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Re: Are the 'Z-drugs' really carcinogenic? Quintal

Posted by yxibow on July 2, 2008, at 23:43:20

In reply to Are the 'Z-drugs' really carcinogenic?, posted by Quintal on July 2, 2008, at 11:30:14

There is a lot of degree of skepticism that I have on this subject --- first of all the person who has "studied" these agents, Dr. Kripke, also claimed some years ago that the remaining napalm stored in Fallbrook could potentially bomb the entire Southern California basin with toxicity and there was hysteria to finally remove it all -- it has passed its sell date in military technology anyhow, but that's another story.


I wouldn't drink napalm (duh), but the awful mixture is just gasoline, styrene and benzene, all "known to the state of California" (Prop 65) to be carcinogens and unlikely to ever spread beyond their storage region.


> I've been coming across these sinister articles for a while. They seem to suggest that 'z-drugs' are associated with higher rates of cancer mortality. The FDA has expessed skepticism over the validity of these studies because of the short time lag between exposure and diagnosis (as little as fourteen days in one case, and all within six months).


That I would have skepticism over also -- unless you worked during the day in a highly concentrated uranium mine and at night in an asbestos mine for that period of time, not to make light of those who have passed on or have become ill because of that, the period of carcinogenicity and mutation takes decades and is still an unclear subject.

Also, the authors found that ramelton (Rozerem) carried a significant risk of cancer mortality despite having a completely different mechanism.

Ramelteon is basically a compound related to melatonin but 17 times as powerful, and yes, a completely different mechanism. Are we toxic to our own melatonin system ?

I'm wondering why hypnotics as a class were singled out for investigation, rather than a chemical class i.e. benzodiazepines? This obviously raises questions as to whether the older benzos carry similar risks. As it is I'm not too concerned, but I am considering switching my zopiclone to lormetazepam (pdoc permitting), or even a nightly dose of diazepam.

Its up to you to do that, but I really wouldnt -- first of all, neither are intended for long term use except the racemer of zopiclone (Lunesta).

Habituation will develop much more rapidly to a benzodiazepine than a pseudobenzodiazepine.

__________________________________________________
>
> Evidence That New Hypnotics Cause Cancer
> Daniel F. Kripke, University of California, San Diego
> March 17, 2008

If you go to his PDF, it mentions this:

"Competing Interests
Dr. Kripke has no competing interests, other than a desire to confirm and extend previous
work of his research group. He has been a long-time critic of hypnotic safety, e.g., in his nonprofit
web site, www.DarkSideOfSleepingPills.com."


Which if you start reading it, one gathers, at least in my opinion a rather scaremongering site for a health professional. Read at your pleasure, be a skeptic, disagree, I have no qualms.

> The zopiclone study was carried out on a group of HIV positive men, and the cancers were mostly Kaposi's sarcoma - hardly unusual for that population. I sense a whiff of scaremongering among all this, but posibly a grain of truth. I can't help but wonder how many other psychiatric drugs would show a similar relationship with cancer mortality if studied in the same way though.


I would say a very very small grain of sand of truth, and as noted the population tested -- remember even people "healthy" with HIV can have medication interactions that can cause neurological problems and all sorts of things.

Yes, we don't know the effects of medication in 50 years, but we do have more than 50 years of medical knowledge of psychiatric drugs.

Benzodiazepines, when taken as directed, are probably the most benign of agents at the moment. Now, habituation can occur. I mean Librium was in the lab around 1958.


I guess the point I'm trying to make is, there is no "safe agent", everything has side effects, including water -- drink too much and it can kill you too. Life isn't "safe" -- its messy, it has trauma, but it also has beauty, and if something is working for someone and not causing endless untolerable side effects, why stop it?

It becomes the esoteric debate of what is the value of the quality of life and what can improve it, drugwise, or not.

In the end, something gets us all. Its just the rules -- I don't like it any more than I think anybody else does.

Its what anything from atheism and agnosticism to religion tries to sooth us (and unfortunely I won't go on about it but certain belief systems can become cults, etc... that will be an endless debate and I'd rather be civil here)

But why not enjoy the vastness between this space?

-- tidings

Jay

 

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