Anxiolytics are a group of drugs which currently is comprised of benzodiazepine compounds, buspirone, antihistamines as hydroxyzine, some anticonvulsants and chlormethiazole. Hypnotics, in turn, include some benzodiazepines, the so-called “z-agents” and other compounds like melatonin and ramelteon and sedative antidepressants. Even though they are a relatively safe group that can provide rapid symptomatic amelioration, most of them are associated to the development of addiction and pose specific problems in old age. Therefore, the peculiars of these compounds and the characteristics of the elderly make especially accurate the classical recommendation to prescribe these drugs for short periods of time only.
Keywords: Addiction, Alprazolam, Anxiolytics, Ataxia, Benzodiazepines, Buspirone, Chlormethiazole, Clonazepam, Delirium, Diazepam, Doxepin, Eszopiclone, Falls, Gabapentin, Hydroxyzine, Hypnotics, Melatonin, Mirtazapine, Pregabalin, Ramelteon, Trazodone, Triazolam, Zaleplon, Zolpidem, Zopiclone.