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[Prescription and use of benzodiazepins in Saint-Louis in Senegal: patient survey]

Author(s): Dieye AM, Sy B, Diarra M, Faye B

Affiliation(s): Laboratoire de pharmacologie et de physiologie, faculte de medecine, de pharmacie et d'odonto-stomatologie, universite Cheikh Anta DIOP, BP 5005, Dakar, Senegal. ctdieye@yahoo.fr

Publication date & source: 2004-03, Ann Pharm Fr., 62(2):133-7.

Prescription and use of benzodiazepins were evaluated with a patients survey. Direct interview were conducted with 150 patients in ten pharmacies in the city of Saint-Louis, Senegal from January to June 2002. Ten of the 15 retail pharmacies in this city agreed to participate in the survey. All patients gave their agreement to participate to the study; the questionnaire contained essentially closed questions. Writers of prescriptions were general practitioners (38.67%), specialists (34.67%), nurses (18%) and midwifes (8.66%). The most prescribed benzodiazepins were prazepam, dipotassic clorazepate, lorazepam and diazepam. Use of these drugs during night is most recommended. Nevertheless, 26.67% of the prescriptions indicated the drug should be use during the day. The period of use was between one and three Months for 33.99% of patients and three Months or more in 42%. Benzodiazepins were used by 66.67% for insomnia, alone or associated with another condition, for anxiety by 14.6% and for epilepsy by 10%. Prescriptions were for benzodiazepins alone in 47.37% of the patients and in combination with other psychotropic drugs for 19.33%. Somnolence and dependence were the most reported side effects.

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