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FDA Warns About Side Effects of Insomnia Medicine

Update Date: Jan 14, 2013 07:09 AM EST

People suffering from insomnia might need to curb the dosage of the sleep medication they are using, especially if they are using Zolpidem or its products, more popularly known in the market as Ambien, Ambien CR, Edluar and Zolpimist.

In an official notification issued by the FDA, the public has been warned against the morning after side effects of Zolpidem, the popular drug used to cure insomnia. According to the blood test results obtained from some patients regularly using the medicine, it has been found that high doses of it reduce the alertness of the individual.

It has been observed that the higher level of insomnia drugs taken during bedtime reduces the alertness of the individual the next morning. This might be detrimental especially if people are performing tasks that require alertness, like driving. It might slow down their reflexes, thus increasing the chances of a possible accident.

The insomnia drugs have been classified into two categories, immediate-release products e.g., Ambien, Edluar and Zolpimist, and extended-release products e.g. Ambien CR. It has also been found that the effect of drowsiness is higher in females than in males, as it takes more time for Zolpidem to be removed from the female body than that of their male counterparts.

The approved dosage for women is revised to 5mg (previously it was 10 mg) for immediate-release products and for extended-release products, the approved dosage is now 6.25 mg (previously it was 12.5 mg). The FDA has also notified the manufacturers of these medicines to alter the dosage recommendations accordingly.

It is already mentioned in the side effects of this medicine that the intake of the same may cause drowsiness, in some cases, it is also mentioned that the drowsiness may extend to the next day.

The FDA has also urged doctors to recommend the lowest possible dose for the treatment of insomnia. This is especially crucial for people whose daily activities or occupation requires alertness mandatorily, like drivers. Ignoring the warning may result in an exponential increase in the number of road accidents.

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