12.4 C
Saturday, January 16, 2021

Study: Strong Sleeping Pills May Increase Strokes, Falls in People With Dementia

Strong sleeping pills known as “Z-drugs” may increase the risk of falls, fractures, and stroke among people with dementia, British researchers report.

People with dementia can have trouble sleeping and are often prescribed drugs such as zaleplon (Sonata), zolpidem (Ambien), and zopiclone to help them nod off, but higher doses of these drugs can have negative effects.

“As many as 90% of people with dementia suffer sleep disturbances and it has a big impact on their mental and physical health, as well as that of their carers,” said Chris Fox, from the University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School.

“Z-drugs are commonly prescribed to help people sleep. However, these medicines were never licensed for dementia, and they have been associated with adverse events such as falls and fracture risks in older people,” Fox said in a university news release.

For the study, the researchers collected data on more than 27,000 patients in England diagnosed with dementia between 2000 and 2016. Their average age was 83. More than 3,500 had been prescribed Z-drugs.

“We studied a range of adverse outcomes including fractures, falls, deep vein thrombosis [clots], stroke and death, over two years. And we were particularly interested to see whether higher doses led to worse outcomes,” Fox said.

“For patients prescribed Z-drugs, 17% were given higher doses. And we found that these patients on higher doses were more at risk of falls and fractures, particularly hip fractures, and stroke, compared with patients who were not taking any medication for sleep disturbance,” Fox said. These effects were not seen at low doses of the drugs.

“This research shows us that higher-dose Z-drugs should be avoided, if possible, in people living with dementia, and non-pharmacological alternatives preferentially considered,” Fox said.

However, patients taking higher doses of these drugs shouldn’t stop taking them suddenly, but seek advice from their doctor, the researchers noted.

Higher-dose Z-drugs were defined as equivalent to 7.5 mg or higher of zopiclone. Zopiclone is no longer available in the United States.

The report was published online Nov. 24 in the journal BMC Medicine. 


Latest news

Politics Won’t Fix The American Decline

Authored by Zachary Yost via The Mises Institute,By any measure, 2020 was not a very good year for human freedom. By now everyone is...

State Causes Uproar by Giving Smokers Priority Access to COVID Vaccine

Who would have thought that a pack a day of those stubby old non-filter cigarettes would have ever had a potentially positive side effect? Welcome...

Noted Character Actor Peter Mark Richman Dies At 93

LOS ANGELES—Peter Mark Richman, a character actor who appeared in hundreds of television episodes and had recurring roles on “Three’s Company” and “Beverly Hills...

Consent-Manufacturing For Patriot Act II Continues

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,It’s been obvious for a long time that the best way to stop the rise of right-wing extremism in...

Related news

Highly contagious UK coronavirus variant likely to become dominant strain in US by March

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday that a highly transmissible...

Governor says there’s no stockpile of vaccines after Trump administration promised to release doses

The federal stockpile of coronavirus vaccines was already gone before the Trump administration...

South Dakota becomes leading example of vaccine distribution

South Dakota, a state that weathered months of criticism from the media and...

Science Reveals Top Marathon Runners’ Secrets

What makes a marathoner...

China places citizens under lockdown as COVID-19 cases rise

The Chinese government has placed more than 20 million people in lockdown as...