Benzodiazepines for anxiety relief ‘unclear’

Their review of 118 studies, published in an online report Benzodiazepines for Anxiety, found many of the studies had methodological flaws. 

“Overall, there was a lack of consistency across the systematic reviews’ findings, and a high risk of bias for most studies,” they wrote. 

Specifically, the studies that were included looked at the effectiveness of benzodiazepines for anxiety disorders related to traffic accidents or workplace injuries.

Results were mixed, with some of the studies concluding benzodiazepines may be helpful, for example to treat generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), but others concluding the opposite.

None of the reviews on GAD compared benzodiazepines with psychological treatments which do not carry a risk of physical dependence.

Despite their differences, the studies did all agree on the potential for adverse effects and the “need for doctors to carefully judge the benefits