Study Suggests Taking Anxiety Medications Before Surgery May Delay Recovery

The New York Times (3/9) “Well” blog reports that a new study, published in JAMA, suggests using benzodiazepine drugs “to relieve anxiety before surgery” have “little beneficial effect and may even delay recovery.” The researchers observed 1,062 “patients admitted to French hospitals for surgery requiring general anesthesia.” One-third “took 2.5 milligrams of lorazepam (Ativan), a third received a placebo, and a third were given no premedication.” They found lorazepam “was associated with more postsurgery amnesia” as well as a delay in recovery of cognitive abilities. Additionally, “quality of sleep was impaired in the lorazepam group, but not in the others” and “ventilation tubes were kept in significantly longer in the lorazepam group.”

Related Links:

— “A Time to Avoid Anxiety Drugs,” Nicholas Bakalar, New York Times, March 9, 2015.

Posted in In The News.