Real-world prescribing patterns of long-acting benzodiazepines for elderly Koreans in 2013

So Yun Park, Seungjin Bae, Ju Young Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: We aimed to estimate the prevalence of prescriptions to long-acting benzodiazepines (BZDs) among elderly outpatients in Korea in 2013 and analyze the factors that led to inappropriate prescription practices. Methods: Using the Korea Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service-National Patients Sample database in 2013, we estimated the pattern of BZD prescription among elderly outpatients. BZDs were categorized as long-acting (half-life (T1/2) ≥ 20 hours) or short-acting (T1/2 < 20 hours). In addition, we investigated the pattern of BZD prescription for populations defined according to patient, healthcare provider, and geographic characteristics. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to estimate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals and identify predictors of long-acting BZD use. Results: Overall, 58,056 elderly patients (38,910 females, 67%) received at least 1 BZD prescription. The total number of BZD prescriptions was 78,843, of which long-acting BZD prescriptions accounted for 44.7%. Diazepam was the most frequently prescribed BZD (39.7%). Long-acting BZDs were most frequently prescribed in the primary-care setting and were relatively frequently prescribed in rural areas. Of the patients prescribed long-acting BZDs, 435 (3.5%) had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Long-acting BZD use varied across different medical institutions (p < 0.05). Conclusions: A decrease in long-acting BZD use was identified relative to data from previous studies. However, BZDs continued to be used, and their use should be further limited in the primary-care setting and in rural areas. The results of this study may provide fundamental data for further review of BZD utilization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-479
Number of pages8
JournalInternational journal of clinical pharmacology and therapeutics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Dustri-Verlag Dr. K. Feistle.


  • Elderly
  • Long-acting benzodiazepines
  • National health insurance data-based study


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