Despite the annual awareness campaigns conducted by the Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment, the consumption of sleeping pills and sedatives at Belgian level remains a cause for concern. In order to collect concrete information on the use of some of these drugs in Belgium, the FAMHP will conduct a national online survey in February 2020.
The survey is aimed at patients using benzodiazepines or related drugs (zolpidem, zopiclone) to treat sleep disorders. The survey will be carried out with the help of pharmacists and the professional federations APB and OPHACO. Pharmacists will receive more practical information in the following weeks.
The results of the survey will provide an opportunity to assess the use of these drugs and to map out patients' opinion about their treatments. The results can also help the FAMHP to take more targeted measures to promote the rational use of these drugs.
In case you have any question about the survey, please contact ADR@fagg-afmps.be with the subject “survey sleeping pills”.
Note that in order to promote healthier alternatives and to make healthcare professionals and their patients aware of the risks of sleeping pills and sedatives, the minister of Health Maggie De Block, in collaboration with the FPS Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment, launched the campaign "Sleeping pills and sedatives, think of other solutions first" back in 2018.
In the Flash VIG-news of December 2018 the FAMHP already warned of the risks associated with taking higher doses than the recommendations and the risk of addiction to zolpidem.