Anxiety: treat with caution

The recent TGA decision to reschedule the short-acting benzodiazepine alprazolam (Xanax) as a Schedule 8 drug may highlight a wider issue than just overuse and misuse.

It is important to look at why the supply of alprazolam has increased by 1426% in the decade to 2010. This issue is particularly relevant to women, as they experience higher levels of anxiety than men (18% vs 11%) and are therefore more likely to be prescribed benzodiazepines.

Women aged 25—34 years have the highest prevalence of anxiety disorders