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Warning to doctors on stress drug: lorazepam

The Times
August 13, 1985

The second most commonly prescribed tranquilliser for treating anxiety symptoms has no important advantages over other benzodiazepine tranquillisers and its use is best limited to short courses or intermittent treatment, doctors have been told.

Lorazepam, which also comes under the brand names Ativan and Almazine, is an effective drug, 'but there is great concern about its potential to produce physical and psychological dependence', according to the current issue of Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin.

'Several withdrawal symptoms may make it more difficult to stop treatment with lorazepam than with diazepam', the bulletin says. The bulletin says that although lorazepam is the second most commonly prescribed drug for mild anxiety, 'it has no important advantages over other benzodiazepines'. Its use is best limited to courses of treatment of a week or two.

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