Concerns raised over non-medical alprazolam use
Research into the non-medical use of prescription drugs has raised concern that alprazolam use among younger people could be on the rise.
Source: GODONG / BSIP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The benzodiazepine alprazolam (Xanax; Pfizer) is being obtained for non-medical use in the UK, particularly among young people, survey results show (4 June 2019).
Alprazolam is not available via the NHS and can only be obtained via private prescription.
Researchers analysed data from 10,019 respondents to the 2017 RADARS Survey of Non-Medical Use of Prescription Drugs, providing a representative sample of the adult UK population.
Overall, the estimated lifetime non-medical use of alprazolam was 0.32% compared with 1.30% for diazepam. Unlike diazepam, for which there was no effect of age on use, the rate of recent use (defined as the past 90 days) was highest among those aged 16–24 years (0.37%) and 25–34 years (0.14%); this was virtually nil in people aged 35 and over.
The findings raised concerns that the popularity of alprazolam could be on the rise among young people. Further research is urgently needed to determine the appeal of the drug in this age group, the researchers said.
“This will enable appropriate public health interventions to prevent short‐term toxicity and long‐term dependence among young adults who are regularly using alprazolam,” they concluded.
Citation: Electronicjuice DOI: 10.1211/CP.2019.20206746
Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press
Patient Care in Community Practice is a unique, practical guide for healthcare professionals or carers. Covers a range of non-medicinal products suitable for use at home.£22.00
A practical guide to the use of pharmacokinetic principles in clinical practice. Includes case studies with questions and answers.£33.00
A concise, easy-to-read guide for healthcare professionals who encounter drug abuse.£38.00
Explains the methodology and requirements of pre-clinical safety assessments of new medicines. Includes registration requirements and pharmacovigilance.£40.00
A practical guide to influencing the availability of medicines, and policies of their use. Focuses on the strategic elements of medicines management.£33.00