As geriatricians and providers who work with older adults, many of whom are frail, we carry amongst our mantras the avoidance of benzodiazepines (xanax, halcion, ativan, valium to name a handful). Since the inception of the Beers Criteria on Potentially Inappropriate Medications for older adults, benzodiazepines have maintained their steady presence. (see post: Sadly, I see in my geriatrics practice that benzodiazepines also remain a common prescription for older adults in the community to treat everything from anxiety to insomnia, muscle aches and pain to fear of flying. The patient alluded to in the previous geripal post above who was on valium, halcion, ativan, and doxepin was only one of the MANY patients I encounter in my primary care and consult practice. While her combination of prescriptions was horrifying, I often feel equally depressed and frustrated when I see new patients who come to me with just one benzodiazepine. It is not uncommon that I have new patients who have been prescribed two: valium and restoril, ativan and clonazepam, ativan and restoril etc. Just this week I met two new patients who were both on benzodiazepines. One was a 90 year old woman who was prescribed xanax a few years ago to help her with longstanding anxiety which has worsened as she has aged. While the study did not prove cause and effect, researchers say the findings suggest benzodiazepine use among older patients presents a significant public health concern. An estimated 36 million people worldwide currently suffer from dementia, and rates of Alzheimer's disease continue to grow as the population ages. This is not the first study to suggest a link between use of this class of drugs and increased dementia risk. Another study published in 2012, also in BMJ, followed 1,063 elderly individuals for 20 years. The researchers in that study determined that the risk for dementia was 4.8 per 100 person-years among people who took benzodiazepines versus 3.2 per 100 person-years in the group not taking the drugs. The drugs are frequently prescribed because anxiety is a common problem among aging people. According to the National Institutes of Health, anxiety disorders impact approximately 3 to 14 percent of older adults each year. Amoxicillin webmd Ventolin coupon used with insurance Safety and effectiveness of XANAX in individuals below 18 years of age have not been established. Geriatric Use. The elderly may be more sensitive to the effects of benzodiazepines. They exhibit higher plasma alprazolam concentrations due to reduced clearance of the drug as compared with a younger population receiving the same doses. Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of alprazolam in the elderly. However. Oct 17, 2012. When elderly people take benzodiazepines for anxiety and insomnia, their risk of dementia increases by 50%. A new study has found that people who begin taking anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax, Ativan or Valium after the age of 65 have a 50 percent greater chance of developing dementia within 15 years than people who have never taken this class of drugs. Xanax, Ativan and Valium fall into a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, and are some of the most frequently used drugs in psychiatry. They are primarily prescribed to treat anxiety and sleep problems.“Considering the extent to which benzodiazepines are prescribed and the number of potential adverse effects, indiscriminate widespread use should be cautioned against,” researchers say in the study, which was published in the . Benzodiazepines are widely prescribed for insomnia, anxiety and sedation for people over 65 in many countries, including 30 percent of this age group in France, 20 percent in Canada and Spain, 15 percent in Australia, according to the researchers. Many take this type of drug for years despite guidelines suggesting it should be limited to a few weeks, the researchers note. Researchers carried out a study on 1,063 men and women with an average age 78 in France who were all free of dementia at the start of the study in 1987, with a planned follow-up in 20 years. The researchers used the first five years to identify the factors leading to the first prescription for a benzodiazepine medication, then evaluated the association between the new use of this drug and the development of dementia. In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. For this medicine, the following should be considered: Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully. Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of alprazolam in the pediatric population. Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of alprazolam in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have unwanted effects (eg, severe drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, clumsiness, or unsteadiness) and kidney, liver, or lung problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving this medicine. Studies in women breastfeeding have demonstrated harmful infant effects. An alternative to this medication should be prescribed or you should stop breastfeeding while using this medicine. Xanax in elderly Agitation in the Elderly Psychiatric Times, Alprazolam Oral Route Before Using - Mayo Clinic Sotalol with metoprololXanax commercialIs it possible to buy accutane online Doctors give trusted answers on uses, effects, side-effects, and cautions Dr. Holmes on xanax side effects in elderly Propofol causes hypotension. All effects are dose dependent and patient dependent. Your anesthesiologist will adjust the dose based on multiple factors including age. Xanax side effects in elderly - Answers on HealthTap. Grandparents on Xanax - The Doctor Will See You Now. A Quiet Drug Problem Among the Elderly - The New York Times. Dec 7, 2017. Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of benzodiazepines. The sedative effects of Xanax may last longer in older adults. Accidental. Commonly prescribed drugs could raise risk for Alzheimer's. By Jessica Firger. which include medications such as Valium diazepam, Ativan lorazepam, Xanax. followed 1,063 elderly. Alprazolam/Xanax Oral Tab 0.25mg, 0.5mg, 1mg, 2mg. adult dosage is 4 mg/day PO. The elderly may be more sensitive to the effects of benzodiazepines.