Dr. Kurt Kroenke cautions that benzodiazepines should not be used as first-line treatment for anxiety.
There’s many nonpharmacologic treatments for anxiety, so we both have first-line medicines for anxiety that are not benzodiazepines. And we have a number of effective, particularly psychotherapies for anxiety. So benzodiazepines should not be tried first or probably even second. Like opiates, they can have a role in acute anxiety.
So if people get a benzodiazepine for a couple of days because of what they’re going through, that’s one thing, but we try not to get them on it longer than a week to ten days. So the problem is less with acute use, I mean short-term use, it’s more of a problem when you get on for a matter of weeks to months. Now in severe chronic anxiety that’s not responding to treatment, they may have a role, but yes, they are not first-line. They’re not even second-line for anxiety.