Tags: sleeping | pills | anxiety | death | risk

Sleeping Pills Increase Death Risk: Study

By    |   Monday, 31 Mar 2014 05:55 PM

Sleeping pills, as well as some anti-anxiety drugs, have been linked to an increased risk of death, according to new research from the University of Warwick.
 
The study, published in the British Medical Journal BMJ, shows that several anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) drugs and hypnotic drugs (sleeping pills) may even double the risk of mortality.
 
"The key message here is that we really do have to use these drugs more carefully," said researcher Scott Weich, a Warwick professor of psychiatry. "This builds on a growing body of evidence suggesting that their side effects are significant and dangerous. We have to do everything possible to minimize over reliance on anxiolytics and sleeping pills."
 
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Weich noted such medications can be effective and are appropriate for some people.
 
"But particularly due to their addictive potential we need to make sure that we help patients to spend as little time on them as possible and that we consider other options, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, to help them to overcome anxiety or sleep problems," he added.
 
The study  is based on analysis of medical records of 34,727 people who were tracked for 7.5 years on average from the time that they first received prescriptions for either an anxiolytic or hypnotic drug.
 
Benzodiazepines were the most commonly prescribed drug class, including diazepam and temazepam. The study also examined the effects of two other groups of drugs; the so-called "Z-drugs" and all other anxiolytic and hypnotic drugs. Many patients received more than one drug over the course of the study, and 5 percent received prescriptions for drugs from all three groups.
 

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Widely used sleeping pills, as well as some anti-anxiety drugs, have been linked to an increased risk of death, according to new research from the University of Warwick.
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Monday, 31 Mar 2014 05:55 PM
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