If you are a senior citizen, there is a type of drug doctors hand out freely that you should probably refuse. Research at Gothenburg University shows that it can quadruple your risk of suicide.
The dangerous medicines that significantly increase your suicide risk are sleeping pills.
“Having a current prescription for a (sleeping pill) was associated with a four-fold increase in suicide risk,” warns researcher Anders Carlsten.
The researchers speculate that the drugs may raise suicide risk by triggering aggressive or impulsive behavior, or by providing the means for people to take an overdose. They also point out the possibility that these drugs may merely be markers for some other factor related to suicide risk, such as somatic illness, functional disability, alcohol use disorder, interpersonal problems, lack of social network or sleep disturbance.
Carlsten says: “Persons with these problems might be more likely to seek health care and perhaps more likely to receive prescriptions for psychotropic drugs. However, given the extremely high prescription rates for these drugs, a careful evaluation of the suicide risk should always precede prescribing a sedative or hypnotic to an elderly individual.”