New research indicates that two of the most prescribed sleeping pills on the market may shorten your life.
The study, conducted at the University of Warwick in the UK, looked at the impact of sleeping pills and anti-anxiety drugs when taken over a long period of time. Researchers followed nearly 35,000 subjects over seven-and-a-half years. The subjects had been prescribed Xanax, Valium and Klonopin, or sleep aids like Ambien and Lunesta. They found 3.3 times more patients died in the follow-up period, compared to subjects who were not taking the medications.
The study was controlled for factors linked with early deaths including age, smoking and drinking habits, other prescriptions and socioeconomic status, and most importantly, sleep disorders and anxiety itself.
Researchers acknowledged that the medications are effective, but they said this study shows that the amount of time that patients take them should be minimized and supplemented with cognitive behavioral therapy.
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