British Medical Journal study finds adults four times as likely for early death when taking sleeping pills

It is well documented that there is a prescription drug problem in America, with some experts even going as far to call it an "epidemic."

In an effort to continue illustrating exactly how dangerous medications can be for even those with legal prescriptions, the British Medical Journal, an open access peer reviewed medical journal, recently released findings that show that adults who consume sleeping pills – even in moderate to low amounts – could be four times more likely to experience an early death when compared to those who do not take sleeping pills.

These findings pose a significant problem for the medical community as approximately 50 to 70 million Americans endure some variation of a sleep disorder that proves debilitating when left untreated.

And while some may be under the impression that taking sleep pills such as Restoril, Sonata, Lunesta and Ambien only a few times may decrease any potential risks, the researchers reportedly found after looking at thousands of electronic medical records that even those taking fewer than 18 sleeping pills per year had an increased risk of early death.

However, a feature by ABC News on the issue details that often times insomnia is not a disease, but a symptom of something more serious like heart disease, diabetes, asthma and cancer.

Considering that treating a deeper problem may be able to help a patient sleep better and avoid potentially dangerous sleeping pills, medical facility managers should consider the benefits of implementing electronic medical records software.

By using this software, physicians can see a clear picture of a patient's entire medical history at the click of a button to cross analyze symptoms and better understand what is really causing a patient's difficulty sleeping. Consequently, the physician can make a more informed decision regarding what medication will treat the underlying problem rather than resorting to sleeping pills immediately.

Microwize Technology is a leading healthcare IT consultant offering products such as electronic medical records software and medical billing software from top providers like Allscripts and McKesson, including McKesson's Medisoft, Lytec and Practice Choice products.