Popular ‘Benzo’ drugs linked to suicide, brain damage — even if you stop taking them: study
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Post
Posted: October 16th, 2023
Over 30 million Americans a year use benzodiazepines, or “benzos,” including Xanax, Valium, Ativan and Klonopin. Benzodiazepines are prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, insomnia, muscle spasms, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, seizures and epilepsy. But this widely used class of drugs is linked to severe side effects and life impacts that can last for years — even after people have stopped taking the drugs — a new study finds. “Patients have been reporting long-term effects from benzodiazepines for over 60 years. I am one of those patients,” Dr. Christy Huff, a cardiologist and co-author of the study, said in a news release. The new research, published in PLOS One, includes a lengthy list of side effects that a majority of benzo users experienced more than a year after they stopped taking the drugs. Those long-lasting symptoms include low energy, difficulty focusing, memory loss, anxiety, insomnia, sensitivity to light and sounds, digestive problems, symptoms triggered by food and drink, muscle weakness and body pain. Alarmingly, users also struggled with severe life impacts: 54.7% reported suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts, for example. Health experts noted numerous other problems with benzos, including an increased risk of suicide and dependence on the drug, among other adverse side effects. Withdrawal from benzos can produce troubling symptoms as soon as within 24 hours, and these adverse effects can last for months.
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