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Do Sleeping Pills Give Alzheimers?

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Nielk, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. Nielk

    Nielk

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    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/a...-examine-worrying-evidence.html#ixzz3DSY6VJ4f

    Excerpt



    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/a...-examine-worrying-evidence.html#ixzz3DTo2SNOI
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
     
  2. Simon

    Simon

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    Normally, I wouldn't trust the Daily Mail on health stories, but this is about a pretty robust study that provides good (though not definitive) evidence that long-term use of benzodiazapine's such as klonopin can increase Alzheimer's by about 50%. Give that the risk of Alzheimer's is relatively high anyway, a 50% increase in risk would be important. And klonopin in particular (clonazepam) came out as one of the worse benzos as it is long-lasting.

    The threshold for a significant risk was 6-months of daily doses over 5 years - equivalent to 3 daily doses a month.

    Note that this study is on elderly patients, but the fact that long-term use of benzos can increase Az risk in any population is likely to be of concern to those who use these meds.

    Benzodiazepine use and risk of Alzheimer’s disease: case-control study | The BMJ

     
  3. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    It has been known for a long time that long term use of benzos cause cognitive impairment, so I'm not too surprised about this.
     
  4. john66

    john66 Senior Member

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    I agree that it is not a good idea to be on sleep meds, but what choice to some of of have? Not sleeping at all destroys health much faster than sleeping drugs.
     
  5. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    maybe its the poor sleep for which they are on benzo's for which is increasing the risks of alzheimers .
    No one really knows, something worth study?
     
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  6. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    From the conclusion:
     
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  7. boohealth

    boohealth Senior Member

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    The question is, why are they taking long term benzos (which I have, though titrated down to lowish dose, I'm now going to continue the titration to a very low dose).

    Glutamate is toxic, too, and benzos can help quench upregulated glutamate. The question is, and it's key, are they medicating something else that is the genuine cause of the Alzheimer's? It's hard for me to conceive that six months is enough to increase risk by 50%. It's easier for me to believe that there is some kind of increase, but that the long term benzo use is linked to either chronic infection, chronic toxicity, or chronic inflammation that leads to such poor sleep, and is the actual meaningful correlation. Benzos could be a leading indicator of that.
     
  8. boohealth

    boohealth Senior Member

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    Also, what you can do now is take shorter acting and lower doses.
     
  9. liverock

    liverock Senior Member

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    What is considered a low dose?
     
  10. Nielk

    Nielk

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    .5 mg or lower.
     
  11. maddietod

    maddietod Senior Member

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    This was reported today in the Washington Post here. It says of 8990 adults studied, 52% had taken benzos in the previous 5 years. Those who had taken the drugs were 51% more likely to have Alzheimer's than those who had never taken them. The longer benzos were taken, the higher the risk, but ONLY if they were taken for greater than 90 days in 5 years.

    Risk was lower for shorter-acting benzos than for longer-acting.

    "Some study participants may have been prescribed benzodiazepines to treat early symptoms of unrecognized dementia...." (@heapsreal )
     
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  12. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    I had a horrible experience with Lorazepam this summer, which I wrote up at length on this thread: http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...d-my-health-and-sanity-for-4-1-2-weeks.31972/

    I am not in the least bit surprised that they might be implicated in Alzheimer's. They definitely can and do reek havoc with your brain chemistry. Many people have suffered *severe* long term withdrawal symptoms when they go off them. That speaks volumes about how dangerous they are.
     
  13. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    one has to weigh up the risk to benefit ratio for themselves. I wouldnt be able to function without sleep meds and wouldnt be able to work and support myself/family. I would probably be on disability if it wasnt for sleep meds and antivirals. So for me the benefit ratio leans heavily towards me. I think most of us cfs/me have some type of dementia/memory issues if we take benzo's or not.

    To me it seems the people that end up with big issues with benzos are normally on xanax and or klonopin, for some reason. This is also what my doc has said. He is happy prescribing valium as it says its alot safer benzo in his experience.

    Its a tough call. If i didnt have to work and fit into a schedule, i could probably live without sleep meds but i think my quality of life would suffer. Benzos are always a hot topic.
     
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  14. Nielk

    Nielk

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    I might as well check mysel in an Alzeimer"s ward!

    I took Klinopin for over 7 years straight. Working myself up to 3mg a day. I would probably still be on it if it wasn't for the fact that it almost killed me.

    I understand when people say that they need it for sleep. The problem is that one becomes dependent on it. They stop taking it, can't fall asleep and go back on it. The thinking being that they still have insomnia. This could be true but it is also possible that what they are experiencing is withdrawal.

    I don't know what the answer is. It could be that there is a benefit to keep switching to different treatments so that we don't become dependent on any one.
    I know though that it's really hard to stop something that works.

    I do believe though that Klonopin could have dangerous effects on the nervous system.

    I have been off if it for over two years and still suffer from the effects.
     
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  15. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Its a tricky subject.

    Before i had cfs i have seen many abuse or put on high doses of benzo's, so was cautious. For me i gave my self a top dose i wouldnt go over which was equal to 10mg of valium which i think is about .5-1mg of klono i think. At that dose generally i think if one stops it for a few days, which i have done when it has stopped working, it doesnt cause too many issues other then disturbed sleep for me but i usually get around this by using some other non benzo med. I try to do this regular as i think it has helped me to avoid tolerance.

    I dont know if my sleep off benzo's is a withdrawal or some type of dependency or if my sleep is just buggered from cfs/me? But i have found a system that mostly works for me. I constantly rotate between things etc and or add natural substances too. I think all these things have helped me to keep my doses low and be able to avoid tolerance.

    I also think that just my general improvement in cfs/me after treating infection/immune isssues has improved my sleep, even though im still on sleep meds. My sleep has improved and nothing like what it use to be when i would write a post on not sleeping every couple of weeks. So i think for me treating the cause of cfs/me has played a part in improving my sleep and i think shows that for me that the infection/immune isssues played a significant role in my sleep problems??

    Its very individual issue and maybe for others who had doses pushed quite high, may have done some damage to their sleep.

    it would be interesting to see a study or to know if those with sleep issues in cfs/me who havent used any sleep meds before, have some type of gaba receptor resistance, sort of like diabetes have insulin resistance? There are alot of cfs/me people who have never used benzo's and have ongoing sleep issues, so its hard to know if the use of benzos was the cause of current sleep issues or its just progression of cfs/me.
     
  16. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    This association between benzodiazepine use and the later development of Alzheimer's may relate to the fact that a murine study found insomnia is an early sign of Alzheimer’s, and if this applies to humans, then people would experience insomnia for some years before they get Alzheimer's, and may be prescribed benzodiazepines.
     
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  17. maddietod

    maddietod Senior Member

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    Related to the insomnia + memory issues, not Alzheimer's: I took benadryl nightly for months for sleep, and then suddenly suffered profound recent-memory loss. I didn't take it for years, and took it once 2 weeks ago for allergies. The next few days my immediate short-term memory was unusually spotty.

    Then I tried liquid melatonin so I could titrate up from a tiny dose. After 10 days I was up to 1.5mg, and I noticed memory issues again .

    I have memory problems anyway, but I know what's normal for me, and these reactions were disturbing. Since no sleep medication or supplement has helped me, other than benadryl, I'm left very curious about the mechanism(s) causing our insomnia, and what's being disturbed by the remedies that do work.
     
  18. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    I saw this posted by someone I know on FB "benzos deplete biotin, folate, vitamin D and K, calcium and melatonin, all of which help our brain function. Another source says they deplete white blood cell glutathione by 50%..."

    and this: "And Klonopin is the only benzo to my knowledge that can cause anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and eosinophilia."

    There is a HUGE list of side effects attributed to Klonopin use: http://www.rxlist.com/klonopin-side-effects-drug-center.htm
     
  19. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    What you went through was horrific! But the good news is that the brain has the ability to repair itself over time, especially if given the right nutrients and foods.

    It's good that you stopped the K when you did. I hope that the negative effects wear off soon.
     
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  20. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Thank you. As hard of a journey as it has been withdrawing from Klonopin, I am glad that it has been successful.
    I do have symptoms though that I never had before even with my ME. They seem to mimick symptoms of ADHD. Even though I had difficulty concentrating and problems with my memory before - because of my ME, this added feeling of jumpiness and impatience is hard to live with - especially since it is new for me.
     

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