According to a Swedish study, this drug may be harming the environment.
Researchers exposed 2 year old Eurasian perch to high and low levels of Oxazepam. They also exposed the eggs of this fish to 3 different concentrations of Oxazepam.
Researchers found that mortality rates of the fish were significantly reduced by exposure to Oxazepam (even when exposed to levels below that measured in treated waste water).
This isn't necessarily good news since increasing the survival rates of one species can affect an entire ecosystem.
It's probably unfair to single out this one drug - in fact, the researchers of this study suggest similar results may be found if they were to test the effects of exposure to painkillers, hormones and antibiotics.
That being said, it just goes to show that sleeping pills may be affecting more than just you as an individual.
Source: Environmental Research Letters
Last updated: October 30, 2014