adults (mean age = 78 years) they studied had transitioned from short- to long-term use of a benodiazepine. Gerlach says: “This shows that we need to help providers start with the end in mind when prescribing a benzodiazepine, by beginning with a short-duration prescription and engage patients in discussions of when to reevaluate their symptoms and begin tapering the patient off. We also need to educate providers about effective non-pharmaceutical treatment alternatives, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, for these patients.”

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Researcher:

Lauren Gerlach

More Media Coverage:

"Long-term senior use of xanax, valium poses dependency risk, study says" - UPI. 9/11/2018.

"1 in 4 older adults prescribed a benzodiazepine goes on to risky long-term use, study finds" - Michigan Medicine. 9/10/2018.

"1 in 4 Older Adults Prescribed a Benzodiazepine Goes on to Risky Long-Term Use" - Health News Digest. 9/11/2018.

"1 in 4 older adults may take sedatives for way too long" - Futurity. 9/11/2018.

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