Risk Mitigation Strategies for Benzodiazepines and Gabapentin


Benzodiazepines and gabapentin can help patients with depression, anxiety, pain, and sleep disorders—when prescribed, however, these medications are not risk-free, especially when combined with other controlled substances. Regardless, they continue to be used widely. Pharmacists can identify the risks associated with these drugs and bring awareness to patients and providers. In this session, two practiced experts will focus on identifying patients who are at increased risk of adverse outcomes and examine discontinuation strategies that minimize withdrawal symptoms.

Pharmacist Learning Objectives

At the completion of this application-based activity, participants will be able to:

  1. Explain the risks, patterns and benefits associated with the use of benzodiazepines and gabapentin.
  2. Identify patients at increased risk of adverse outcomes secondary to benzodiazepines.
  3. Compare evidence-based nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic strategies for benzodiazepine discontinuation.
  4. Design a protocol based on patient-specific characteristics that minimizes withdrawal symptoms.
Kelly Gable, PharmD, BCPP
Associate Professor
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) School of Pharmacy
Chris Herndon, PharmD, BCACP
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Learning Level: Level 2
Track: Pharmacist Clinical Patient Care Services, Ambulatory Care
Session Time Slot(s): 
Sunday, March 24
7:00 AM - 8:30 AM
Washington State Convention Center - Room 608-609
ACPE Pharmacist: 0202-0000-19-057-L01-P
CEUs Pharmacist: .15
Activity Type: