To the Editor: A recent Clinical Crossroads1 presented an 87-year-old woman taking a benzodiazepine
for at least 15 years in addition to diphenhydramine hydrochloride as needed.
Dr Salzman suggested that the patient continue with this regimen because he
believed the patient experienced a continuous therapeutic effect. Salzman
acknowledged the detrimental effect of benzodiazepines on short- and long-term
memory in the elderly, but dismissed it based on data from his unpublished
findings that many patients accept the loss of "sharp memory" for a "day that
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