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Document Details :
Title: The use of hypnosedative drugs in a university hospital setting
Author(s): WARIE H, PETROVIC M, SOMERS A, MARIMAN A, ROBAYS H, PEVERNAGIE D
Journal: Acta Clinica Belgica
Volume: 58 Issue: 4 Date: 2003
Objective: The use of hypnosedatives (HSs) in the hospital and at home before admission was registered. Also, the incidence of HSs newly started in the hospital and the incidence of withdrawal in chronic users while in hospital was recorded. Methods: The study population consisted of 517 consecutively adimitted patients recruited from 10 wards of the Ghent University Hospital; 493 of them received a questionnaire and were interviewed concerning the use of HSs at home and in the hospital, about the cause and duration of treatment, the type of HSs used, the presence and nature of any concomitant sleep or anxiety disorder. Main outcome measures were the actual use of HSs during hospitalisation as compared with the reported use, the influence of hospitalisation on use of HSs and the assessment of cause and duration of use of HSs. Results: Twenty-nine percent of the study sample took HSs at home and 45.2% while in the hospital. HSs were prescribed to 28.6% of the patients not habituated to chronic use of HSs at home. In contrast, 14.0% of the patients habituated to chronic use of HSs received no sleep medication while in hospital. Patients older than 60 years used more HSs than younger patients. Previous administration of HSs, sleep problems during hospital admission and female sex were predictive of HSuse. The main reason for prescription of HSs in the hospital was continuation of HSs taken at home. The most prescribed HSs were: lormetazepam, lorazepam, alprazolam, diazepam and zolpidem. Almost 10% of the patients were not informed on treatment with HSs. Among the subjects in whom HSs were newly started, 16.0% intended to continue this medication after discharge. Eleven percent took combinations of hypnosedative drugs. Conclusions: The prevalence of prescription of HSs in the university hospital setting is high. Appropriate guidelines are needed to control the use of HSs during hospitalisation and to ensure withdrawal from these drugs upon discharge.