Benzodiazepine drugs are widely used in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but available evidence suggests that they are not effective — and may even be harmful, concludes a systematic review and meta-analysis in the July Journal of Psychiatric Practice.
The researchers performed a systematic review to identify clinical trials or observational studies concerning the use of benzodiazepines in patients with PTSD, or in patients with recent trauma evaluated for possible PTSD. The study was the first comprehensive review and meta-analysis (pooled data analysis) to focus on this issue.
Benzodiazepines are a “common and controversial” treatment for PTSD. Some mental health professionals argue that benzodiazepines can reduce anxiety, insomnia, and irritability associated with PTSD. Others suggest that benzodiazepines may actually prolong and worsen the disorder.
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