Sleep Aids Like Driving Drunk?

Written by greg on January 12, 2013

Recent medical professionals have indicated that certain popular prescriptive drugs have a longer active effect than first believed. These professionals have recommended that women who take prescriptive sleep aids such as Zolpidem should reduce their dosage to a maximum of 5 mg.

The FDA just announced that it is lowering its recommendations for bedtime dose for the popular sleep aid Ambien. The agency also cautioned that drugs taken for insomnia can impair driving ability and alertness the morning after their use. Further, to reduce the risk of morning-after accidents, the FDA recommends that physicians prescribe the lowest effective dose for their patients.

There have been many reported incidence of accidents where authorities believe that the driver was drunk, that have turned out to be prescription sleep aid issues. In fact, after some car accidents and autopsy was conducted and police were convinced that the driver was under the influence of alcohol and surprised to learn that the victim was sober but affected by Zolpidem.

There is a fine line between helping someone for a sleep problem and creating a danger on the roadway. There are other studies that have shown that someone  driving without adequate sleep are clear and present danger. Commercial truck drivers have specific hours they can drive each day and each week to decrease the chance of a drowsy driver on the roadway.

With the recent announcement from the FDA, the agency is requiring the manufacturers to change their recommendations for women and suggested dosage prescriptions for men.

If you take a prescription sleep aid for insomnia, please read the manufacturers literature and the FDA announcement and make sure you have adequate time after taking the medication, before you would be required to get behind the wheel.

Greg Baumgartner is a Houston personal injury lawyer and also the founder of the Baumgartner Law Firm which is located at 6711 FM 1960 West, Houston, Tx  77069, 281-587-1111. Follow us on Twitter or Google plus.

Posted Under: DWI/DUI, News
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