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Journal Articles Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Year : 2021

Are Seniors Dependent on Benzodiazepines?

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Benzodiazepines and Z-drugs, zolpidem and zopiclone, (BZD/Z) are used longer than recommended in the elderly population. However, to date, very few attempts have been made to evaluate dependence on BDZ/Z among the elderly population. We conducted a national multicentric observational prospective study aimed at evaluating the prevalence of and risk factors for dependence among elderly adults. Patients aged 65 or older who were treated with BZD/Z for at least 3 months were evaluated through clinical interviews that conformed to official Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) dependence criteria. Among the 1,024 patients included in the survey, 442 of 976 (45.3%) met the dependence criteria. In the multivariate logistic regression model, dependent patients were categorized as follows: younger (odds ratio (OR) = 0.97), living mostly alone (OR = 1.45), showing psychiatric problems (OR = 2.22), having additional treatments (other than BZD/Z; OR = 1.37), having long-lasting treatment (OR = 1.04), exhibiting significant relationship difficulties (OR = 1.96), committing transgressional behaviors to procure BZD/Z (OR = 2.70), and wanting to stop their consumption of BZD/Z (OR = 7.60). A latent class analysis, which was applied to sort out subgroups within dependent patients, identified two profiles according to the prevalence of dependence items: profile 1 (73%), "withdrawal syndrome when BZD/Z is stopped" (100%) and "previous unsuccessful attempts to stop consumption" (82%); and profile 2 (27%), "tolerance" (76%) and "intake in larger amounts or over a longer period than intended" (86%). BZD/Z dependence is frequent in the elderly population, and among dependent patients, we found two profiles corresponding to positive and negative conditioning of the psychoactive effects of BZD/Z. This study is registered as NCT01920581.
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hal-03407111 , version 1 (28-10-2021)



Caroline Victorri-Vigneau, Edouard-Jules Laforgue, Marie Grall-Bronnec, Morgane Guillou-Landreat, Morgane Rousselet, et al.. Are Seniors Dependent on Benzodiazepines?. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 2021, 109 (2), pp.528-535. ⟨10.1002/cpt.2025⟩. ⟨hal-03407111⟩
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