Benzo Prescriptions for the Elderly Are ‘Inappropriately High’

Although the number of benzodiazepines prescribed for patients over age 65 declined slightly from 2010 to 2016, the drugs are still being given to the elderly far more often than they should be, creating a significant and unnecessary risk of addiction, a new study finds.

Besides the risks of addiction and overdose, benzodiazepine use in the elderly can cause falls, motor vehicle accidents, impaired cognition, and dementia. 

The study suggested that overprescribing was due in part to “providers’ tendency to minimize the risks of prescribing to older adults.”

Overall, the study concluded, benzo use among older people “remains inappropriately high – particularly in those aged 85 and older – which warrants further attention from clinicians and policymakers.”

Click here to read the study.