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About this learning module

Continuing professional education

The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine (external link) of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom has approved this learning module for up to 2.5 CPD credits. Participants should only record the number of hours spent working through the module.

If you are claiming CPD credits, for audit purposes we recommend that you:

  • retain any pages you print
  • retain any notes you make
  • write a reflective commentary on what you have learned and how this may help in your practice.

About this learning module

Benzodiazepines are prescribed widely, mainly for the management of anxiety, insomnia and epilepsy; other indications include management of alcohol withdrawal, muscle spasm, and sedation in dental and medical procedures and in surgery. This module identifies the most important hazards of benzodiazepines and informs health professionals how to anticipate, minimise and manage the risks.

Our learning module on reducing the risks of benzodiazepines is derived largely from summaries of product characteristics supplemented by advice from the MHRA and other publicly available information.

The module is not designed to help you decide when to use a benzodiazepine. You should consult authoritative treatment guidelines for selecting the best treatment, taking into account clinical circumstances and the individual’s views.

We will review and update this learning module from time to time. Please complete the questionnaire at the end of the module to tell us what you think of it and to pass on any comments you would like us to consider.

Who should complete this module

This training module is for medical, nursing and pharmaceutical professions. It is especially suitable for clinicians at the start of their career. However, health professionals who are established in practice will also find the module a helpful refresher.

Learning objectives

Used with summaries of product characteristics and authoritative guidelines on the clinical use of benzodiazepines, this module will help to maximise the benefits of benzodiazepines.

On completion of the module you will be able to:

  • recognise any benzodiazepine drugs you encounter
  • list important risks of benzodiazepines in general
  • outline factors that contribute to the risks of benzodiazepines and how the risks can be reduced
  • identify important drug interactions of benzodiazepines

Time required

It will take you about 2 hours to complete the module. It doesn’t have to be done in one sitting. You will need about 20 minutes to answer the multiple-choice questions and to check your answers against our question feedback.

This content was last updated 12 February 2015.