Benzodiazepines increase stroke risk in Alzheimer’s patients, study finds

pharmafile | January 16, 2017 | News story | Research and Development, Sales and Marketing Alzheimer's, Alzheimers, benzodiazepines 

Benzodiazepines and similar drugs could increase the risk of strokes in Alzheimer’s patients by as much as 20% according to a study from the University of Eastern Finland.

No previous link between benzodiazepine use and strokes or other cerebrovascular events was previously documented. While the risk of all strokes and ischemic strokes was increased, haemorrhagic strokes were not found to be any more likely to occur, though because of a small number of cases within the study population, such a link cannot be ruled out.

The findings are significant and call for more caution to be exercised when choosing to marry benzodiazepine use with Alzheimer’s sufferers. The findings were derived from a study of 45,050 participants diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, 20% of which started use of benzodiazepines and other similar drugs, conducted at the University of Eastern Finland from 2005 to 2011.

Beyond this new data, in the past researchers had found that benzodiazepine use was also associated with an increased risk of hip fracture.

Matt Fellows

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