'A recent study from the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) has revealed that benzodiazepine and related drug use is linked to at least a 40 percent increase in mortality among individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the study’s results, the risk of death is much higher once patients are administered benzodiazepine and related drug use. This increased risk of death can often be caused by “the adverse events of these drugs, including fall-related injuries, such as hip fractures, as well as pneumonia and stroke.”
The study used the register-based MEDALZ (Medication Use and Alzheimer’s Disease) cohort, which took into account all individuals in Finland that were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease from 2005 to 2011. Those who had used benzodiazepines and related drugs previously were not included in the study.
The study population was made up of at least 10,380 new users of the drugs mentioned. They were then compared with 20,760 individuals who did not use these drugs.
While there are different treatment guidelines which state that non-pharmacological options are “the first-line treatment of anxiety, agitation and insomnia in persons with dementia,” most of the time benzodiazepines and related drugs are used to treat these symptoms.
It is important to note that if benzodiazepine and related drug use is necessary, these drugs must be for short-term use only. Based on the findings of this study, more consideration for benzodiazepine and related drug use in persons with dementia must be seriously considered.'
Read more: Drugs more dangerous than the disease: Alzheimer’s drugs found to increase risk of death from multiple acute side effects
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