Benzodiazepine Policy

UK Meds Direct Ltd - Policy in relation to the supply of Benzodiazepine drugs (BDZs)


BDZs are indicated for the short-term relief (two to four weeks only) of anxiety that is severe, disabling, or causing the patient unacceptable distress, occurring alone or in association with insomnia or short-term psychosomatic, organic, or psychotic illness. The use of BDZs to treat short-term ‘mild’ anxiety is inappropriate.

BDZs should be used to treat insomnia only when it is severe, disabling, or causing the patient extreme distress.

The following BDZs are available for supply through this website, subject at all times to prescriber approval and compliance with prescribing guidelines:

  • Flurazepam

 

Diazepam is licensed for:

Adults

    • The short-term relief (2-4 weeks) only, of anxiety which is severe, disabling, or subjecting the individual to unacceptable distress, occurring alone or in association with insomnia or short-term psychosomatic, organic or psychotic illness.
    • Cerebral palsy.
    • Muscle spasm.
    • As an adjunct to certain types of epilepsy (e.g. myoclonus).
    • Symptomatic treatment of acute alcohol withdrawal.
    • As oral premedication for the nervous dental patient.
    • For premedication before surgery

Children

  • Control of tension and irritability in cerebral spasticity in selected cases
  • As an adjunct to the control of muscle spasm in tetanus
  • Oral premedication
  • Flurazepam is licensed for use in insomnia where the disorder is severe, disabling or subjecting the individual to extreme distress.
  • Temazepam is licensed for:
    • the short-term treatment of insomnia in cases where it is severe, disabling or subjecting the individual to extreme distress, especially for those patients in whom the persistence of a hypnotic effect would be undesirable.
    • pre-operative medication prior to minor surgery or other similar procedures particularly when hospital admission is not essential.

Use of BDZs can lead to the development of physical and psychic dependence on these products and carry a risk of tolerance and withdrawal effects.

BDZs can put patients at increased risk of overdose, especially when combined with other depressant drugs such as methadone, heroin and alcohol.

The prescribing of BDZs should be considered as a means of last resort in treatment. Before a doctor prescribes a BDZ for you, you will be required to confirm that you have considered alternatives for anxiety or insomnia management, including non-BDZ pharmacotherapy and talking therapies.

Tolerance to the anxiolytic and sedative effects of BDZs typically occurs after a few weeks of regular use rendering them less effective for the management of the prescribed indication after this time.

Dependence on even small doses of BDZs can result in anxiety, insomnia and other distressing withdrawal symptoms if the drug is stopped abruptly.

UK Meds Direct Ltd has to ensure that BDZs that are supplied through the website are being used in a safe and appropriate manner. As a result, UK Meds Direct Ltd follows the guidelines listed below:


  • BDZs will be supplied to you only if you can prove that you have exhausted non-medicine treatments.
  • Only one type of BDZ (or Z-drug – see our Z Drug policy) will be supplied to you through the website at any one time.
  • BDZs will only be prescribed in accordance with the licensed therapeutic indications listed above. In order for a prescription for a BDZ to be issued by a prescribing doctor through the website, you will need to provide detailed information on your condition.
  • If you have not responded to BDZs in the past, you will not be issued with a prescription for a BDZ by the doctor.
  • Treatment should be stopped if you suffer side effects that directly relate to the BDZ (as listed in the accompanying BDZ patient information leaflet).
  • You must let us know if you have suffered adverse side effects from a previously prescribed BDZ.
  • Current best practice guidelines require that we supply no more than 14 – 30 days’ treatment (depending on the applicable BDZ) in any one order. Doctors prescribing further to a request for a BDZ through the website are required to follow the dosage guidelines as currently recommended in the British National Formulary (BNF). The current BNF prescribing guidelines are listed next to each of the BDZs that we supply through the website. You can refer to them when adding a BDZ to your basket.
  • If we become aware that you have ordered a BDZ from UK Meds Direct Ltd and also from other suppliers at the same time, we will reduce or cancel your order so that the total amount of medication supplied to you does not exceed the maximum BNF dosage guidelines.
  • You are expected to use their own payment card to pay for a BDZ and will be required to provide proof of your date of birth before a second order is dispatched (up to the maximum length of treatment cycle).
  • UK Meds Direct Ltd is particularly careful in prescribing for younger people i.e. under 25.

For patients 21 and under, permission will be requested from their GP before we will supply BDZs to them.

  • In exceptional circumstances, you may use someone else’s payment card to pay for the supply of a BDZ through the website but you will be required to provide proof of your date of birth and home address before the order is dispatched.
  • The billing address for the card should be the same as the delivery address. In occasional cases, a work or holiday address may be used, however, proof may be required.
  • If several people request BDZs from the same address or within close proximity of a particular address, then these orders are likely to be refused, and customer accounts closed.

As a responsible provider of prescription medication, UK Meds has to take all necessary measures to ensure that people ordering BDZs through the website are using them in an appropriate manner. BDZs are dangerous drugs if they are used incorrectly or recreationally and this policy is in place to prevent the medicines we provide through the website from being misused in any way.