Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Benzodiazepine


Knowledge regarding whether benzodiazepines and similarly acting non-benzodiazepines (Z-drugs) are associated with an increased risk of pneumonia among older adults is lacking. We sought to investigate this association among community-dwelling adults with Alzheimer disease, a condition in which both sedative/hypnotic use and pneumonia are common.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Pneumonia, Benzodiazepine, Zaleplon, Zolpidem


Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a postnatal drug withdrawal syndrome that occurs primarily among opioid-exposed infants shortly after birth, often manifested by central nervous system irritability, autonomic overreactivity, and gastrointestinal tract dysfunction (1). During 2000-2012, the incidence of NAS in the United States significantly increased (2,3). Several recent publications have provided national estimates of NAS (2,3); however, data describing incidence at the state level are limited. CDC examined state trends in NAS incidence using all-payer, hospital inpatient delivery discharges compiled in the State Inpatient Databases of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) during 1999-2013. Among 28 states with publicly available data in HCUP during 1999-2013, the overall NAS incidence increased 300%, from 1.5 per 1,000 hospital births in 1999, to 6.0 per 1,000 hospital births in 2013. During the study period, significant increases in NAS incidence occurred in 25 of 27 states with at least 3 years of data, with annual incidence rate changes ranging from 0.05 (Hawaii) to 3.6 (Vermont) per 1,000 births. In 2013, NAS incidence ranged from 0.7 cases per 1,000 hospital births (Hawaii) to 33.4 cases per 1,000 hospital births (West Virginia). The findings underscore the importance of state-based public health programs to prevent unnecessary opioid use and to treat substance use disorders during pregnancy, as well as decrease the incidence of NAS.

Concepts: Nervous system, Childbirth, United States, Addiction, Heroin, Withdrawal, Benzodiazepine, Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome


Objectives To evaluate the risk of all cause mortality associated with initiating compared with not initiating benzodiazepines in adults, and to address potential treatment barriers and confounding related to the use of a non-active comparator group.Design Retrospective cohort study.Setting Large de-identified US commercial healthcare database (Optum Clinformatics Datamart).Participants 1:1 high dimensional propensity score matched cohort of benzodiazepine initiators, and randomly selected benzodiazepine non-initiators with a medical visit within 14 days of the start of benzodiazepine treatment (n=1 252 988), between July 2004 and December 2013. To address treatment barriers and confounding, patients were required to have filled one or more prescriptions for any medication in the 90 days and 91-180 days before the index date (ie, the date of starting benzodiazepine treatment for initiators and the date of the selected medical visit for benzodiazepine non-initiators) and the high dimensional propensity score was estimated on the basis of more than 300 covariates.Main outcome measure All cause mortality, determined by linkage with the Social Security Administration Death Master File.Results Over a six month follow-up period, 5061 and 4691 deaths occurred among high dimensional propensity score matched benzodiazepine initiators versus non-initiators (9.3 v 9.4 events per 1000 person years; hazard ratio 1.00, 95% confidence interval 0.96 to 1.04). A 4% (95% confidence interval 1% to 8%) to 9% (2% to 7%) increase in mortality risk was observed associated with the start of benzodiazepine treatment for follow-ups of 12 and 48 months and in subgroups of younger patients and patients initiating short acting agents. In secondary analyses comparing 1:1 high dimensional propensity score matched patients initiating benzodiazepines with an active comparator, ie, patients starting treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants, benzodiazepine use was associated with a 9% (95% confidence interval 3% to 16%) increased risk.Conclusions This large population based cohort study suggests either no increase or at most a minor increase in risk of all cause mortality associated with benzodiazepine initiation. If a detrimental effect exists, it is likely to be much smaller than previously stated and to have uncertain clinical relevance. Residual confounding likely explains at least part of the small increase in mortality risk observed in selected analyses.

Concepts: Experimental design, Epidemiology, Actuarial science, Relative risk, Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Statistical terminology, Benzodiazepine, Reuptake inhibitor


Background Current pharmacologic treatment of the neonatal abstinence syndrome with morphine is associated with a lengthy duration of therapy and hospitalization. Buprenorphine may be more effective than morphine for this indication. Methods In this single-site, double-blind, double-dummy clinical trial, we randomly assigned 63 term infants (≥37 weeks of gestation) who had been exposed to opioids in utero and who had signs of the neonatal abstinence syndrome to receive either sublingual buprenorphine or oral morphine. Infants with symptoms that were not controlled with the maximum dose of opioid were treated with adjunctive phenobarbital. The primary end point was the duration of treatment for symptoms of neonatal opioid withdrawal. Secondary clinical end points were the length of hospital stay, the percentage of infants who required supplemental treatment with phenobarbital, and safety. Results The median duration of treatment was significantly shorter with buprenorphine than with morphine (15 days vs. 28 days), as was the median length of hospital stay (21 days vs. 33 days) (P<0.001 for both comparisons). Adjunctive phenobarbital was administered in 5 of 33 infants (15%) in the buprenorphine group and in 7 of 30 infants (23%) in the morphine group (P=0.36). Rates of adverse events were similar in the two groups. Conclusions Among infants with the neonatal abstinence syndrome, treatment with sublingual buprenorphine resulted in a shorter duration of treatment and shorter length of hospital stay than treatment with oral morphine, with similar rates of adverse events. (Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse; BBORN number, NCT01452789 .).

Concepts: Clinical trial, Opioid, Morphine, Drug addiction, Addiction, Heroin, Naloxone, Benzodiazepine


To describe trends in benzodiazepine prescriptions and overdose mortality involving benzodiazepines among US adults.

Concepts: United States, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Benzodiazepine, Barbiturate, Benzodiazepine overdose


Hip fractures in the older person lead to an increased risk of mortality, poorer quality of life and increased morbidity. Benzodiazepine (BNZ) use is associated with increased hip fracture rate, consequently Z-drugs are fast becoming the physician’s hypnotic prescription of choice yet data on their use is limited. We compared the risk of hip fracture associated with Z-drugs and BNZ medications, respectively, and examined if this risk varied with longer-term use.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Pharmacology, Bone fracture, Benzodiazepine, Barbiturate, Hypnotic, Zaleplon, Zolpidem


Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a plant consumed throughout the world for its stimulant effects and as an opioid substitute (1). It is typically brewed into a tea, chewed, smoked, or ingested in capsules (2). It is also known as Thang, Kakuam, Thom, Ketum, and Biak (3). The Drug Enforcement Administration includes kratom on its Drugs of Concern list (substances that are not currently regulated by the Controlled Substances Act, but that pose risks to persons who abuse them), and the National Institute of Drug Abuse has identified kratom as an emerging drug of abuse (3,4). Published case reports have associated kratom exposure with psychosis, seizures, and deaths (5,6). Because deaths have been attributed to kratom in the United States (7), some jurisdictions have passed or are considering legislation to make kratom use a felony (8). CDC characterized kratom exposures that were reported to poison centers and uploaded to the National Poison Data System (NPDS) during January 2010-December 2015. The NPDS is a national database of information logged by the country’s regional poison centers serving all 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico and is maintained by the American Association of Poison Control Centers. NPDS case records are the result of call reports made by the public and health care providers.

Concepts: United States, Washington, D.C., U.S. state, Drug addiction, Benzodiazepine, Controlled Substances Act, Puerto Rico, Poison control center


The underreporting of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) through traditional reporting channels is a limitation in the efficiency of the current pharmacovigilance system. Patients' experiences with drugs that they report on social media represent a new source of data that may have some value in postmarketing safety surveillance.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Adverse drug reaction, Idiosyncratic drug reaction, Benzodiazepine, Pharmacovigilance, Drug safety


To evaluate the risk of severe cutaneous adverse drug reactions (SCAR) after exposure to multi-indication antiepileptic drugs for in Korean elderly patients.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Illness, Epilepsy, Adverse drug reaction, Anticonvulsant, Benzodiazepine, Carbamazepine, Primidone


Objectives : Studies regarding the role of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in depression are conflicting. Therefore, it was decided to examine the effect of different drugs that enhance the GABA system on the time of immobility induced by the forced swim test (FST). Materials and methods : Adult albino mice were divided into several groups of six animals. Each group received an intraperitoneal injection of either imipramine (10, 20, or 30 mg/kg), diazepam (0.5, 1, or 2 mg/kg), vigabatrin (100, 200, or 300 mg/kg), zolpidem (2.5, 5, or 10 mg/kg), or alprazolam (1, 2.5, or 5 mg/kg). Control groups received the appropriate vehicle. One hour after injection, the duration of immobility was measured for 5 min in the FST. The percentage change in the duration of immobility from the control was calculated for each group. The statistical test of the difference between the treated and the control groups was calculated using unpaired Student’s t-test. Results : Imipramine produced a significant dose-dependent decrease in the duration of immobility (78, 74, and 56%, respectively). Different doses of diazepam, vigabatrin, and zolpidem produced a significant increase in the duration of immobility (119, 126, and 128%), (116, 124, and 128%), and (108, 109, and 119%), respectively. The two low doses of alprazolam produced a significant increase (115 and 120%), while the high dose produced a significant decrease in the duration of immobility (74%). Conclusion : Increasing central GABAergic activity by different mechanisms has resulted in a depressant-like activity measured as an increase in the duration of immobility in the FST model of depression.

Concepts: Nervous system, Hippocampus, Benzodiazepine, Gamma-Aminobutyric acid, Vigabatrin