Friday, December 28, 2012
Certain sleeping pills may increase risk of pneumonia
Benzodiazepines (BZD) are an older class of medicines that have been used for insomnia - examples include Restoril and Valium. Here is a study that links BZD use to pneumonia in a UK community. I don't have access to the full article, but another review of the article says that researchers think the BZDs may reduce immunity. I was not aware of that - I would think that BZDs could increase pneumonia risk because they may suppress drive to breathe, especially when combined with other sedating medications and alcohol.