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Benzodiazepine and zolpidem prescriptions during autologous stem cell transplantation

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Multiple myeloma patients undergoing autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) may receive benzodiazepine or zolpidem-class (B/Z) medications despite their risks in older patients. Of 205 myeloma patients (36% aged 65+) who underwent ASCT at our institution between 2017 and 2018, we found that B/Z prescription rates for anxiety/insomnia rose significantly from 26% before ASCT to 38% at discharge and 39% at Day +100. B/Z initiation while hospitalized was a strong predictor of B/Z persistence at Day +100. Our findings highlight the role of these potentially inappropriate medications during hospitalizations for ASCT, a period where nonpharmacologic strategies for managing anxiety/insomnia may be feasible.

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