Effectiveness of benzodiazepines: do they work or not?

@article{Lader2008EffectivenessOB,
  title={Effectiveness of benzodiazepines: do they work or not?},
  author={Malcolm Harold Lader},
  journal={Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics},
  year={2008},
  volume={8},
  pages={1189 - 1191}
}
  • M. Lader
  • Published 1 August 2008
  • Psychology
  • Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics
Evaluation of: Martin JLR, Sainz-Pardo M, Furukawa TA et al. Benzodiazepines in generalized anxiety disorder: heterogeneity of outcomes based on a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials. J. Psychopharmacol. 21, 774–782 (2007)1. The benzodiazepines have been extensively prescribed for decades for vague indications such as anxiety, sleeplessness and muscle tension. Despite increasing knowledge of their adverse effects, such as sedation, psychomotor and cognitive impairment, and… 
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References

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Review: Benzodiazepines in generalized anxiety disorder: heterogeneity of outcomes based on a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials
TLDR
This systematic review of randomized controlled trials that compared any of the three best established benzodiazepines (diazepam, Lorazepam and aLprazolam) against placebo did not find convincing evidence of the short-term effectiveness of the Benzodiazepine in the treatment of GAD.
A Meta-analytic Review of the Efficacy of Drug Treatment in Generalized Anxiety Disorder
TLDR
Pharmacotherapy, especially benzodiazepines and azapirones, is effective in the short-term treatment of patients with generalized anxiety disorder and there was no superiority of 1 drug class in reducing symptomatology.
Results of a naturalistic longitudinal study of benzodiazepine and SSRI use in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder and social phobia
TLDR
Comparatively, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and venlafaxine usage as stand‐alone medications for these disorders remained low throughout the follow‐up period, while benzodiazepines were the medications most commonly used for both generalized anxiety disorder and social phobia.
Benzodiazepine dependence and withdrawal: a review of the syndrome and its clinical management
TLDR
The withdrawal syndrome is reviewed and the pharmacological and patient variables that contribute to it are reviewed, then the various approaches to managing benzodiazepine dependence and withdrawal are summarized.
Don't ask, don't tell, but benzodiazepines are still the leading treatments for anxiety disorder.
  • S. Stahl
  • Psychology
    The Journal of clinical psychiatry
  • 2002
TLDR
Benzodiazepines are still more widely prescribed than antidepressants for the treatment of anxiety disorders, and alprazolam is the single most commonly prescribed agent for mood and anxiety disorders.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Acute and Chronic Treatment
TLDR
Clinical and epidemiological data suggest that generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a chronic illness causing patients to suffer for many years leading to significant distress in daily life functioning and research is needed in the area of developing treatment strategies for patients suffering from treatment-refractory GAD.
Generalized anxiety disorder: A comorbid disease
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TLDR
The review of randomized placebo-controlled trials indicates that CBT is efficacious for adult anxiety disorders, and there is, however, considerable room for improvement.
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It is shown that a substantial amount of generalized anxiety disorder occurs independently of major depression and that the role impairment of generalizedxiety disorder is comparable to that ofmajor depression.
DSM-III-R generalized anxiety disorder in the National Comorbidity Survey.
TLDR
Although lifetime GAD is highly comorbid, the proportion of current GAD that is not accompanied by any other current diagnosis is high enough to indicate that GAD should be considered an independent disorder rather than exclusively a residual or prodrome of other disorders.
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