Teenagers and young adults who use benzodiazepines to treat insomnia may be at heightened risk of overdose, a new study finds. Benzodiazepines include anxiety medications like Ativan, Klonopin, Valium and Xanax, as well as prescription sleep aids such as estazolam (ProSom), triazolam (Halcion) and temazepam (Restoril). In the new study, researchers found that young people prescribed those medications for insomnia were at increased risk of overdose within the next six months. Compared with teens and young adults prescribed other sleep medications, their odds of overdose were 44% higher.
“This should be an important safety consideration when treating young people for insomnia,” said lead researcher Greta Bushnell, of the Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research in New Brunswick, N.J. To read the full story.