Outpatient use of benzodiazepines had increased substantially in US adults and addressing prescribing patterns may help curb the growing use and increasing rates of overdose deaths involving these drugs, a new study found. The serial cross-sectional study used nationally representative National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey data. The yearly population-based sample of outpatient visits among adults, ranging from 20,884 visits in 2003 to 24,273 visits in 2015, was analyzed. Prescribing patterns were examined by specialty and indication. Researchers found:
- Among the 386,457 ambulatory care visits from 2003 to 2015, a total of 919 benzodiazepine visits occurred in 2003 and 1,672 in 2015, nationally representing 27.6 million and 62.6 million visits, respectively.
- The benzodiazepine visit rate doubled from 3.8% to 7.4% of visits, including coprescribing with other sedating medications.
- Use among psychiatrists was stable but increase among all other types of physicians.
- Visits to primary care physicians accounted for ~half of all benzodiazepine visits.
Agarwal SD, Landon BE. Patterns in outpatient benzodiazepine prescribing in the United States. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(1):e187399. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.7399.
This Week's Must Reads
AHA Statement: CV Risk Reduction in Pediatrics, Circulation; ePub 2019 Feb 25; de Ferranti, et al
Epicutaneous Immunotherapy in Peanut Allergy, JAMA; ePub 2019 Feb 22; Fleischer, et al
Opioid-Related Mortality in US by Opioid Type, JAMA Netw Open; 2019 Feb 22; Kiang, et al
Insulin Management in Patients with T2D, Lancet; ePub 2019 Feb 22; Bergenstal, et al
Vaccination for Prevention of Herpes Zoster, Ann Intern Med; ePub 2019 Feb 19; Prosser, et al
Must Reads in Health Policy
Outpatient Care for Adults With Primary Care, JAMA Intern Med; ePub 2019 Jan 28; Levine, et al
Outpatient Benzodiazepine Prescribing in US, JAMA Netw Open; 2019 Jan 25; Agarwal, et al
Reduction of Readmissions Through Primary Care, JAMA Netw Open; 2019 Jan 25; Wiest, et al
Adverse Effects in Medical Treatment & Mortality, JAMA Netw Open; ePub 2019 Jan 18; Sunshine, et al
Multimorbidity Trends Among US Adults, J Am Board Fam Med; 2018 Jul-Aug; King, et al