Benzodiazepine Receptor Agonists

Use of benzodiazepines in the elderly may increase the risk of cognitive and psychomotor impairment, falls, fractures, hospital admissions, delirium, and motor vehicle accidents. These risks may be higher in the elderly due to decreases in drug metabolism and slower elimination of these drugs, particularly long-acting benzodiazepines. Use of these drugs may also lead to dependence, abuse, and withdrawal symptoms. Use of benzodiazepines should be avoided in this population, and should not be used as first-line treatment for insomnia, agitation, or delirium.