Consumption of benzodiazepines (BZD) has been growing steadily in Spain since the 90s. Half of patients over age 85 and 2% of adolescents between ages 15 and 19 have been treated with BZD (1). No clinical indication justifies prolonged prescription of BZD; however, long-term use is very common (2).
The patient had been in treatment with alprazolam for 14 years. For one year, she reduced the dose by splitting 0.5 mg alprazolam tablets until reaching a dose of 0.25/0/0.25. She wanted to stop the medication and asked her doctor to prescribe an alternative.
The treatment for benzodiazepine (BZD) dependency is gradual dose reduction, but the non-existence of commercialized presentations with the required doses complicates implementing the treatment. The doctor asked if there is anything we could do about this.