Evaluation of sleep pattern in insomnia in benzodiazepine users and analysis of trazodone as a substitute medication

ABSTRACT Objective To know the modifications of the sleep pattern in chronic benzodiazepine users after the introduction of trazodone. Methods In a group of 11 patients, a gradual withdrawal of benzodiazepine (BZD) was introduced with progressive introduction of trazodone. Two polysomnograms were performed, the first with BZD usual dose of the patient and the second after BZD suppression and with 150 mg of prolonged release trazodone. Sleep quality questionnaires (Pittsburgh), daytime sleepiness (Epworth) and depressive (Hamilton) and anxious (Beck) symptoms were applied. Results Five subjects completed the study and were followed up for at least six weeks. In these patients, trazodone significantly increased sleep efficiency and REM sleep and decreased wakefulness after sleep onset. There was an improvement in sleep quality, but there was no change in depressive and anxious symptoms. Conclusion Prolonged release trazodone has been shown to be a therapeutic option for chronic insomnia patients with benzodiazepines with effective withdrawal of the anxiolytic drug. There was improvement in sleep quality by questionnaire and polysomnography. More patients will be needed to determine the benefits of trazodone in this type of intervention.