Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Risks Of Taking Sedatives For Insomnia In Older People May Be Greater Than The Benefits

Date:
November 11, 2005
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
For older people, the risks outweigh the benefits of taking sleeping pills and other sedatives, say researchers in this week's British Medical Journal. Insomnia can often affect the quality of life for older people and between 5 percent and 33 percent of older people in the UK are prescribed sleeping pills such as benzodiazepine.

For older people, the risks outweigh the benefits of taking sleeping pills and other sedatives, say researchers in this week's British Medical Journal.

Insomnia can often affect the quality of life for older people and between 5% and 33% of older people in the UK are prescribed sleeping pills such as benzodiazepine.

But in an analysis of 24 studies carried out between 1966 and 2003, researchers found that the adverse results for older people taking sedatives -- such as dizziness, loss of balance, falls, and disorientation -- were statistically significant enough to make them think non-drug treatments could be a better approach to tackling insomnia.

The 24 studies included 2,417 participants in total and looked at the effects of sedative hypnotics (sedatives), including over the counter medications such as antihistamines, and prescription only drugs like benzodiazepine. Research only included cases where people who were 60 and above had been taking them for five consecutive nights, compared to people taking placebos.

Effects such as dizziness or loss of balance -- psychomotor-type side-effects -- were reported in 13 studies (1,016 participants). Seven of the 59 psychomotor effects that were reported in these studies were serious events -- six falls and one car crash.

But the researchers also found there were many potential benefits for people taking sedatives such as improved quality of sleep (more sound uninterrupted sleep), ease of getting to sleep and total sleep time.

On balance however, they argue that although treatment with sedative hypnotics improves aspects of sleep, the risk of adverse effects rises with such treatment. There are also indicators that older patients are more than twice as likely to experience an adverse event as they are to gain a better quality of sleep from such sedatives. But they stress that this comparison is only a rough indicator because more studies contributed information on harmful events than on sleep benefits.

Improvements in sleep with sedative use are statistically significant, but the size of the effect is small, say the authors. 'In people over 60, the benefits of these drugs may not justify the increased risk,' they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Risks Of Taking Sedatives For Insomnia In Older People May Be Greater Than The Benefits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 November 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051110220717.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2005, November 11). Risks Of Taking Sedatives For Insomnia In Older People May Be Greater Than The Benefits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051110220717.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Risks Of Taking Sedatives For Insomnia In Older People May Be Greater Than The Benefits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051110220717.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins