I recently came across yet another nasty side-effect of benzodiazepine use - dementia.
The latest study found that those over the age of 65 who take benzodiazepines have an approximately 50% higher risk of developing dementia within 15 years, compared to those who have never taken the drug.
Guidelines for benzodiazepine use state that the drug shouldn't be taken over the long term - yet we are seeing an increasing number of patients being prescribed the drug for more than just a few weeks.
Add this to the fact that 30% of over 65s in France, 20% of over 65s in Canada and 15% of over 65s in Australia have been prescribed the drug and the implications could be very serious indeed.
Sleeping pills are rarely the answer for insomnia. Not only do they affect healthy sleep architecture, they come with a number of potentially serious side-effects.
Source: British Medical Journal
Last updated: December 10, 2013