Death By Prescription

A common medication given to heart patients can increase the risk of a heart attack by eightfold. Beware!

According to Japanese researchers, the sleeping pills that doctors give to heart failure patients when they are released from the hospital multiply their chances of “cardiovascular events” by a factor of eight.

“Sleeping problems are a frequent side effect of heart failure and it is common for patients to be prescribed sleeping pills when they are discharged from hospital. They also have other comorbidities and may be prescribed diuretics, antiplatelets, antihypertensives, anticoagulants and anti-arrhythmics,” says researcher Masahiko Setoguchi.

The study looked at more than 100 heart failure patients for up to six months and found that those who took sleeping pills were at a much greater risk of further life-threatening complications.

“The main finding of our study is that (heart failure) patients prescribed sleeping pills have an increased risk of cardiovascular events. The number of (heart failure) patients is increasing and becoming a larger proportion of heart failure patients overall. Our results therefore are of growing relevance to heart failure patients and the professionals who treat them,” says Setoguchi. “Benzodiazepine hyptonics may have cardiodepressant actions. They may also exert respiratory depressant actions which could exacerbate sleep disordered breathing and lead to a worse prognosis.”

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Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.