Benzodiazepines Associated With Increased Risk For Alzheimer’s

The Los Angeles Times (9/10, Healy) reports that according to a study published online Sept. 9 in the BMJ, “older people who have relied on a class of drugs called benzodiazepines to reduce anxiety or induce sleep are at higher risk of going on to develop Alzheimer’s disease…with those whose use of the medications is most intensive almost twice as likely to develop the mind-robbing disorder.”

For the study, researchers “compared the pattern of benzodiazepine use in 1,796 people elderly people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s with that of 7,184 similar people who had no such diagnosis.” The medications “specifically considered by the researchers were the short-acting anti-anxiety medications alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan), oxazepam (Seresta) and diazepam (Valium), and the longer-acting anti-seizure and ‘hypnotic’ drugs frequently used to treat insomnia: clonazepam (Klonopin), flurazepam (Dalmane), midazolam (Versed), nitrazepam (Mogadon), temazepam (Restoril) and triazolam (Halcion).”

Related Links:

— “Drugs used for anxiety, sleep are linked to Alzheimer’s disease in older people,” Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, September 8, 2014.

Posted in In The News.