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Benzodiazepines in Anxiety Disorders

Giovanni A. Fava, MD1; Richard Balon, MD2,3; Karl Rickels, MD4
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
2Department of Psychiatry, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
3Department of Anesthesiology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
4Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
JAMA Psychiatry. 2015;72(7):733-734. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.0182.
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To the Editor In their Editorial, Moore and colleagues1 questioned the clinical usefulness of benzodiazepines, emphasized their addicting potential, and questioned why they are not controlled substances, such as barbiturates and opioids. However, their opinions run counter to the evidence that is available.

First, benzodiazepines provide an effective pharmacological treatment of anxiety disorders.2 Their use has been in part supplanted by second-generation antidepressant drugs in recent years but this has occurred without any supporting evidence. Indeed, when benzodiazepines and antidepressants were directly compared in clinical trials, the superiority of benzodiazepines both in efficacy and adverse effect profile emerged.2

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July 1, 2015
John H. Krystal, MD; Scott Stossel, BA; Andrew D. Krystal, MD
1Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut2Department of Neurobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut3Clinical Neuroscience Division, VA National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven4Yale–New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut
5The Atlantic, Washington, DC
6Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina7Duke Clinical Research Institute, Durham, North Carolina
JAMA Psychiatry. 2015;72(7):734-735. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.0351.
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