June 11, 2009 Sedatives and hypnotics may increase the risk for suicide in elderly patients, according to the results of a case-control study reported online in the June issue of BMC Geriatrics.
“While antidepressant-induced suicidality is a concern in younger age groups, there is mounting evidence that these drugs may reduce suicidality in the elderly,” write Anders Carlsten and Margda Waern, from Gothenburg University in Gothenburg, Sweden. “Regarding a possible association between other types of psychoactive drugs and suicide, results are inconclusive. Sedatives and hypnotics are widely prescribed to elderly persons with symptoms of depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbance.”

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