A major change of prescribing pattern in absence of adequate evidence: benzodiazepines versus newer antidepressants in anxiety disorders.

Patricia Berney, Demian Halperin, Rodrigo Tango, Isabelle Daeniker-Dayer, Pierre Schulz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

We performed a systematic review of controlled trials on anxiety disorders treatment (generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social phobia and post-traumatic stress disorder) published from 1980 to 2006, and identified trials comparing the efficacy of benzodiazepines (BZD) with that of antidepressants, in particular comparisons between BZD and newer antidepressants. Among 969 publications, 274 double-blind randomized controlled studies remained after using our exclusion criteria. These studies comprised altogether 439 comparisons. There were in total 23 comparisons of antidepressants versus BZD. Among these, 22 compared the efficacy of older antidepressants versus BZD, whereas only 1 concerned the comparison of a newer antidepressant versus BZD. It showed comparable efficacy between venlafaxine and diazepam in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. Our study shows that the major change of prescribing pattern from BZD to newer antidepressants in anxiety disorders has occurred in absence of comparative data of high level of proof.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-47
Number of pages9
JournalPsychopharmacology Bulletin
Volume41
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2008

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