by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
As many of you know, I am not a fan of taking prescription drugs, especially when there are safer alternatives, and almost always, there are safer alternatives. These safer alternatives will not only save your ears from the ototoxic side effects of the drugs, but they can also save your life.
“A recently published study in the United Kingdom has found a more than threefold increase in risk of death in those using tranquilizers or sleeping pills compared with people not using these drugs. The results were similar to those of a study published two years ago examining sleeping pill use in people in the United States, which found a more than threefold greater risk of dying in people using these drugs compared with a control group not using them.” (1)
In this study of approximately 35,000 people who used tranquilizers, 47% used benzodiazepines and 14% used the “Z” drugs.
Benzodiazepines include drugs such alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clonazepam (Klonopin), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), estazolam (ProSom), flurazepam (Dalmane), lorazepam (Ativan), midazolam (Versed), oxazepam (Serax), temazepam (Restoril) and triazolam (Halcion) among others.
Z-drugs include zopiclone (Imovane), and its close derivative eszopiclone (Lunesta), zoleplon (Sonata) and zolpidem (Ambien).
Researchers found that in the first year after the study began, “the overall risk of death for those using these drugs was 3.3 times greater than the risk for non-users. Increased doses of drugs further increased the risk of death.” (1)
The benzodiazepines increased the risk of death 3.7 times while the “Z” drugs 3.2 times. (1) Did you get that? According to this study, taking benzodiazepines increases your risk of death 370%, not to mention all the ototoxic (and other) side effects you will have to deal with.
This is a pretty serious side effect, considering that an effective alternative in dealing with your anxiety is by talking to someone about it.
I’m not the only one that says this. “British doctors who have written about nondrug alternatives for the treatment of mild to moderate anxiety (and similar problems) say that:
‘The best treatment is likely to be brief counseling provided by a general practitioner or another professional. Such counseling need not be intensive or specially skilled. It should always include careful assessment of the causes of the patient’s distress. Once these have been identified, anxiety may often be reduced to tolerable levels by means of explanation, exploration of feelings, reassurance, and encouragement.’
What else can be done? Talking to non-medical people—a friend, a spouse, a relative, a member of the clergy—may help to identify causes of anxiety and potential solutions. Gathering the courage to talk about difficult concerns would generally be a better solution than taking pills.” (1)
So there you have it. Start looking for effective, natural alternatives to drug use. Then you’ll never have to worry about the ototoxic side effects of drugs, and in the process, you may even save your life, and that is definitely worth it!
If you want to look up the ototoxic side effects of the benzodiazepines or the Z-drugs if you are considering taking them, see my book Ototoxic Drugs Exposed 3rd edition. This book contains information on the ototoxicity of 877 drugs, 35 herbs and 148 chemicals.
(1) New Study Shows Increased Risk of Death with Sleeping Pills and Tranquilizers. Worst Pills, Best Pills News. July, 2014, Vol. 20. No. 7.