Equivalent doses of oral benzodiazepines

Gillian Lewis, Specialist Pharmacy Technician - Medicines Information, South West Medicines Information and TrainingSource South West Medicines Information and TrainingPublished

Benzodiazepines are the most commonly used anxiolytics and hypnotics. There are major differences in potency between different benzodiazepines and this difference in potency is important when switching from one benzodiazepine to another. Benzodiazepines also differ markedly in the speed in which they are metabolised and eliminated. With repeated daily dosing accumulation occurs and high concentrations can build up in the body (mainly in fatty tissues). The degree of sedation that they induce also varies, making it difficult to determine exact equivalents.