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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 465726, 5 pages
Research Article

Benzodiazepines and Z-Drug Use among HIV-Infected Patients in Taiwan: A 13-Year Nationwide Cohort Study

1Department of Psychiatry, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Yuanshan Branch, Yilan County, Taiwan
2Department of Psychiatry, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, No. 201, Sec. 2, Shipai Road, Beitou District, Taipei City 11217, Taiwan
3Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei City, Taiwan
4Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei City, Taiwan
5Department of Family Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei City, Taiwan

Received 2 July 2014; Revised 23 October 2014; Accepted 23 December 2014

Academic Editor: Robert Heaton

Copyright © 2015 Han-Ting Wei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Benzodiazepines (BZDs) and zolpidem, zopiclone, and zaleplon (Z-drugs) are commonly prescribed to HIV-infected patients. We hypothesized that frequent BZD and Z-drug use among these patients may be associated with psychiatric illnesses, particularly in long-term users. Methods. We included 1,081 patients with HIV between 1998 and 2011 from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database and matched them according to age, sex, and comorbidity with uninfected controls to investigate the psychiatric diagnoses and prescriptions of BZDs and Z-drugs. Cumulative defined daily dose (cDDD) was assessed as the indicator of the duration of medication exposure. Patients exhibiting a cDDD exceeding 180 were defined as long-term users. Results. The patients with HIV had an increased risk of any use (odds ratio (OR): 8.70, 95% confidence interval (CI): 6.82–10.97) and long-term use (OR: 5.06, 95% CI: 3.63–7.04) of BZD and Z-drugs compared with those without HIV during the follow-up after demographic data and psychiatric comorbidities were adjusted. Conclusion. A large proportion of the HIV-infected patients received prescriptions of BZDs and Z-drugs. Mood disorders, insomnia, anxiety disorders, HIV infection, and substance use disorder were substantial predictors among the BZD and Z-drug users. These findings suggest that providing psychiatric services for HIV-infected patients is vital.