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This pilot study highlights the problems of benzodiazepine (BDP) usage in patients attending a rheumatology clinic. Of 127 consecutive patients attending the rheumatology clinic a total of 29% (37) had been taking night sedation for mean duration of 4.1 years. The majority of BDP users (92%) were women. In 78% night sedation was taken for insomnia associated with night pain. We recommend that if BDP is to be prescribed it should be only in selected cases for a short time.