FDA Demands Lower Dosages on Sleeping Pills

Ambien, Zolpimist seen impairing people in the morning
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2013 1:43 PM CST
Taking too many sleeping pills can make your morning drive dangerous.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Sleeping drugs like Ambien and Zolpimist are going to have to come with lower recommended dosages from now on, the FDA declared today, in the hopes that it will lead to fewer zonked-out people climbing into driver's seats for their morning commute. Studies show that eight hours after taking drugs containing zolpidem, 15% of women and 3% of men were still dangerously impaired "to a degree that increases the risk of a motor vehicle accident," the agency said.

Given the especially high risk for women, drug makers will have to cut their dosage recommendations for them in half, the Washington Post reports. In general, "health care professionals should prescribe, and patients should take, the lowest dose capable of treating the patient’s insomnia," an FDA official said in a statement, adding that patients who drive in the morning should take extra precautions. (Read more sleeping pills stories.)

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