Study: Psych drug ER trips approach 90,000 a year - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Study: Psych drug ER trips approach 90,000 a year

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • Doctor: Patient killed caseworker before gunfight

    Doctor: Patient killed caseworker before gunfight

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:45 PM EDT2014-07-25 03:45:18 GMT
    Police in suburban Philadelphia are investigating a shooting at a hospital campus and say they have reports people have been injured and a suspect is in custody.More >>
    A doctor told police that a patient fatally shot a caseworker at their hospital complex before the doctor pulled out his own gun and exchanged fire with him and wounded him, a prosecutor said Thursday night.More >>
  • As inmate died, lawyers debated if he was in pain

    As inmate died, lawyers debated if he was in pain

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:25 PM EDT2014-07-25 03:25:49 GMT
    A condemned murderer took nearly two hours to die and gasped for about 90 minutes during an execution in Arizona that quickly rekindled the national debate on capital punishment in the U.S.More >>
    The nearly two-hour execution of a convicted murderer prompted a series of phone calls involving the governor's office, the prison director, lawyers and judges as the inmate gasped for more than 90 minutes.More >>
  • NYC official: Thieves got into 1K StubHub accounts

    NYC official: Thieves got into 1K StubHub accounts

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:05 PM EDT2014-07-25 03:05:13 GMT
    A law enforcement official and online marketplace StubHub say cyber thieves got into more than 1,000 customers' accounts and fraudulently bought tickets for events.More >>
    Some of the hottest tickets in town - to Broadway hits, Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake concerts, a New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox game - were snapped up by an international ring of cyber thieves who commandeered more than...More >>
By LINDSEY TANNER
AP Medical Writer

CHICAGO (AP) - Bad reactions to psychiatric drugs result in nearly 90,000 emergency room visits each year by U.S. adults, with anti-anxiety medicines and sedatives among the most common culprits, a study suggests.

A drug used in some popular sleeping pills was among the most commonly involved sedatives, especially in adults aged 65 and older.

Most of the visits were for troublesome side effects or accidental overdoses and almost 1 in 5 resulted in hospitalization.

The results come from an analysis of 2009-2011 medical records from 63 hospitals that participate in a nationally representative government surveillance project. The study was published Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry.

Overall, the sedative zolpidem tartrate, contained in Ambien and some other sleeping pills, was involved in almost 12 percent of all ER visits and in 1 out of 5 visits for older adults.

The Food and Drug Administration last year approved label changes for those pills recommending lower doses because of injury risks including car crashes from morning drowsiness. Head injuries and falls in adults using zolpidem-containing drugs were among reasons for ER visits in the new study.

Sanofi, the pharmaceutical company that makes Ambien, includes a warning in its prescribing information that says the drug can cause "impaired alertness and motor coordination." It also says doctors should "caution patients against driving and other activities requiring complete mental alertness the morning after use."

Sanofi issued a statement Wednesday after the study was published noting that the FDA approved Ambien in 1992 based on data showing the drug is safe and effective.

Drs. Lee Hampton and Daniel Budnitz of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's health care quality promotion division led the study. The authors cited previously published national data showing that ER visits for bad reactions to zolpidem increased 220 percent from 2005 to 2010.

"The FDA's recent efforts to modify recommended dosing regimens hold promise" for reducing zolpidem-related problems, the authors said. But they also said doctors can help by recommending that patients use other insomnia treatments first, including better sleep habits and behavior therapy.

Bad reactions to other psychiatric medicines in the study included mental disturbances, heart-related symptoms and intestinal problems.

The study notes that nearly 27 million U.S. adults used prescription drugs to treat mental illness in 2011, so only a fraction of them had bad reactions resulting in ER treatment. Still, the authors say doctors need to weigh the benefits and risks before prescribing psychiatric medicines.

___

Online:

JAMA Psychiatry: http://jamapsychiatry.com

FDA: http://www.fda.gov

___

AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/LindseyTanner

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.