Detoxification Methods Of Benzodiazepines Mono-dependence: Application And Comparison | 30487
Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy
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Benzodiazepines are among the most common drugs of abuse in Egypt. The severe suffering during withdrawal of
benzodiazepines following long term use magnifies the need to develop treatment strategies for discontinuing these
medications. The study aimed to evaluate different detoxification procedures that have been followed to manage benzodiazepines
dependence and to assess their efficiency in controlling withdrawal symptoms and relapse rates. This study had been conducted
in the center of Psychiatry, Neurology and Neurosurgery, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Egypt. It lasted for 45 days and
was divided into three phases; pretreatment phase (7 days), detoxification phase (8 days) and follow-up phase (30 days). Three
different methods of detoxification of benzodiazepines dependence were applied during the detoxification phase and included
Slow flumazenil infusion (1 mg/500ml saline twice daily) as the main line of treatment with low doses of oxazepam given
orally during the first three nights of detoxification phase; using oxazepam gradual tapering and abrupt discontinuation of
benzodiazepines with symptomatic treatment. Withdrawal symptoms were assessed by psychometric scales BWSQ, HAM-A,
HAM-D scores and craving was assessed by VAS scores emerged in the three studied groups during the detoxification phase.
The study revealed that flumazenil infusion with low doses of oxazepam was associated with the least intensity of withdrawal
symptoms and craving. Also, relapse rates were decreased in patients treated with flumazenil than those treated by oxazepam
tapering or abrupt discontinuation with symptomatic treatment. It can be concluded that slow flumazenil infusion with low
doses of oxazepam appeared to be more effective in controlling withdrawal symptoms reducing craving and relapse rate after
benzodiazepine discontinuation than oxazepam tapering or abrupt discontinuation with symptomatic treatment.
Ehab Sayed Ramadan completed his MD and PhD from Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Egypt. Currently, he is a Professor in Psychiatry and Psychology, Faculty
of Medicine, Tanta University, Egypt. He has sixteen publications in scientific journals. He worked as Director of Neuroscience University Center-Tanta, Egypt (2008-
2010) and Consultant and Head of Neuropsychiatry Department Saudi German Hospital, KSA (2000-2006). He has experiences in the fields of Psychiatry & Psychology.
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