(AscendHealthy)- Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a scary warning regarding the popular prescription sleeping pill called Ambien. According to the FDA, the drug, which has always been linked with worrisome side effects, can cause some users to commit suicide while they are under the effects of the medication.
Ambien’s Long History of Worrisome Side Effects
Hitting the market in the 1990s, Ambien was advertised as a low-risk sleep aid that had fewer side effects than popular sleep medications of the time. It quickly became one of the most popular prescription sleep medications on the market and spurred the development of several similar medications. All was not well, however. The medication has been linked with serious side effects, including sleep disturbances, nightmares, excessive sedation, lack of coordination, hallucinations, aggression, and sleepwalking.
In 2009, the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine issued a report outlining some of the bizarre behaviors exhibited by those under the influence of Ambien. Behaviors included sleep eating, driving while asleep, sleep talking, and sleepwalking. These behaviors, which most people don’t remember the next day, have caused serious incidents, including car accidents, drownings, and death.
The FDA Is Cracking Down on Sleeping Pills
The FDA first warned Ambien users about strange side effects more than a decade ago. Now, however, they are mandating the placement of prominent warning labels on all medication guides for Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata, as well as those for the generic versions of these medications. The FDA is also mandating a second warning for patients with a history of sleepwalking, as they are the most at risk for exhibiting risky sleepwalking behaviors.
Safe Alternatives to Sleeping Pills
Over-the-counter sleep aids have fewer side effects and are not habit-forming. Options include products with Diphenhydramine or Doxylamine as an active ingredient. Antihistamines are also effective, but they can leave you feeling groggy. If you’re looking for an all-natural alternative, melatonin, valerian or chamomile may help.
Additionally, more medications are being developed and studied in an effort to help alleviate common sleep disorders or problems without the risk of dangerous side effects.
If you or a loved one perform any sort of sleepwalking activities while under the influence of sleeping medications, talk to your family doctor about alternatives. These drugs can be extremely dangerous and may lead to death in certain individuals.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension!
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