The median value of weekly Google Trends score recorded for each of the four benzodiazepines “Alprazolam,” “Bromazepam,” “Clonazepam,” and “Lorazepam" was significantly higher after the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy (i.e., after March 1, 2020) compared to the period before (all comparisons, p < 0.001). The Google searches increased by 18 % for Alprazolam, 13 % for Bromazepam, 14 % for Clonazepam, and 8 % for Lorazepam. This infodemiological analysis suggests that the Web interest and, therefore, the probable consumption of benzodiazepines has significantly increased in Italy after the COVID-19 pandemic. Since these four benzodiazepines are most likely taken as medications for preventing or treating anxiety symptoms or disorders, it is conceivable that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is causing significant repercussions on the mental health of the general population. Developing specific public health measures to cope with increased population anxiety represent an urgent action in order to return, at least, to pre-COVID-19 population's anxiety rates.
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