Psychiatric Quarterly, Vol. 76, No. 3, Fall 2005 (
REVIEW OF BENZODIAZEPINE USE IN
CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS
Malgorzata W. Witek, M.D., Veronica Rojas, M.D.,
Carmen Alonso, M.D., Haruka Minami, B.A.,
and Raul R. Silva, M.D.
Clinically, benzodiazepines are used in adult populations much more frequently
than in children and adolescents. There may be a number of reasons for this
disparity including a dearth of well controlled clinical studies and the issue of
dependence associated with long term use. However, over a ten year span there
has been nearly a three fold increase in the use patterns for these agents in
the child population. In open studies much of the literature has indicated po-
tentially useful results, but these ﬁndings have not been replicated when more
reﬁned methodological studies have been conducted. The lack of encouraging
results in these later studies may be attributable to a number of factors such
as modest sample sizes and less than optimal patient selection. Nonetheless,
with increasing prescriptions being written for these agents it is not clear what
is compelling clinicians to use them. In this paper we will review the available
All authors are afﬁliated with the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New
York University School of Medicine.
Address corresponding to Malgorzata W. Witek, M.D., NYU School of Medicine, Division
of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 550 First Avenue, NBV 21S6, New York, NY 10016-
9196; e-mail: email@example.com.
2005 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.