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Revista Española de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1135-5727


GARCIA DEL POZO, Javier et al. The Use of Anxiolytic and Hypnotic Drugs in Spain (1995-2002). Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2004, vol.78, n.3, pp.379-387. ISSN 1135-5727.

Background: Recent studies have revealed a rise in the use of anxiolytic and hypnotic drugs as well as the improper use thereof in Western countries. This study is aimed at ascertaining the pattern of use of anxiolytic and hypnotic drugs in Spain within the 1995-2002 period. Methods: The data related to the use of medications was taken from the Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs' ECOM (Medicinal Products Consumption) database, which includes information on the use of medications delivered through the community pharmacies and reimbursed by the National Health System. The data are expressed in Defined Daily Doses per 1,000 inhabitants per day. Results: The use of anxiolytic and hypnotic drugs rose from 39.71 Defined Daily Doses per 1,000 inhabitants per day in 1995 to 62.02 in 2002. Throughout the period under study, benzodiazepines having a medium-range half-life (8-24 h.) were those most used, especially lorazepam, alprazolam and lormetazepam. The active ingredient having shown the greatest drop in use was flunitrazepam. Conclusions: Although the use of anxiolytic and hypnotic drugs has undergone a considerable rise in recent years in Spain, the pattern of use has shown no major changes.

Keywords : Anti-Anxiety Agents; Hypnotics and sedatives; Drug utilization.

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