Choice of drug

Many benzodiazepines are available. They vary in potency and duration of action, but many are metabolized to the same compound, oxazepam, and are to some extent interchangeable. The same compound can often be used in low dose to treat anxiety and in higher dose to induce sleep. Longer-acting ones can be given in a single nighttime dose to provide an immediate hypnotic effect followed by an anxiolytic effect next day. The shorter-acting ones are suitable for insomnia, which is not accompanied by daytime anxiety, or for phobic anxiety related to specific situations.

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