The Challenges of Benzodiazepine Tapering and Discontinuation and an Underused Interdisciplinary Approach
Benzodiazepines can carry significant health risks with long term use and are especially detrimental to vulnerable populations such as seniors and patients with substance use disorders. Unfortunately, it is extremely challenging to deprescribe and discontinue benzodiazepines despite their known public health risk. Due to limited commercially available dosage forms, benzodiazepine dose reductions recommended by current guidelines may not be possible or practical. This may precipitate benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, sleep disturbances, and seizures. We propose a collaborative approach with pharmacists, including using compounded suspensions of benzodiazepines, to supplement the existing benzodiazepine deprescribing regimens in clinical practice.