Anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping pills linked to risk of death

March 31, 2014, University of Warwick

Anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping pills have been linked to an increased risk of death, according to new research from the University of Warwick.

The large study, published in BMJ, shows that several anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) drugs or () are associated with a doubling in the risk of mortality. Although these findings are based on routine data and need to be interpreted cautiously, the researchers recommended that a greater understanding of their impact is essential.

Professor Scott Weich, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Warwick, explained "The key message here is that we really do have to use these drugs more carefully. This builds on a growing body of evidence suggesting that their side effects are significant and dangerous. We have to do everything possible to minimise over reliance on anxiolytics and sleeping ."

"That's not to say that they cannot be effective. 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 , to help them to overcome anxiety or sleep problems."

The study accounted, where possible, for other factors such as age, smoking and alcohol use, other prescriptions and . Crucially, the team controlled for contributing risk factors such as sleep disorders, anxiety disorders and other psychiatric illness in all participants.

34,727 people were tracked for seven and a half years on average from the time that they first received prescriptions for either an anxiolytic or hypnotic .

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% received prescriptions for drugs from all three groups.

Explore further: Some reasons why you should avoid sleeping pills

More information: "Effect of anxiolytic and hypnotic drug prescriptions on mortality hazards: retrospective cohort study." Scott Weich, et al. BMJ: DOI: 10.1136/bmj.g1996. Published 19 March 2014

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misard
not rated yet Mar 31, 2014
Well, the first time I had a major attack they put me on xanax but it messed with my head really badly and I had memory issues. My discharge papers noted that while medicated by it I had little to no acknowledgement of externally inflicted bodily harm/pain. What I do remember is waking up the next day with a swollen ankle and multiple bruises that hurry like hell from walking into things or just letting the car door close on me.
Later, someone recommended me this treatment, and I'm very grateful with it, i can go anywhere i want without problem, no anxiety, no panic attacks, i'm a new person. Read this article, it helped me a lot : panicsolutionkey.com

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