What are the features of sedative-hypnotic withdrawal syndrome?

Updated: Oct 18, 2020
  • Author: Nathanael J McKeown, DO; Chief Editor: David Vearrier, MD, MPH  more...
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Features include the following:

  • Discontinuation of benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and other sedatives or hypnotics after long-term use produces withdrawal symptoms resembling those of alcohol withdrawal syndrome

  • The morbidity/mortality is closely related to that of alcohol withdrawal syndrome

  • Sedative-hypnotic withdrawal syndrome is characterized by pronounced psychomotor and autonomic dysfunctions

  • Catatonia may occur with benzodiazepine withdrawal, as well as clozapine withdrawal [5]

  • Symptoms usually occur 2-10 days after abrupt discontinuation of the drug, depending on its half-life

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