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Start Sleep Drug Lunesta at Lower Dose for Safety, FDA Says

Posted 16 May 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 15, 2014 – Some users of the popular sleep medicine Lunesta remain too drowsy for safety during the day, and the recommended starting dose for the medicine should be lowered, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday. In a statement, the agency said it took the action due to studies showing that levels of Lunesta (eszopiclone) in some patients may remain high enough in the morning to interfere with driving and other activities that require them to be mentally alert. This impairment can occur even if patients feel fully awake, the FDA said. "To help ensure patient safety, health care professionals should prescribe, and patients should take, the lowest dose of a sleep medicine that effectively treats their insomnia," Dr. Ellis Unger, director of the Office of Drug Evaluation I in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in the FDA news release. ... Read more

Related support groups: Insomnia, Lunesta

FDA Medwatch Alert: Eszopiclone Containing Sleep Aids: Drug Safety Communication - Can Cause Next-Day Impairment

Posted 15 May 2014 by Drugs.com

Including Lunesta and generics [Posted 05/15/2014] ISSUE: FDA has notified health professionals and their medical care organizations of a new warning that the insomnia drug Lunesta (eszopiclone) can cause next-day impairment of driving and other activities that require alertness. FDA recommends a decreased starting dose of Lunesta to 1 mg at bedtime. Women and men are equally susceptible to impairment from Lunesta, so the recommended starting dose of 1 mg is the same for both. FDA approved changes to the Lunesta prescribing information and the patient Medication Guide to include these new recommendations. The drug labels for generic eszopiclone products will also be updated to include these changes.   BACKGROUND: A study of Lunesta found that the previously recommended dose of 3 mg can cause impairment to driving skills, memory, and coordination that can last more than 11 hours after ... Read more

Related support groups: Insomnia, Lunesta, Eszopiclone

Study Finds Doctors Prescribing More Sedatives

Posted 7 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 – Doctors in the United States are writing more prescriptions for sedatives than ever before, and the frequent use of these powerful drugs in combination with narcotic painkillers may be causing medication-related deaths, a new study suggests. Sedatives are used to treat problems such as anxiety, mood disorders and insomnia, and include drugs such as Valium, Halcion, Xanax, Ativan and Librium. For the study, researchers looked at 3.1 billion primary care visits made by Americans between 2002 and 2009, and found that 12.6 percent of those visits involved prescriptions for sedatives (benzodiazepines) or narcotic (opioid) painkillers. They also found that the number of prescriptions for sedatives increased 12.5 percent a year. Patients who received narcotic painkiller prescriptions were 4.2 times more likely to also have sedative prescriptions, and the number of ... Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Klonopin, Ambien, Clonazepam, Valium, Ativan, Alprazolam, Lorazepam, BuSpar, Benadryl, Diazepam, Hydroxyzine, Buspirone, Zolpidem, Melatonin, Temazepam, Diphenhydramine, Lunesta, Vistaril, Doxepin

Prescription Sleep Aids a Common Choice for American Insomnia

Posted 29 Aug 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 29 – About 4 percent of American adults – more than 8.5 million people – have used a prescription sleep aid in the past month, and the use increases with age, U.S. health officials reported Thursday. In addition, more women (5 percent) than men (3.1 percent) over the age of 20 take these drugs, and those with higher education levels are more likely to use them, the researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. "This is the first time we have a national estimate on how many people are taking prescription medications for sleep," said report coauthor Yinong Chong, an epidemiologist at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. In the past 20 years, there has been reports of an increased number of prescriptions for sleep aids in the United States. But, Chong said, the use of such drugs has remained stable in the past decade, rising about ... Read more

Related support groups: Insomnia, Ambien, Zolpidem, Temazepam, Lunesta, Restoril, Ambien CR, Halcion, Triazolam, Sonata, Rozerem, Dalmane, Eszopiclone, Zaleplon, Flurazepam, Chloral Hydrate, Prosom, Edluar, Estazolam, Somnote

Is a Better Sleeping Pill on the Way?

Posted 3 Apr 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 3 – A new class of sleep medications appears to help people fall asleep without causing grogginess the next day, researchers say. These new medications – known as dual orexin receptor antagonists (DORA) – target a more specific region of the brain than popular sleep drugs such as Ambien and Lunesta, promoting sleep without affecting learning and memory (also called "cognition"), according to the new research. "We've shown that these compounds improve sleep at doses that don't impact cognition," said Jason Uslaner, lead author of a study published in the April 3 issue of Science Translational Medicine. Uslaner is director of In Vivo Pharmacology at Merck & Co., which funded the study. Merck already has one such drug, suvorexant, under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). More than 30 million Americans struggle to get a good night's sleep, and about ... Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Klonopin, Ambien, Clonazepam, Valium, Ativan, Alprazolam, Lorazepam, BuSpar, Benadryl, Diazepam, Hydroxyzine, Buspirone, Zolpidem, Melatonin, Temazepam, Diphenhydramine, Lunesta, Vistaril, Doxepin

Certain Sleep Aids May Raise Hip Fracture Risk in Nursing Homes: Study

Posted 4 Mar 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 4 – Health staff at nursing homes often give patients sleeping pills to help them sleep, but a new study suggests that a certain class of medications may put patients at raised risk for hip fractures. A team from Harvard Medical School in Boston looked at more than 15,500 long-stay nursing-home residents, aged 50 and older, who suffered a hip fracture between July 2007 and December 2008. The residents' average age was 81. About 1,700 of the residents had been given a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic sleep drug before their hip fracture. This class of drugs includes Lunesta, Sonata, Ambien and Intermezzo. Those who took nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic sleep drugs were about two-thirds more likely to suffer a hip fracture than those who didn't take the drugs, according to the study, published online March 4 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Although the study found an association ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Ambien, Zolpidem, Lunesta, Ambien CR, Fracture, Sonata, Zaleplon, Eszopiclone, Intermezzo, Edluar, Zolpimist

