FDA Recommends Lower Dosage of Ambien After Decades of Side-Effect Complaints
By Mark Favaloro, VA Medical Malpractice Attorney
After years of receiving complaints about the sleeping pill Ambien, the FDA has recently issued a recommendation that doses for women should be lower than what is typically prescribed now. Many users complain of drowsiness in the morning, which has sometimes led to car accidents. In addition to the sleepy driving, other strange behaviors caused by side effects of the drug include texting, eating or having sex in the night without any memory of it in the morning. Many in the medical community question why it took the FDA so long to act.
The FDA recommends the lower does in any drug which contains the active ingredient zolpidem. Studies have shown that women take longer to metabolize the drug than men. An official from the agency’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research told New York Times an estimated 10 percent to 15 percent of women will have a level of zolpidem in their blood that could impair driving eight hours after taking the pill, while only about 3 percent of men do.
The Virginia Injury Lawyer Perspective:
The documented incidents resulting from the side-effects of Ambien are numerous. Medical issues and heavy weight gain from the night binges, hallucinations, amnesia, all leading to the person “waking up” and having no recollection of what they said or did. Many people have ended up in jail for causing accidents and damage that they have no recall about.
The Wisconsin Law Journal recounted one woman’s experience, which is similar to many of the other incidents uses of the drug have experienced. In 2005, she was prescribed Ambien for insomnia. After three days of taking her prescribed dose, she woke up on the concrete floor of a jail cell. The police report said she got out of bed around 6 a.m., left her house, drove her mother’s car into a parked vehicle, left the scene and ran into another vehicle. She left that scene as well, returned home, had a chat with her mother and was arrested in her bedroom later that morning. She remembers neither the accident, nor anything else from the morning of her arrest.
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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton & Favaloro include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Attorneys with our firm have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. Attorneys with our personal injury law firm have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of practicing attorneys receive.