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Not Harmless: Rubber Bullets, Pepper Spray Rob Vision

Last summer, the American Academy of Ophthalmology condemned the use of rubber bullets as a law enforcement tactic for crowd control during protests that rocked the United States. The argument: rubber bullets can cause serious eye injury.

Now, a new study backs up that concern, finding that the use of rubber bullets and pellets, pepper spray, tear gas and/or bean bag guns does, in fact, i...

Why Are Dementia Patients Getting Risky Psychiatric Drugs?

As many as 3 in 4 older adults with dementia have been prescribed drugs that may pose a risk to them, researchers report.

The drugs in the study included commonly prescribed medications that can affect the brain or nervous system, such as sedatives, painkillers and antidepressants.

"There just is not a lot of evidence that these medications are helpful in people with dement...

Meds Like Valium, Xanax Linked to Higher Risk of Ectopic Pregnancy

Taking benzodiazepines -- drugs such as Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Halcion or Ativan -- to treat anxiety or insomnia before pregnancy boosts the risk of an ectopic pregnancy, new research suggests.

Ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that develops outside the uterus, typically in a fallopian tube. The risk of ectopic pregnancy was nearly 50% higher for women who had filled a prescript...

For Insomniacs, Sleep Aids Can Ease a Troubled Mind

People with severe insomnia may find that a sedative helps them sleep and banishes thoughts of suicide, a new study suggests.

"If you have a patient who complains that their sleep has taken a turn for the worse, then there is reason to open the door to a question about suicide," said corresponding author Dr. W. Vaughn McCall. He's chairman of the department of psychiatry and health b...

Music Soothes the Stressed Soul Before Surgery

Music may be as powerful as drugs in calming patients before they undergo surgery, new research suggests.

It worked just as well as a tranquilizer before patients received a peripheral nerve block prior to their procedure, the researchers said. Peripheral nerve block numbs a specific area of the body where surgery is being done.

Many patients are anxious before surgery and ...

More Americans Mixing Opioids With Sedatives

As if the opioid crisis wasn't already bad enough, new research shows a sharp rise in the number of Americans taking dangerous combinations of opioids and sedatives.

These sedatives, known as benzodiazepines, are prescribed for pain, insomnia and anxiety. And another class of similar medications, called Z-drugs, are also being taken with sedatives at alarming rates, the researchers fo...

1 in 4 Seniors Who Take Xanax, Valium Use Them Long Term

When older people use drugs like Valium or Xanax to calm anxiety or help them sleep, they run a high risk of becoming drug-dependent, new research suggests.

In the study of almost 600 adults averaging 78 years of age, about one in four who were prescribed these types of benzodiazepine sedatives ended up using them for at least a year.

That's despite warnings against long-te...

Sleeping Pills May Be Poor Choice for Dementia Patients

Giving dementia patients sleeping pills might raise their risk of broken bones, a new study suggests.

Researchers compared data from nearly 3,000 dementia patients who took the commonly prescribed sleep drugs zolpidem, zopiclone and zaleplon (so-called Z-drugs) and nearly 1,700 dementia patients who did not take the drugs. The brand names for these drugs include Lunesta, Ambien and So...

Could Pot-Linked Drug Help Ease Agitation in Alzheimer's?

The active ingredient in pot that gets you high can calm agitation in people with advanced Alzheimer's disease, a small new study suggests.

Canadian researchers found that a form of synthetic THC significantly decreased agitation in a small group of Alzheimer's patients, working even better than the drugs now used.

"This is the first clinical trial to show that a cannabinoi...