Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

The History of Benzodiazepines

Buy Article:

$35.00 + tax (Refund Policy)

After more than 50 years of experience with benzodiazepines, the American health care system has a love-hate relationship with them. In 1955, Hoffmann-La Roche chemist Leo Sternbach serendipitously identified the first benzodiazepine, chlordiazepoxide (Librium). By 1960, Hoffmann-La Roche marketed it as Librium, and it pursued molecular modifications for enhanced activity. Valium (diazepam) followed in 1963. Hoffmann-La Roche's competitors also began looking for analogues. Initially, benzodiazepines appeared to be less toxic and less likely to cause dependence than older drugs. A specific improvement was their lack of respiratory depression, a safety concern with barbiturates. Medical professionals greeted benzodiazepines enthusiastically at first, skyrocketing their popularity and patient demand. In the mid-to-late 1970s, benzodiazepines topped all “most frequently prescribed” lists. It took 15 years for researchers to associate benzodiazepines and their effect on gamma-aminobutyric acid as a mechanism of action. By the 1980s, clinicians’ earlier enthusiasm and propensity to prescribe created a new concern: the specter of abuse and dependence. As information about benzodiazepines, both raising and damning, accumulated, medical leaders and legislators began to take action. The result: individual benzodiazepines and the entire class began to appear on guidelines and in legislation giving guidance on their use. Concurrently, clinicians began to raise concerns about benzodiazepine use by elderly patients, indicating that elders'lesser therapeutic response and heightened sensitivity to side effects demanded prescriber caution. The benzodiazepine story continues to evolve and includes modern-day issues and concerns beyond those ever anticipated.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Barbiturates; Benzodiazepines; CSA = Controlled Substances Act; Chlordiazepoxide; Diazepam; Elderly; GABA = Gamma-aminobutyric acid; Hoffmann-La Roche; MOA = Mechanism of action; Medicare; Prescription drug abuse; STP = Sewage treatment plant; Sternback; Tranquilizer

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • The Consultant Pharmacist® is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. It is dedicated exclusively to the medication needs of the elderly in all settings, including adult day care, ambulatory care, assisted living, community, hospice, and nursing facilities. This award-winning journal is a member benefit of ASCP. Individuals who are not members and wish to receive The Consultant Pharmacist® will want to consider joining ASCP.
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • Information for Advertisers
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more