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:5/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... "FCPX LUT Intense allows users to cycle through different high-contrast ... CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , With the FCPX LUT Intense Plugin ... to their footage. A LUT is a Lookup Table that contains a mathematical formula ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network ... as the Medical Director of its new DeSoto facility. , “We are pleased ... location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... According to an article ... of people randomly assigned to reduce the amount of calories they consumed by 25% ... in body weight enjoyed better sleep, improved quality of life, and enhanced sexual function ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... IL (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 , ... To ... created a new research award to examine gender differences in lung cancer. Today, the ... Research Innovation Project: Lung Cancer in Women Award, funded by the American Lung Association’s ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Jericho Project has named LaToya ... she will be responsible for fundraising and communications for the nationally-acclaimed nonprofit, working closely ... Jericho Project working to end homelessness at its roots. , “LaToya Williams-Belfort is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... Open Access Journal Focusing ... Elsevier , a world-leading provider of scientific, ... the launch of Clinical Neurophysiology ... on clinical practice issues in clinical neurophysiology. The journal ... values and didactic reviews. It is an official journal ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... May 23, 2016 Global Paclitaxel ... pages, profiles 12 companies and the Paclitaxel analysis in ... on the industry and its players. This ... in nature, details the current state of the industry ... definitions, classifications, applications and industry chain structure. The Paclitaxel ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... Clarifying Vision - Prospects and Developments in ... What can be expected from the Ophthalmic ... the fastest rates? This visiongain report shows ... and prospects. ,Our 190-page report provides ... areas in the industry and the future market prospects. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: