A study conducted by teams at Albert Einstein college of Medicine and the Montiere Health System in New York in collaboratin with the Perelman School of Medicinein the University of Pennsylvania has brought the side effects of some sedatives to the front burner.
Benzodiazopines, a class of sedatives which include valium have been in use for years in most parts of the world but the study has highlighted the public health problem associated with its use.
The drugs are usually prescribed for anxiety, mood swings and sleeplessness with minimal side effects, however like most drugs for such treatment,long use can lead to addiction, wich means increasing the dose to achieve the same result albeit usually done by the patient without the knowledge of the doctor.
The study involved a review of data on Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and Multiple Cause of Death obtained from the American Centre for Disease Control and Prevention from 1996 to 2013 and found that the number of annual prescriptions for the drugs had increased astronomically from 8.1in 1996 to 13.6 in 2013.
The increase was noticed in the number of prescriptions per person and also the number of persons requiring the prescriotion.
The team also noticed a four fold increase in the number deaths due to over dose in the same period.
The study was piublished in the American Journal of Public Health.