Hypnotics and anxiolytics
Benzodiazepines are inappropriate to use in patients aged 65 years and older:
for ≥ 4 weeks (no indication for longer treatment; risk of prolonged sedation, confusion, impaired balance, falls, road traffic accidents; all benzodiazepines should be withdrawn gradually if taken for more than 4 weeks as there is a risk of causing a benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome if stopped abruptly)
with acute or chronic respiratory failure i.e. pO2 < 8.0 kPa ± pCO2 > 6.5 kPa (risk of exacerbation of respiratory failure).
if they have a history of falls (sedative, may cause reduced sensorium, impair balance).
For people with learning difficulties initiate treatment with low doses and titrate cautiously with frequent monitoring for side effects