BZRA for anxiety & insomnia
The HSE Medicines Management Programme has published guidance to support the appropriate prescribing of benzodiazepines and z-drugs (BZRA) in the treatment of anxiety and insomnia.
The guidance contains information on the initiation and review of BZRA,and highlights the safety concerns associated with their use. It provides resource material to support deprescribing of these medicines.
Non-pharmacological management options should always be considered as alternatives or additional measures to prescribing BZRA for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia.
Resources to support appropriate prescribing of BZRA in the treatment of anxiety and insomnia are located in the Related Files section below:
- Guidance on appropriate prescribing of benzodiazepines and z-drugs (BZRA) in the treatment of anxiety and insomnia.
- Prescribing Tips and Tools for Benzodiazepines and Z-drugs (BZRA) for the Treatment of Anxiety and Insomnia.
- Stopping your medicine: benzodiazepines and z-drugs. A guide for patients.
- The Good Relaxation Guide.
- The Good Sleep Guide.
Resources for prescribers and pharmacists to raise public awareness of the potential harms associated with BZRA use were developed in 2020 and updated in 2023, and are also available in the Related Files section below:
- Medicines for Insomnia and Anxiety - Patient Guide: to print the patient guide, set the printer settings to ‘print on two sides (flip on short edge)' to ensure correct layout
- Medicines for Insomnia and Anxiety - poster for GP and prescriber practices
- Medicines for Insomnia and Anxiety - poster for pharmacies
These resources were developed by the HSE in collaboration with the Department of Health, Health Products Regulatory Authority, Irish College of General Practitioners, Medical Council, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland and the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland.