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Short-term, but not long-term, beneficial effects of concomitant benzodiazepine use on clinical course in patients with schizophrenia

International Clinical Psychopharmacology Jun 10, 2022

Why this study matters

Patients with schizophrenia are known to benefit from combination anti-psychotic + benzodiazepine therapy during acute exacerbations or psychotic relapses; however, the chronic use of combination anti-psychotic + benzodiazepine therapy is controversial.

Short-term benzodiazepine use improves clinical outcomes and reduces the side effect burden of long-term benzodiazepine use.

Study design

Patients with schizophrenia attending psychiatry clinics who were prescribed short- and long-term benzodiazepines were followed for 24 months.

Results and conclusion

Patients with schizophrenia who were prescribed short-term benzodiazepines had fewer psychiatric hospitalizations, shorter lengths of hospital stay, a lower anti-psychotic medication discontinuation rate, and fewer suicidal behaviors.

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