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Benzodiazepines - too many similar compounds?


Seven benzodiazepines are now available for clinical use in Britain: chlordiazepoxide (Librium - Roche; Tropium - DDSA), diazepam (Valium - Roche; Atensine - Berk), nitrazepam (Mogadon - Roche), oxazepam (Serenid-D - Wyeth), medazepam (Nobrium - Roche), lorazepam (Ativan - Wyeth) and, the latest arrival, clorazepate (Tranxene - Boehringer Ingelheim). More are being developed. Nitrazepam is usually prescribed as a hypnotic, the remainder primarily for the relief of anxiety. Although the introduction of each new compound has been accompanied by claims that it represents a significant advance in therapy, the evidence supporting these claims is tenuous.

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