than 90% of patients had taken the drug for 4 weeks or more contrary to the
drug licence and current guidance.
More than 90% of patients had been advised to continue treatment for 4 weeks or not been advised on duration which is contrary to the short-term licence for these drugs. More than 90% of patients were on repeat prescriptions. Around 90% of patients first prescribed a hypnotic by their GP despite some GPs feeling that psychiatrists and others had started these drugs rather than the GP. At least one side effect was reported in 41.8% of patients. Around a fifth of patients (18.6%) wished to come off hypnotic medication; and 48.5% had tried to stop treatment.