Buying medical equipment and aids
New businesses aid aging in place

Benzodiazepines: increasingly under indictment

Already linked to the development of Alzheimer's, benzodiazepines like Valium and Ativan have now been linked to the development of pneumonia in people who already have Alzheimer's. The mechanism proposed is aspiration of food or liquids, leading to foreign matter in the lungs that causes infection. When you're foggy, chewing and swallowing are less often error-free.

Previous research has illuminated a number of other safety issues with this class of medication, from possible dependence and the need for greater doses, to cognition and balance issues.

The takeaway? Benzos are still often overprescribed in young and old. Understand what you're taking and why you need the dose you're on, and if the proof isn't there, you might try tapering down under medical supervision. 

Very frequently other drugs and treatments work as well or better than benzos, e.g. massage/NSAIDs/heat for musculoskeletal pain, low-dose anti-seizure drugs for neuropathic pain, Tai Chi for sleep and balance, etc.

Mixing and matching takes some trial and error, but the alternative can be staying for life on drugs that often do more harm than good.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)