Girardi | Keese

Possible Link between Anti-Anxiety Drugs and Alzheimer's Disease

Melissa Healy with the Los Angeles Times reports that common anti-anxiety drugs may be linked to the development of Alzheimer's disease ("Drugs used for anxiety, sleep are linked to Alzheimer's disease in older people"). According to new research, Healy writes, "Older people who have relied on a class of drugs called benzodiazepines to reduce anxiety or induce sleep are at higher risk [...]."

The study involved nearly 1,800 people with an Alzheimer's diagnosis. While it's much too early to say with any certainty that benzodiazepines actually increase one's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in later life, Healy does cite apparent risk factors.

Apparent Risk Factors for Developing Alzheimer's After Taking Benzodiazepines

There appear to be three factors that might put people at higher risk of developing Alzheimer's. It all comes down to how much and for how long the drugs are taken:

1. Long-acting benzodiazepines

2. High doses

3. Regular use over several months or years

In contrast, people who took these drugs in lower doses, for a short time period, and/or infrequently, according to Healy, did not appear to be at higher risk of Alzheimer's.

Specific Anti-Anxiety Drugs Studied

Here are the brand names of the anti-anxiety drugs that were part of the study and presented a possible link between patients' use and Alzheimer's:

  • Xanax
  • Ativan
  • Seresta
  • Valium

Specific Sleep-inducing Drugs Studied

  • Klonopin
  • Dalmane
  • Versed
  • Mogadon
  • Restoril
  • Halcion

Are These Drugs Defective?

Perhaps the evidence is not quite there yet to support an indictment that these anti-anxiety and sleep-inducing drugs are "defective," as far as the legal definition is concerned. But Alzheimer's is a serious illness, the cause of which is not yet fully understood by scientific researchers and the medical community. Until we know more, it might be best to use benzodiazepines in moderation and only in consultation with your health care provider.

(Image credit: 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

DISCLAIMER: Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result. Any testimonials and endorsements at this site do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter or potential legal matter.


The Soto Verdict

Girardi | Keese attorneys have won a $2.3M verdict for a Long Beach resident run over by a Parks & Rec truck. Read more here.

The Madero Verdict

Attorney Christopher T. Aumais persuaded a San Bernardino County jury to deliver an  exceptionally high verdict in an area known for low jury awards.

A Champion of Justice

Partner Amy Fisch Solomon was a Champion of Justice in 2015, proving that success in law isn't just about the size of your verdict or settlement.

Own a VW Diesel?

Read about VW's emissions scandal and 
our class action against the automaker.


Learn About Our Referral Network Read More

Our Attorneys

Meet our award-winning team Read More


The true measure of a lawyer isn’t the awards, but what the awards say about the lawyer: dedication and commitment to the client.

Super Lawyers Distinguished AV | Lexis Nexis | Martindale-Hubbell | Peer Review Rated For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability American Association For Justice Consumer Attorneys Association Of Los Angeles Consumer Attorneys California Supreme Court Icon 7 Icon Best Lawyers | Best Law Firms 2014 | U.S. News American Board of Trial Advocates Law Dragon America's Top 100 Attorneys | Lifetime Achievement Martindale-Hubbell | AV Preeminent | Peer Review Rated For Highest Level of Professional Excellence | 2017