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Shahzada Bilal Syed
Muhammad Umair Riaz
Gul Mehnaz
Ayesha Iftikhar
Tariq Mahmood Khan
Sameen Zainab
Saima Bukhari
Rabia Zulfiqar


concern, drug overdose, benzodiazepine, dosage, sleep problems


Adolescent sleep disturbances are treated with benzodiazepines; nonetheless, overdoses on these drugs do happen frequently in conjunction with opioids. Our research sought to determine the associations between the risk of medication overdose and the dosage of benzodiazepines used to treat sleep disorders. The study analyzed patient-level information from April 2021 to May 2023 in various settings in Pakistan, focusing on young individuals diagnosed with sleep disturbances and starting therapy with benzodiazepines or alternative medications. The study used the Kaplan-Meier estimator to estimate the cumulative incidence of overdoses, Cox proportional hazards regression models to estimate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals, and logistic regression to estimate propensity scores. The study aimed to identify young individuals with sleep disturbances and their adherence to benzodiazepines or alternative medications. The study found that benzodiazepines, particularly those prescribed for sleep disorders, can increase the risk of drug overdose in young individuals. The adjusted 6-month risk of drug overdose was 1.6% for benzodiazepine initiators, compared to 0.6% for comparator therapy. Young adults were more likely to experience drug overdose, with a higher risk of benzodiazepine treatment.

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