Ambien and Sleepwalking Risk

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

· Sleep researchers have reported an unusual number of incidents of sleepwalking in people taking Ambien, the top-selling sleep aid in the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration has received similar reports. Some incidents involve eating or driving while asleep; some have led to criminal charges. No conclusive link between the drug and the incidents has been established.

· Ambien maker Sanofi-Aventis says the side effect is rare and the medication is safe and effective when used as directed. The label strongly cautions patients not to use alcohol while taking the drug.

· Sleep specialists recommend patients seeking treatment for sleep problems discuss concerns with a physician and consider non-drug treatments first. They advise people taking Ambien be alert to the risk of sleepwalking incidents and to report all side effects to their doctor.

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