Benzodiazepine and antidepressant use in elderly patients with anxiety disorders: A survey of 796 outpatients in Japan

Hiroyuki Uchida, Takefumi Suzuki, David C. Mamo, Benoit H. Mulsant, Toshiaki Kikuchi, Hiroyoshi Takeuchi, Masayuki Tomita, Koichiro Watanabe, Gohei Yagi, Haruo Kashima

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Since the literature on benzodiazepine use in elderly patients with anxiety disorders is limited, a large cross-sectional review of psychotropic prescriptions in 796 patients with neurotic disorders (ICD-10) (age range = 11-91 years) was conducted across 30 sites in Japan. Use of benzodiazepine-derivative anxiolytics was approximately 70% in all decades without a group difference. The proportion of subjects who received prescriptions for benzodiazepine-derivative anxiolytics in the absence of antidepressants was higher in older age groups (e.g., 27.7% and 43.2% in the third and sixth decades, respectively). On the other hand, antidepressants were less frequently prescribed in older age groups (e.g., 59.8% and 41.5% in the third and sixth decades, respectively). The very high use of anxiolytics in the elderly, especially in the absence of concomitant antidepressant use, is a cause for concern since they are not a preferred long-term treatment strategy given their adverse effects in the elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-481
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009 May



  • Aging
  • Antidepressant
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Benzodiazepine
  • Elderly
  • Neurotic disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

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