Doctors call for rethink after large study finds prescribed pills could be associated with up to half a million extra deaths a year in US.
Doctors are calling for a rethink of the use of sleeping pills after a large study showed that the drugs carry a substantially increased risk of death for those who are prescribed them.
Commonly used sleeping pills, or "hypnotics", such as temazepam and zolpidem, which is prescribed for short-term insomnia, are associated with more than a fourfold risk of death, according to the study published in the BMJ Open journal.
The study was carried out in the US, where up to 10% of the adult population took sleeping pills in 2010. The authors estimate that sleeping pills may have been associated with 320,000 to 507,000 extra deaths in the US that year.
Via Sepp Hasslberger, John Mark Bwanika