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Study Links Anxiety Drugs to Alzheimer's Disease

Stashed in: Brain, Health Studies, Alzheimer's, Anxiety, Big Pharma, Bad Medicine

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Yet more reason to be skeptical of commonly prescribed medications: anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax and Klonopin, and their cousins the sleep aids like Ambien, seem to be linked to MUCH higher rates of Alzheimer's in later life.



Did you click through and see the numbers? No anxiety drug is worth this kind of cost. 

About half those with Alzheimer’s and 40 percent of the control subjects had used benzodiazepines, the researchers found. That translated to a 51 percent increase in the odds of a subsequent Alzheimer’s diagnosis among the benzodiazepine users.

It was not short-term use that drove that finding: Older people who took prescribed doses for 90 days or fewer over the course of the study — patients were followed for six years or longer — had no increased risk.

But those who took the drugs longer were more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. In older patients who took daily doses for 91 to 180 days, the risk rose 32 percent, compared to those who took none. In those who took daily doses for more than 180 days, the risk was 84 percent higher.

The association persisted whether users took 180 doses over six months or over five years, Dr. Pariente said. It also held when the researchers controlled for health and demographic factors, including conditions like anxiety, depression and insomnia.

The link was stronger to longer-acting forms of the drug, like Valium, than to formulations that leave the body more quickly, like Ativan and Xanax.

Yes, compelling!

So then what? Breathing exercises? Marijuana? Yoga?

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