Study Objectives: Z-drugs (eszopiclone, zolpidem, and zaleplon) are commonly used for insomnia but are also associated with suicide risk. However, it is unclear if this association is unique to Z-drugs. Therefore, the present study estimated the associations between multiple prescription insomnia medications and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Methods: Data were acquired from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health for 2015-2018 and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 2005-2018. Samples were balanced on sociodemographic and mental health covariates using inverse probability of treatment weighting. Associations of Z-drugs, trazodone, and sedative benzodiazepines (temazepam, triazolam, flurazepam) with suicidal ideation, planning, and attempts were estimated using binomial logistic regression. Results: In the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Z-drugs were associated with suicidal ideation (odds ratio [OR], 1.32; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.14-1.54]), suicide planning (OR, 1.44; 95%CI, 1.19-1.75), and suicide attempts (OR, 1.45; 95%CI, 1.13-1.86) after adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, income, depression, illicit substance use, and the 6-item Kessler Psychological Distress Scale and World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule II scores. When analyses accounted for the same factors, sedative benzodiazepines were associated with suicide attempts (OR, 1.76; 95%CI, 1.06-2.87) but not suicidal ideation (OR, 1.37; 95% CI, 0.99-1.88) or suicide planning (OR, 1.39; 95% CI, 0.97-2.00). In the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Z-drugs were associated with suicidal ideation (OR, 2.44; 95% CI, 1.41-4.22), as was trazodone (OR, 2.33; 95% CI, 1.45-3.75), after analyses adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and exposure to various psychotropic medications. Conclusions: Multiple classes of prescription insomnia medications are associated with suicidal thinking and behaviors, even after analyses adjusted for measures of mental health.
- Sedative hypnotics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Clinical Neurology