An NPC analysis of a patient questionnaire study has suggested that the newer Z drugs have no benefits over the older benzodiazepines in treating insomnia.
The results, which were published in the British Journal of General Practice, revealed that patients reported no significant differences between the two types of drugs either in terms of insomnia symptoms or dependence.
The study also showed a widespread failure to follow the Nice guidelines in prescribing these drugs.
The NPCÕs authors wrote that patients and prescribers needed to be aware that adverse effects associated with each drug were similar, and that the indication for short-term use only should be emphasised.
Nice guidance should be followed, they added, but this would require a significant change in current practice.