Sleeping pills and anti-anxiety drugs such as the benzodiazepines can be deadly, and double the risk of death, a new study has discovered.
People should be encouraged to seek out non-drug solutions, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, to help with their sleeping or anxiety problems, say the researchers from the University of Warwick.
Their research, which tracked 34,727 people taking one or more of the drugs for over seven years, confirmed earlier studies that had suggested the drugs were dangerous and addictive. The danger drugs were the 'Z' drugs-the benzodiazepines such as diazepam and temazepam-and the anxiolytics (anti-anxiety drugs) and hypnotics (sleeping pills).
(Source: BMJ, 2014; 34u8: g1996)