2019 Volume 139 Issue 6 Pages 931-937
Benzodiazepine receptor agonists (BZRAs) are used in the treatment of a wide variety of clinical conditions. Although clinical practice guidelines discourage high dosage or long-term use of BZRAs, they are prescribed in clinical settings. This study aimed to investigate whether the pharmacists at multidisciplinary clinical team meetings can help reduce BZRA use and promote appropriate use of these drugs. The psychiatric unit of the Tokyo Women's Medical University Hospital occupies two floors, with 31 beds on Floor A and 34 beds on Floor B. The multidisciplinary clinical team meetings were held once a week in each ward. During the meetings, the pharmacists comprehensively assessed the number of BZRA doses administered and the equivalent diazepam doses, presented their prescription recommendations aimed at dosage reduction, and shared their views with the entire clinical team. This intervention was commenced on Floor A in 2014 and on Floor B in 2015. The average number of BZRAs in each period and equivalent diazepam doses were assessed for 273 psychiatric inpatients hospitalized from April to June in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Changes in the number of BZRA doses administered were assessed per floor per year. The results showed a statistically significant decrease between years with and without interventions. The intervention of pharmacists allowed multidisciplinary clinical team members to gain the same understanding about BZRA use and formulation of drug therapy plans. The results suggest that the intervention of pharmacists at clinical team meetings can strategically lead to decreased BZRA dosages and their proper use.