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Neurobiol Aging. 1982 Winter;3(4):379-86.

Aging, drugs and sleep.


Elderly subjects are infrequently selected as subjects to evaluate the effects of medication. In combination with increasing age and sleep, certain drugs may lead to unsuspected and undesirable secondary effects which may be life-threatening or at least very disturbing to the well-being of the elderly subject. Medications administered during the daytime may affect sleep or lead to sleep-related pathology. Administration of cardiovascular medications, corticosteroids, tricyclic antidepressants, and antiparkinsonian drugs have been found to induce significant problems during sleep in patients, leading to investigation and polygraphic testing in our clinic at Stanford. Benzodiazepines are frequently prescribed in elderly subjects to control nocturnal sleep disturbances. However, long-lasting benzodiazepines, such as flurazepam, may induce confusion, disorientation, daytime sleepiness, or may impact on breathing and its control during sleep.

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