4.1 Hypnotics and anxiolytics

This section includes hypnotic and anxiolytic drugs, also see the advice below.

In this section:

4.1.1 Hypnotics
4.1.2 Anxiolytics

BNF advice

  • Benzodiazepines are indicated for the short-term relief (two to four weeks only) of anxiety that is severe, disabling, or causing the patient unacceptable distress, occurring alone or in association with insomnia or short-term psychosomatic, organic or psychotic illness.
  • The use of benzodiazepines to treat short-term 'mild' anxiety is inappropriate.
  • Benzodiazepines should be used to treat insomnia only when it is severe, disabling, or causing the patient extreme distress.

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