Pa. warns doctors about dangers of prescribing Klonopin, Xanax and more
Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | 12.08.16
(Harrisburg) -- Nationwide, prescriptions for drugs like Klonopin, Xanax and Valium have increased 320 percent in 17 years, and now Pennsylvania is issuing new guidelines.
The drugs, known as benzodiazepines, or benzos, are used to treat severe anxiety and panic disorders, as well as insomnia.
The state Department of Health is warning doctors they should not be the first choice to treat anxiety, and should only be used for four to six weeks, if needed.
DOH is also encouraging doctors to create formal written agreements or contracts with their patients so they are fully aware of the risks.
The guidelines also warn that benzos can worsen depression or impulse control disorders, and doctors should show extreme caution if a patient is already taking an opioid or opioid therapies like methadone.
Published in PA Policy