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ER Visits Tied to Ambien on the Rise
Date:5/1/2013

to a reaction involving zolpidem, compared to a 144 percent increase among men. In 2010 alone, women accounted for 68 percent of all trips to the emergency room for an adverse reaction related to zolpidem, the researchers said.

The study authors also noted that adverse reactions to these sleep aids could be worsened when the medication is taken with other substances, such as certain anti-anxiety drugs and narcotic pain relievers.

The SAMHSA report said that in 2010, half of all emergency-room visits related to zolpidem involved its interaction with other drugs. Moreover, 37 percent of all emergency visits resulted from the combination of these sleep aids and drugs that depress the central nervous system.

In response to the increase in adverse reactions, in January 2013 the FDA required drug manufacturers to cut the recommended dose for women in half. The FDA also recommended that drug companies reduce the dosage for men.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about zolpidem.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, news release, May 1, 2013


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