Sleep medication morning effects may increase accident risk

Posted By Kinnard, Clayton & Beveridge || Jan 16, 2013

There are plenty of Tennessee residents who suffer from sleep disorders and have a hard time falling asleep. In order to catch a night of well-rested, and much needed sleep, many are prescribed sleep medications by their doctors. The point of these is to take the pill, get a good night of sleep, and awake the next morning alert and ready to go.

However, it turns out this is not always the case and many who are taking these prescriptions are still tired the next morning. Officials are worried that in the morning after taking sleep medications, some people have enough level of the drug in their system to impair certain activities, including driving.

Due to this concern, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is asking the manufacturers of sleep medications to provide more safety information to patients and to lower the recommended dosage. The hope is that this will lead to a decrease in accidents caused by drivers who are impaired by prescribed sleep medications.

Specifically the FDA is looking at those sleep medications containing zolpidem. This is in Ambien, Ambien CR, Edluar and Zolpimist. Generic versions also contain zolpidem.

There are no specific statistics on how many motor vehicle accidents are caused each year by a person taking a sleep medication. Rather, these recommendations come after driving simulation studies found impairment issues the morning after for some taking medications containing zolpidem.

The new recommendations by the FDA are for women to take have the recommended dosage and for the labeling of the product to be changed to reflect the recommendation of half for men too. The reason for the difference is women process the zolpidem differently than men.

Categories: Car Accidents
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