The Open Drug Safety Journal


ISSN: 1876-8180 ― Volume 4, 2013

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal - Does This Lead to an Increase in the Use of Antipsychotics?

Viggo Rask Kragh Jørgensen*
Lægehuset Thyborøn, Ærøvej 1b, 7680 Thyborøn, Denmark



In 2004, two Danish GPs in the town of Thyborøn introduced a more restrictive approach to the prescription of benzodiazepines (BD) and cyclopyrrolones (CP). A prescription could only be renewed following personal consultation, and medication could only be prescribed for one month at a time. Every month, the practitioner and the patient had to consider whether current levels of consumption were appropriate or whether a reduction was to be implemented. This approach reduced the consumption of anxiolytics and hypnotics by 87% and 92%, respectively, over a 3-year period. There is a general paucity of knowledge as to whether an intervention such as the one described above actually reduces drug consumption, or merely transfers consumption to other drugs, where especially antipsychotics (AP) are in the spotlight.

Materials and Methods:

The current article describes the consumption of AP before and after the intervention. Consumption was followed via the Danish Medicines Agency's website Ordiprax, where one can determine the amount of prescription medications sold in pharmacies by individual medical practices.


In both practices, a non-significant increase in the overall consumption of AP was observed during the course of the intervention against BD and CP. Although the consumption of some AP subgroups experienced a significant increase, no specific pattern could be observed.


The intervention against BD and CP did not result in a significant increase in total prescription volumes of AP. It cannot be excluded that the intervention influenced individual prescriptions.

Keywords: Benzodiazepines, Cyclopyrrolones, Antipsychotics, Sedative, Hypnotics, General practice.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2012
Volume: 3
First Page: 1
Last Page: 6
Publisher Id: TODSJ-3-1
DOI: 10.2174/1876818001203010001

Article History:

Received Date: 28/10/2011
Revision Received Date: 20/11/2011
Acceptance Date: 12/1/2012
Electronic publication date: 22/3/2012
Collection year: 2012

© Viggo Rask Kragh Jørgensen; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http: // which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Ærøvej 1b, 7680 Thyborøn, Denmark; Tel: 97 832493; (Office): 97 832300; Fax: 97 832057; E-mail:

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