Gerlach and Maust examine long-term Benzodiazepine use among older adults

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"Addressing Prescription Drug Addiction in Older Adults" - US News & World Report. 1/29/2019.

One recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found a third of older adults initially prescribed benzodiazepines by nonpsychiatric clinicians (like primary care providers, who prescribe the majority of these medications) went on to take them long term. “While treatment guidelines recommend only short-term prescribing, if any, these long-term patients were prescribed nearly 8 months’ worth of benzodiazepine,” the researchers note. Adds study lead author Dr. Lauren Gerlach, a geriatric psychiatrist and assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan: “At one year after patients were newly started on these medications, nearly 1 in 4 remained on the medications.”

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