FDA Warns Some Prescription Sleeping Pills Could Lead To Dangerous Behavior

BOSTON (CBS/CNN) – Millions of Americans use sleeping pills to help them get a good night’s rest. Now the FDA is issuing its strongest warnings about several popular prescription sleep aids, including Lunesta, Sonata, and Ambien, due to concerns about potentially serious side effects. The agency found 66 cases of patients taking the drugs and engaging in activities that resulted in serious injury or death. In rare cases, these drugs can cause people perform activities while not fully awake, like sleepwalking, sleep driving, raiding the refrigerator, wandering outside, and even handling a firearm. “These incidents can occur after the first dose of these sleep medicines or after a longer period of treatment, and can occur in patients without any history of these behaviors and even at the lowest recommended doses,” Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless said in a statement. Manufacturers will now be required to include prominent warnings on their boxes and labels. Patients should stop taking these drugs if they experience any unusual sleep behaviors, although they often don’t remember what they have done. The labels of sleeping drugs that contain eszopiclone, zaleplon or zolpidem already include a warning, the agency said. The new boxed warning is intended to emphasize existing warnings while suggesting that the risk of injury and death is serious. According to a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, about 4% of adults have used p...
Source: WBZ-TV - Breaking News, Weather and Sports for Boston, Worcester and New Hampshire - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Boston News Health Healthwatch Dr. Mallika Marshall FDA sleeping pills Source Type: news

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