This campaign has allowed the use of benzodiazepines to be reduced by 7 percent for the population over 65 years of age in Molina de Segura.
The program to reduce the consumption of tranquilizers ‘Yonomebenzo’ that is developed in Molina de Segura has been awarded as the best communication type experience, at the 41st National Congress of the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (SemFYC) held in Valencia.
Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs called tranquilizers that are indicated for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia and stress. Its long-term consumption is very widespread both in Spain and in other neighboring countries. Its prolonged use has great risks such as cognitive deterioration, falls, fractures and increased mortality. These risks are especially greater in patients with advanced ages and polymedicated. The risk of dependence and adverse effects increases if consumption is maintained for more than 3 or 4 weeks.
The community strategy for the prevention of the use of benzodiazepines has been developed by a multidisciplinary working group (family doctors, pharmacists, psychiatrists, psychologists, municipal technicians, and members of associations and citizens) to promote the appropriate use of these drugs in the population of Molina de Segura.
The program has been developed in two phases: a first for information and social awareness, and a second for intervention on professionals and the population.
Molina de Segura pharmacists have provided advice and counseling to patients on the appropriate use of benzodiazepines and indicated or referred patients to their doctor, following an established protocol when faced with a health problem related to anxiety, stress and insomnia , in order to reduce the consumption of tranquilizers.
After the intervention, a reduction in the use of benzodiazepines has been observed in the municipality, with a trend of decreasing consumption in the population over 65 years of age by 7.3 percent and in adults by 4.7 percent.
Large increase in consumption
According to data from the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products, the consumption of benzodiazepines has experienced an increase of 46.8 percent in the last decade, due to the current trend of society to take medication to overcome situations of daily life.
A study carried out in the municipality of Molina de Segura in 2018 showed a use of benzodiazepines in 17 percent of the population, with inappropriate use in 80 percent of cases, in which women and the elderly population they turned out to be the biggest consumers.
In this context, a group of health professionals from Molina de Segura proposed to the municipal Health Council the creation of a multidisciplinary working group to design and initiate a global and community strategy, giving priority to interventions on elderly patients and women.
The main objective of this community strategy is to promote the rational use of benzodiazepines or hypnotics in people who use them for problems of daily life, by optimizing the prescription and promoting the improvement of their living conditions through other resources a its scope.