[Benzodiazepines and Z-Drugs - Analyses of Ambulatory Prescriptions From 2006 to 2015]

Psychiatr Prax. 2019 Oct;46(7):399-405. doi: 10.1055/a-0961-2371. Epub 2019 Aug 14.
[Article in German]

Abstract

Objective: The majority of medication-dependent persons uses sedatives and hypnotics for many years. In this study we describe trends of benzodiazepine and z-drug prescriptions over a 10-years period.

Methods: Prescriptions from 2006 to 2015 (based on German statutory health insurances) from the North German Pharmacy Computing Centre (NARZ) were analysed for the Federal states Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Lower Saxony and Bremen. Data were classified as appropriate (in accordance with the guideline) or inappropriate/risky prescription patterns.

Results: In a 10-years period 1.64 Million patients received benzodiazepine and/or z-drug prescriptions. Two thirds were women (65.3 %). More than half were 60 years or older. The percentage of patients with appropriate prescriptions (less than 2 months) increased from 51.7 % in 2006 to 60.2 % in 2015. The rate of inappropriate or risky prescription patterns which can be indicative of misuse or dependence dropped from 34.8 % in 2006 to 27.1 % in 2015.

Conclusion: Over the past years the amount of inappropriate or risky benzodiazepine and z-drug prescriptions (which are not in accordance with the guideline) among patients with statutory health insurance is steadily decreasing. However, two fifths of the patients still received prescriptions for long-term intake or in higher doses. It remains unclear to what extent private prescriptions are used for inappropriate or long-term prescriptions of benzodiazepines and z-drugs.

Es wird untersucht, wie sich die kassenärztlichen Verschreibungen von Benzodiazepinen (BZD) und Z-Substanzen (ZS) über einen 10-Jahres-Zeitraum entwickelt haben. GKV-Rezepte des Norddeutschen Apotheken-Rechenzentrums (NARZ) wurden für Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Niedersachsen und Bremen von 2006 – 2015 ausgewertet. 1,64 Mio. Patienten erhielten Verschreibungen von BZD und/oder ZS im 10-Jahres-Zeitraum. 65,3 % sind Frauen, über die Hälfte sind 60 Jahre oder älter. Der Anteil an Patienten mit leitliniengerechten Verschreibungen steigt von 51,7 % in 2006 auf 60,2 % in 2015. Problematische Verschreibungen gehen von 34,8 % auf 27,1 % zurück. Der Anteil leitlinienabweichender Verschreibungen von BZD und ZS, die auf Missbrauch oder Abhängigkeit deuten, ist unter GKV-Patienten seit vielen Jahren rückläufig.

MeSH terms

  • Benzodiazepines* / administration & dosage
  • Drug Prescriptions*
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives* / administration & dosage
  • Inappropriate Prescribing
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'

Substances

  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Benzodiazepines