Benzodiazepine use in breast cancer survivors: Findings from a consecutive series of 1,000 patients

Rakhee Vaidya, Richa Sood, Nina Karlin, Aminah Jatoi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: This study reports the percentage of breast cancer survivors receiving ongoing benzodiazepines and the circumstances surrounding their usage. Methods: The medical records of 1,000 consecutive breast cancer survivors who were no longer receiving adjuvant chemotherapy were reviewed. Results: Among those patients, 7.9% (95% confidence interval 6.2-9.6; higher than the 3% rate in the general population) were receiving benzodiazepines. Lorazepam was most commonly prescribed. Sixty-eight patients were cancer free at their last visit, and 51 had not been taking benzodiazepines prior to their cancer diagnosis. Anxiety was the single most frequent reason for initiating and continuing benzodiazepines. Conclusion: Anxiety appears to be a common explanation for relatively high rates of benzodiazepine use in breast cancer survivors. This finding merits further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-11
Number of pages3
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Anxiety
  • Benzodiazepine
  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer survivors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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