Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Benzodiazepines. Repulsive drugs that are still harming patients

Benzodiazepines are repulsive pharmaceutical drugs that have caused millions of patients great harm over decades. They should have no place in a civilised, caring society.

Yet the continued to be prescribed by doctors. The conventional medical establishment must know about the harm they cause - and yet they have done little to protect patients.

I will not repeat what I have already written about 'Benzos', but everyone should know about them, and no-one should agree to take them. There are, after all, safer, and more effective ways of treating anxiety and depression.

               "Benzodiazepine drugs have been described as a 40-year plus horror story for tens of thousands of people in the UK, a scandal that has never been properly addressed. This first benzodiazepine drug, Librium, was discovered in 1955, and came to the market in the early 1960's. For many years benzodiazepines were considered to be 'wonder drugs', to the extent that prescriptions soared to 32 million in the UK in 1978. Only then were the adverse effects were recognised, initially by the patients taking them, and only slowly and very reluctantly by the conventional medical establishment.

               The scandal of these drugs broke in the 1980's, after it was accepted that thousands of patients had become horribly addicted to drugs like Librium and Valium. The victims complained of DIEs such as blackouts, epileptic seizures, memory loss, brain damage, insomnia and personality change. What is far worse is that many people who suffered these Benzodiazepine effects still do so, many years later - so clearly these were real DIE's, and not merely short term  side-effects' or 'adverse reactions' as they are often described!"

Yet doctors still prescribe the drug to millions of people throughout the world, subjecting patients to the same harm they were suffering over 40 years ago.

Benzodiazepine drugs should have been banned many years ago, but at least there are now restrictions on their prescription now. Guidance to doctors state that they must not be prescribed for longer than 4 weeks! Yet it would appear that conventional medicine, slave as it is to the pharmaceutical industry, just ignores the guidance!

  • So what use is medical science if it is capable of unleashing dangerous drugs on patients?
  • What use are medical guidelines, based on medical science, and produced to safeguard patients, are routinely ignored by doctors?
  • From where can patients look for unbiased advice about the safety of pharmaceutical drugs if their doctors refuse to do so?
The BNF (British National Formulary - the doctors 'bible' on drug contraindications and side effects - clearly recommends that benzodiazepine drugs should be prescribed ONLY in short courses, and certainly no longer than four weeks. The reason is the high risk of dependency, the adverse neurological and cognitive side effects, and the severe dependency and withdrawal symptoms they are known to produce.

The new research shows that about 100,000 benzodiazepine and Z-drug users in Britain were taking the drugs for at least 12 times longer than the BNF recommends, and that many patients were taking them for over a year.

Patients on the drug found that 43% wanted support to come off the drugs, and that just over 119,000 patients in the UK may also be interested in making use of withdrawal services.

               "Many of the patients experiencing problems with prescribed medicines may have avoided the associated harms if existing prescribing guidelines had been followed.’

Many more would have avoided the consequences of Benzos if they had not been put on them in the first place! But conventional medicine has little safe to offer patients, whether for anxiety or anything else, so doctors continue to justify the prescription of Benzodiazepine drugs. In a Pulse article about the study,  Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard is quoted as saying: 

               "Benzodiazepines and other psychotropic drugs can be very effective when they are prescribed appropriately and in accordance with clinical guidelines; something that GPs are highly trained to do, taking into account the unique physical, psychological and social factors potentially affecting the health of the patient in front of us, and in conversation with them."

Yes, Professor Stokes-Lampard, doctors may be trained to safeguard patients from dangerous drugs and vaccines - but they are clearly not doing so!

Instead, the conventional medical establishment continues to look for reasons to prescribe dangerous drugs like Benzodiazepines. Just a few days earlier the Pulse magazine published an article stating that a study had found there was "no increased risk of death with benzodiazepine use". I have not bothered to research who funded this research, but pharmaceutical money is probably not far away! But what does this type of research tell patients?
  • That Benzodiazepine drugs may cause sleep disturbances and rebound insomnia, restlessness, irritability, elevated anxiety (yes really, an anxiety drug causes increased anxiety), weakness, blurred vision, panic attacks, tremors, sweating/flushing, nausea/vomiting, seizures, psychosis, hallucinations, dependence and withdrawal symptoms.
  • But never mind all this, be satisfied , at least the drug does not kill you!