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In September 2020, the FDA announced that it would require the manufacturers of all benzodiazepines to update the black-box warning (the strongest warning that the agency can require) for these drugs to describe risks of abuse, addiction and other related adverse reactions. Such action was long overdue.
For many years, Public Citizen’s Health Research Group has recommended against using tranquilizers and sleeping pills to treat insomnia and anxiety. This article presents new evidence linking use of these drugs to an increased risk of premature death.
We oppose the use of all sleeping pills, based on experts’ findings that “nonpharmacological treatments not only cause fewer side effects, but … can sustain long-term improvements more successfully than pharmacological treatments.” Read this article to learn about some suggested nondrug approaches.
The article reviews a study on the potentially dangerous, inappropriate prescribing of 77 drugs that pose a high risk to older adults. Of the 67 of these drugs that we had previously reviewed in Worst, Pills, Best Pills News, we had classified 60 (90 percent) of them as “Do Not Use,” and the other seven as "Limited Use."
A study discovered that more than 1 out of every 10 people who went to a Parkinson’s disease center was found to have drug-induced Parkinsonism. These people were misdiagnosed as having the more common illness, Parkinson’s disease, which is irreversible and has unknown causes.
This second article about drug-induced dementia or delirium lists and discusses an additional 79 drugs that can cause these reversible kinds of mental deterioration. The two articles collectively review 136 drugs that can cause these serious side effects, especially in older people.
Because of new information about increased risks of suicidal thoughts associated with the use of a variety of antidepressants, people of all ages should be monitored closely with all antidepressants after the drugs are first prescribed, switched or when the dosage is changed.
Do not stop using any antidepressants without first consulting the prescriber.
Belatedly, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on October 15, 2004 that it is taking steps to inform parents and physicians about the risks of antidepressants when these drugs are used to treat major depressive disorder in children and adolescents.