So, if a sleeping pill has so many side effects, why is it still for sale? Not everyone knows that the clinical trials of such drugs are not independent, they are paid for by pharmaceutical companies. In a recent article published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine of Sleep15, the details of a review of medical literature on sleeping pills were given. It turned out that more than 90% of controlled studies of the effects of hypnotic drugs were sponsored by pharmaceuticals.
companies. Consequently, independent studies have practically not been conducted. According to the article, clinical trials paid by the pharmaceutical industry were 3.5 times more likely to recognize the drug as effective than unpaid ones.
Some drugs were declared effective, although the test results were far from satisfactory. An increase in sleep duration of 11–12% was sufficient to make the sleeping pill effective and give it a license to sell. Moreover, according to the article, the positive effect of such drugs in the medical literature was exaggerated. For example, information was given about reducing the time to fall asleep, but not a word was said about increasing the risk of infections, cancer and premature death.
The article stated that “in order to thoroughly examine the possible side effects of sleeping pills, such as feeling unwell during the day, the risk of infections, cancer and premature death, more extensive tests are necessary”.
Incredible placebo effect from sleeping pills
A large-scale study was conducted, the object of which was people with chronic insomnia, taking benzodiazepines for an average of 13 years. Participants were divided into three groups, the first of which was taken by dalman, the second by midazolam and the third by placebo. Surprisingly, after 14 days of the experiment, it turned out that people who took dalman or midazolam did not sleep any longer than those who took the placebo pill. These patients have already developed insensitivity to the action of sleeping pills. In addition, both drugs significantly impaired the working capacity of people the next day. Surprisingly, the patients themselves stated that the sleeping pills helped them, despite the fact that the tests proved the opposite.
Even more interesting, the placebo group also gave positive feedback. These people rated the medicine given to them rather highly and said that they would be happy to continue taking it. Groups taking dalman and midazolam rated their drugs higher than the placebo group, despite the fact that the medication had side effects.
“These patients deceived themselves by overestimating the efficacy of the medicine, in fact, the sleeping pills only worsened their condition.”
The placebo effect is applicable to all drugs, but in the case of insomnia, this effect can be even more striking, since sleep disorders are inextricably linked with self-suggestion and conviction.
Unpleasant facts about sleeping pills
A large-scale American study revealed that a third of people taking sleeping pills never suffered from insomnia. Even more unpleasant statistics concern patients with chronic insomnia. Sleeping pills can only be useful to those who have recently experienced insomnia: in this case, it can help normalize the daily regimen. However, doctors prescribe it not only in this case. While most people take a dozen sleeping pills in a year, people with chronic insomnia take a lot more. Basically, sleeping pills are prescribed to just such patients, and not to those who have trouble sleeping from time to time. The truth is that in 65% of cases, sleeping pills are prescribed not for those who sometimes face sleep disorders, but for those who have been taking these drugs every night for the past five years! This frightening statistic proves that the hypnotic industry “makes money on people with chronic insomnia who have already developed a dependence on these drugs”