For millions of Americans having sleep-related problems, zolpidem has provided an answer for years. For instance, since its launch two decades agoZolpidem-carrying drug Ambien has become the most prescribed sleeping aid today garnering millions of prescriptions year in year out.
However, recently many Americans have cast great concern over zolpidem as several adverse effects including sleep-related driving, eating or walking have been reported. In 2006, zolpidem was recorded as one of the top 10 drugs found in impaired drivers, according to New York Times. An increasing number of reports detail how people have awaken to find themselves confined in jail.
Nature of Zolpidem
Zolpidem is a prescription medicine prescribed mainly for sleep-related problems like insomnia. Over time, drugs carrying zolpidem such as Ambien have become a household word in the U.S.
Scientific research has given proof to the powerful sedative-hypnotic capacity of zolpidem, possibly inducing sleepwalking or sleep-eating.
This is further complicated by the fact that after taking the drug, users of zolpidem may have no memory of their immediate actions.
The sleep-inducing characteristic of Zolpidem has been effectively demonstrated in a matter of 15 minutes. However, the drug has not demonstrated strong sleep-maintaining ability.
To a large extent, Zolpidem is designed for short-term treatments unless prescribed otherwise. In time, many of its users have developed a sleep dependency to the drug. Worse, cases of unintentional overdose have led to death.
Zolpidem: Catching Flak
The FDA has specifically cited that all prescription sleeping drugs can sometimes induce sleep-driving. Many patients have reportedly awakened in the middle of the night going for a drive without any recollection of what happened.
To contain these problems, the FDA has pushed labeling changes in 13 manufacturers of zolpidem-containing drugs. These serious side effects include:
- Life-threatening allergic reactions.
A Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) study in November 2012 exposed that Ambien-induced patients have greater risk of falling out of hospital beds than those who were not administered the drug. Published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, the finding has made the Mayo Clinic decide to phase out Ambien for their in-patient use altogether.
Recently, the inherent dangers of Zolpidem have been highlighted by a January 10, 2013 safety announcement from the Food and Drugs Admnistration (FDA). This has brought to light the dangerous nature of Zolpidem in particular and insomnia medications in general.
It is best to consult your doctor once serious adverse effects set in following use of Ambien, Edluar, Zolpimist of any zolpidem-carrying drug for that matter. These complications could include difficulty in breathing, chest pains, difficulty in swallowing or feelings of fainting.
Those who have suffered from sleep-driving, sleepwalking, or sleep-eating or binging or those whose loved ones have died because of an overdose while into these drugs should seek financial compensation as you could qualify for damages or possible remedies from a class action suit. Consulting an experienced qualified lawyer may be advisable.