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Type: Journal article
Title: In-patient benzodiazepine withdrawal: comparison of fixed and symptom-triggered taper methods
Author: McGregor, C.
Machin, A.
White, J.
Citation: Drug and Alcohol Review, 2003; 22(2):175-180
Publisher: Carfax Publishing
Issue Date: 2003
ISSN: 0959-5236
Statement of
Catherine McGregor, Alison Machin and Jason M. White
Abstract: Fixed and symptom-triggered taper methods during in-patient benzodiazepine withdrawal treatment were compared using a randomized controlled design. Forty-four benzodiazepine users seeking in-patient withdrawal treatment at two substance use treatment clinics in Adelaide, Australia were recruited. Measurements included the Severity of Dependence Scale and the SF-36. A scale comprising six items from the Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment Scale—Benzodiazepines (CIWA-B) was used to measure withdrawal symptoms. Participants were randomized to receive a fixed diazepam tapering regime or diazepam only in response to withdrawal symptoms (symptom-triggered group). Results showed that there were no significant differences between treatment groups in terms of withdrawal severity, duration of in-patient treatment, amount of diazepam administered, treatment attrition and benzodiazepine use at follow-up. Both groups showed a reduction in benzodiazepine dosage of 86% over the first 8 days which was maintained at 1 month post-discharge. Although there were improvements in some subscales of the SF-36 between baseline and follow-up, values were significantly below age-matched norms at both time-points. This study showed that benzodiazepine users entering treatment have relatively poor health and that symptom-triggered taper methods incorporating flexible dosing and flexible treatment duration are as effective as fixed dose taper methods for in-patient benzodiazepine withdrawal treatment. [McGregor C, Machin A, White JM. In-patient benzodiazepine withdrawal: comparison of fixed and symptom-triggered taper methods.
Keywords: Benzodiazepine; CIWA-B; SF-36; taper; treatment; withdrawal
RMID: 0020030545
DOI: 10.1080/09595230100100615
Appears in Collections:Pharmacology publications

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