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Ankin Law In The News

Zolpidem, Adverse Reactions

June 11, 2015


Reactions to the sleep medication zolpidem rose nearly 220 percent between 2005 and 2010


Chicago, IL, May 26, 2013 – In a new report, released on May 1, 2013, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) presented data showing a dramatic increase in adverse reactions to a popularly prescribed sleep drug, prompting a nearly 220 percent increase in emergency department visits related to such reactions over 5 years.

Zolpidem was indicated in adverse reactions that resulted in 19,487 emergency visits in 2010, as compared to 6,111 visits for such reactions in 2005. Adults age 45 or older accounted for approximately three-quarters of all emergency department visits involving adverse reactions to the drug, and one of every three patients seen was over age 65. Female zolpidem users were at higher risk than males, with 13,130 emergency visits due to zolpidem reactions made by women in 2010, as opposed to 6,306 visits by men.

An FDA approved medication that is used in the short-term treatment of insomnia, zolpidem is the active ingredient in a number if popularly prescribed drugs, including Ambien, Ambien CR, Intermezzo, Zolpimist and Edluar. Adverse effects associated with this drug include daytime drowsiness, dizziness, agitation, hallucinations, sleep-walking and sleep-driving. These reactions often occur independently, but risk is greater when zolpidem is taken in combination with other drugs that affect the central nervous system, such as narcotic pain medications, anti-anxiety drugs or alcohol.

Due to the risk of these adverse reactions, the FDA has long recommended that doses of zolpidem should be reduced by half when the drug is prescribed to elderly patients. In January, 2013, the FDA announced that manufacturers will be required to lower the recommended doses of medications containing zolpidem for female patients by half, and similar action was recommended for males.

Adverse effects caused by Ambien and other drugs that contain zolpidem aren’t news to Chicago car accident lawyers, since they are a factor in many auto accidents. If you or a loved one are taking this drug, driving should be avoided if daytime drowsiness is an issue. Any changes in memory, thought patterns or behavior while taking zolpidem should be brought to the attention of your doctor immediately.

If you have been injured by use of this drug or by another person who is taking it, seeking legal advice is essential to ensure that you are properly compensated. Ankin Law Office can help, whether you’ve been involved in a zolpidem related car accident in Chicago or have need of a Chicago personal injury attorney. To schedule a free, no obligation consultation, please contact Ankin Law Office at (844) 600-0000.