Another Drug 'Take-Back Day' Scheduled for Saturday

Posted 26 Apr 2012 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 26 – The fourth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is scheduled for Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says. The event gives Americans an opportunity to safely dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs. At the third Take-Back Day last October, participants turned in more than 377,000 pounds (188.5 tons) of unwanted or expired medications at more than 5,300 sites located in all 50 states. In total, the three Take-Back Days have taken in nearly 1 million pounds of prescription drugs during the past 13 months. "The amount of prescription drugs turned in by the American public during the past three Take-Back Day events speaks volumes about the need to develop a convenient way to rid homes of unwanted or expired prescription drugs," DEA administrator Michele Leonhart said in an agency news release. "The DEA remains hard at ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Xanax, Oxycodone, Methadone, Adderall, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Klonopin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Phentermine, Ambien, Clonazepam, Valium, Ativan, Vyvanse

Sleeping Pills Linked to Raised Risk of Death, Cancer: Study

Posted 27 Feb 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 27 – Prescription sleeping pills may help you get some much needed rest at night, but using them routinely might also make it more likely that you will die or develop certain types of cancer, research suggests. A new study suggests that those who take these medications are four times more likely to die than people who don't take them. What's more, the research shows that sleeping pills is also associated with a raised risk for certain cancers. The findings appear online Feb. 27 in the journal BMJ Open. Sleeping pills linked to these risks included benzodiazepines such as temazepam; non-benzodiazepines such as Ambien (zolpidem), Lunesta (eszopiclone) and Sonata (zaleplon); barbiturates; and sedative antihistamines. The new study only shows an association between the sleeping aids and death risk, not cause-and-effect, and many experts are urging caution in jumping to any ... Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Cancer, Klonopin, Ambien, Clonazepam, Valium, Ativan, Alprazolam, Lorazepam, Diazepam, Zolpidem, Temazepam, Lunesta, Restoril, Phenobarbital, Xanax XR, Butalbital, Ambien CR, Librium, Oxazepam

Accidental Medication Poisonings in Kids on the Rise

Posted 16 Sep 2011 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 16 – Despite ongoing prevention efforts, a growing number of young children are being accidentally poisoned with medications, according to new research. The study, which was based on data reported to the American Association of Poison Control Centers between 2001 and 2008, found that medication poisoning among children aged 5 and under increased by 22 percent, although the number of children in the United States in this age group rose by only 8 percent during the study period. "The problem of pediatric poisoning in the U.S. is getting worse, not better," Dr. Randall Bond, of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, said in a hospital news release. In conducting the study, which is scheduled for publication in the Journal of Pediatrics, the researchers reviewed information on over 544,000 children who landed in the emergency department due to medication poisoning ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Xanax, Oxycodone, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Klonopin, Morphine, Lisinopril, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Ambien, Clonazepam, Valium, Ativan, Codeine, Opana

Psychotropic Medications Associated With Risk of Falls in Older Adults

Posted 1 Dec 2009 by Drugs.com

CHICAGO, Nov. 23, 2009 - Older adults who take several types of psychotropic medications—such as antidepressants or sedatives—appear more likely to experience falls, according to an analysis of previous studies reported in the November 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. More than 30 percent of individuals older than 65 will fall at least once a year, and falls and their complications are the fifth-leading cause of death in the developed world, according to background information in the article. Each year, 85 percent of all injury-related hospital admissions and more than 40 percent of nursing home admissions are related to falls, and the annual costs related to falls and their complications are estimated to be in the billions of dollars worldwide. Both internal and external risk factors contribute to falls, and medications have previously been i ... Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Prozac, Klonopin, Celexa, Paxil, Ambien, Trazodone, Clonazepam, Valium, Ativan, Citalopram, Pristiq, Amitriptyline, Sertraline, Alprazolam

FDA Medwatch Alert: Lunesta (eszopiclone)

Posted 14 Mar 2007 by Drugs.com

[Posted 03/14/2007] FDA notified healthcare professionals of its request that all manufacturers of sedative-hypnotic drug products, a class of drugs used to induce and/or maintain sleep, strengthen their product labeling to include stronger language concerning potential risks. These risks include severe allergic reactions and complex sleep-related behaviors, which may include sleep-driving. Sleep driving is defined as driving while not fully awake after ingestion of a sedative-hypnotic product, with no memory of the event. FDA also requested that each product manufacturer send letters to health care providers to notify them about the new warnings, and that manufacturers develop Patient Medication Guides for the products to inform consumers about risks and advise them of potential precautions that can be taken.[March 14, 2007 - News Release - FDA] Read more

Related support groups: Lunesta

Pills Plus Psychotherapy Can Beat Insomnia

Posted 19 May 2009 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 19 – If you've been having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, a new study suggests that the short-term use of sleep medications plus behavioral changes may be the best combination for getting your zzz's. The Canadian study, which appears in the May 20 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that the short-term addition of the sleep medication, zolpidem (Ambien), coupled with cognitive behavioral therapy, helped more people overcome persistent insomnia. "When we treat persistent insomnia in adults, we can use cognitive behavioral therapy alone or in combination with medications. This study found an added value to adding medications for the short-term," said study author Charles Morin, Canada Research Chair in Sleep Disorders at Laval University in Quebec. "Insomnia significantly impairs quality of life, and it's a very costly problem for ... Read more

Related support groups: Insomnia, Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata

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