Navigation Links
Frequently prescribed drug used in concerning ways with harmful side effects
Date:2/6/2013

TORONTO, Feb. 6, 2013A popular class of drugs commonly used to treat sleep and mood symptoms continues to be frequently prescribed despite being known to have potentially life-threatening side effects.

Previous studies have linked benzodiazepines a medication class that may be used in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to treat symptoms of insomnia, depression, anxiety and shortness of breath with adverse outcomes, but until now there has been little information on how frequently it's prescribed or who is using it.

COPD, also known as emphysema or chronic bronchitis, is most commonly caused by smoking in North America and is estimated to affect 5 to10 per cent of the Canadian population. American Thoracic Society-European Respiratory Society guidelines recommend that benzodiazepines be avoided in these patients because of potential respiratory-related side-effects.

Dr. Nicholas Vozoris is the lead author of a study published this week in Drugs and Aging looking at the scope of benzodiazepine use in the older adult COPD population to determine just how many people are using the drug.

"I see a large number of COPD patients taking this medication class to help relieve disease-related symptoms like insomnia, depression and anxiety," said Dr. Vozoris, a respirologist at St. Michael's Hospital. "But considering the potential respiratory side-effects, and the well-documented neurocognitive side effects like memory loss, decreased alertness, falls and increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, the high frequency of benzodiazepine use in COPD is very concerning."

Dr. Vozoris and colleagues looked at more than 100,000 adults 66 years and older with COPD in Ontario between 2004 and 2009 to see how many new benzodiazepines were dispensed and the severity of each patients' COPD while on the drug.

The results found that new benzodiazepine dispensing was common and occurred in more than a third of the adults. Use of the drugs was 40 per cent more common amongst those with more severe COPD. This group also had the highest number of repeat prescriptions and early refills and benzodiazepines were also commonly dispensed to patients while they were having flare-ups of the disease.

"These findings are new and they are concerning because they tell us that the patients most at risk to be affected by the adverse effects of this drug are the same ones that are using it with the most frequency," Dr. Vozoris said. "This medication could be causing harm in this already respiratory-vulnerable population."

Although benzodiazepines can be effective for helping patients sleep, this medication class has been previously found to affect breathing ability and oxygen levels at night.

"Patients need to hear this and health care providers need to give thought into who they are prescribing this medication class to," Dr. Vozoris said. "We're talking about a very vulnerable sub-group and we may be inappropriately prescribing this medication class to those patients."


'/>"/>

Contact: Kate Taylor
TaylorKa@smh.ca
647-393-7527
St. Michael's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. UC Davis study finds stray-bullet shootings frequently harm women and children
2. Black patients with hypertension not prescribed diuretics enough
3. New UAlberta research shows commonly prescribed medications could have adverse effects
4. More U.S. Kids Prescribed Off-Label Antipsychotics: Study
5. New federal disclosure law may have little impact on drugs prescribed
6. Not taking gastroprotective drugs prescribed with anti-inflammatory medicines
7. Fitness Expert Lorna Kleidman Comments on Article Concerning Weight Loss as a New Year’s Resolution
8. Lorna Kleidman Responds to an Article Concerning Military Weight Loss
9. Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit Update: New Study Concerning Use of Vaginal Mesh in Prolapse Procedures, Bernstein Liebhard LLP Reports
10. New test predicted presence of harmful BRCA mutations
11. Harmful effects of bisphenol A proved experimentally
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ProVest Insurance ... greater Dallas, Miami, and Raleigh regions, is organizing an extended charity drive to ... and deadly chromosome abnormality. , After struggling since birth with several health challenges, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... Ky. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... The ... MPH to become its next President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Dr. James C. ... CEO Elect beginning July 1, 2018 until Dr. Puffer’s retirement at the end of ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of ... ElderCounsel, a national organization of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ... It also provides a forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, the leading network for professional women, brought ... gender equality at their inaugural Summit in New York City in June. The event ... audience of over 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women video, click here ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... VA (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... of DevOps and Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the ... Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... 12, 2017 AVACEN Medical , Inc. (AVACEN) ... their  2017 New Product Innovation Award for Its fibromyalgia ... and secondary medical device market research by Frost & Sullivan,s ... OTC, drug-free pain relief product, the AVACEN 100, offers a ... fibromyalgia widespread pain. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... 2017  True Health, a leader in integrated ... during National Breast Cancer Awareness month to educate ... Research recently published ... more than 10 million American women are at ... or BRCA2 and have not had testing. These mutations ...
(Date:10/5/2017)...  In response to the nationwide opioid epidemic, ... (AAOMS) released prescribing recommendations that urge ibuprofen – ... a first-line therapy to manage a patient,s acute ... Recognizing the value and importance of the ... Acute and Postoperative Pain Management" stresses that practitioners ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: