The study found people who took 18 sleeping pills or fewer per year had more than 3.5 times higher a risk for death than those who didn't take any sleeping pills. One of the study authors told HealthDay the research has caused him to change his sleeping pill habits. What's more, people taking more than 132 sleeping pills per year were at five times higher risk for death and 35 percent higher risk for cancer."We are not certain.
27 issue of BMJ Open, researchers tracked more than 10,500 people who were prescribed sleeping pills for an average of 2.5 years between 2002 and 2007. Said Langer, "Since we started trying to qualify the results of this analysis about a year ago, I'll tell you, my prescription bottle for Ambien has sat on the shelf unopened."The Mayo Clinic has more on prescription sleeping pills.

But it looks like sleeping pills could be as risky as smoking cigarettes," study author Dr. He said when insomnia is caused by depression, doctors should treat the psychological disorder rather than prescribing sleeping pills.
The researchers compared survival among these patients with that of 23,500 people matched for age, sex, lifestyle factors, and underlying health problems who did not take sleeping pills. Although they're not as addictive as some sleeping pills, doctors are concerned about abuse if they're not taken as prescribed. Codeine and MorphineSome of the most commonly abused prescription meds are painkillers -- specifically, opioids.

But because there are hundreds of drugs and thousands of pills and tablets of all shapes, colors, and sizes, you may need a pharmacist to identify it.
Keep an eye out for signs of abuse, like behavior changes or missing medicines.Many kids assume that common household drugs or even prescription medicines are safer than street drugs because they're legal.

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