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Psychiatric drugs may cause increase in ER visits new study suggest

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/10/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In older Americans, drug use can cause increased ER visits

Nearly 90,000 emergency room visits have been caused each year by bad reactions to psychiatric drugs in the U.S. a new study suggests.

90,000 emergency room visits may have been caused by psychiatric drugs, a new study suggests.

90,000 emergency room visits may have been caused by psychiatric drugs, a new study suggests.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
7/10/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Science, Health, US


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Anti-anxiety medicines and sedatives are among the most common culprits, and among adults over the age of 65, a drug used in many popular sleeping pills was among the most commonly involved with these sedatives.

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Most of these visits were for side effects or an accidental overdose, and roughly 1 in five cases resulted in hospitalization.

These results came from a 2009-2011 analysis of medical records from 63 hospitals that participate in a nationally representative government surveillance project. This study was published on July 9, in the JAMA Psychiatry.

The sedative zolpidem tartrate, contained in Ambien and many other sleeping pills, was the cause of 12% of all emergency room visits and in 1 of 5 for older adults.

The Food and Drug Administration last year approved label changes for these pills, recommending lower doses because of injury risks including car crashes from morning drowsiness. Head injuries and falls in adults using drugs containing zolpidem were heavily present in reasons for ER visits in this new study.

The company that makes Ambien, Sanofi, includes a warning in its prescribing information that says the drug can cause "impaired alertness and motor coordination."

It also says doctors should use "caution patients against driving and other activities requiring complete mental alertness the morning after use."

Dr. Lee Hampton and Dr. Daniel Budnitz of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's health care quality promotion division led the study.

The FDA's recent efforts to modify recommended dosing regimens holds promise," the authors wrote.

This study notes that nearly 27 million U.S. adults used prescription drugs to treat mental illness in 2011, so only a fraction of them had bad reactions resulting from ER treatment. Doctors still need to weigh the benefits and risks before prescribing psychiatric medicines, the study authors say.

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