Benzodiazepine prescribing patterns in a high-prescribing Scandinavian community

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift


Sales statistics indicate large variations in benzodiazepine consumption between the Scandinavian countries: the current difference between Denmark (highest) and Sweden (lowest) is almost two-fold. There are also large within-country variations: e.g. benzodiazepine sales in the Swedish city of Helsingborg, which is close to Denmark, were at the average Danish level and were the highest in Sweden. Repeated prescription analyses were carried out in Helsingborg, and register data were used to compare the extent of psychiatric morbidity and psychosocial problems in this city with those in neighbouring cities. Benzodiazepine consumption was higher than the national average in all age groups. However, neither the choice of the predominant benzodiazepine agents nor the dose size or number of doses per prescription showed any major deviation. Hence, Helsingborg may have a larger proportion of benzodiazepine users or longer exposure periods among users. The latter is supported by the fact that about 40% of all benzodiazepine prescriptions were repeated. Psychiatric morbidity, suicide rate, alcohol-related diseases, unemployment and the proportion of socially isolated subjects were higher than the county average. On the other hand, within the county, there were cities that despite lower benzodiazepine sales had an equal or higher rate of suicide, unemployment and alcohol-related diseases. Of all benzodiazepine prescriptions processed in Helsingborg, > 30% were issued by < 5% of the prescribers (> or = 15 prescriptions per prescriber and per week). Thus, the higher usage of benzodiazepines in Helsingborg may partly be related to higher psychiatric morbidity and more psychosocial problems, but deviant prescribing habits among a minority of physicians are also important.


  • Anders Ekedahl
  • Jan Lidbeck
  • T Lithman
  • D Noreen
  • Arne Melander
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Farmakologi och toxikologi
Sidor (från-till)141-146
TidskriftEuropean Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Utgåva nummer2
StatusPublished - 1993
Peer review utfördJa


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Relaterad forskningsoutput

Ekedahl, A., 2002, Anders Ekedahl, SMI Universitetssjukhuset MAS (MFC), Ingång 59, SE-205 02 Malmö, Sweden,. 108 s.

Forskningsoutput: AvhandlingDoktorsavhandling (sammanläggning)

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