One of the most popular sleeping pills is zolpidem. Also known as Ambien and Stilnox, the drug's safety is being put under the microscope in Australia.
An analysis undertaken by the New South Wales Department of Forensic Medicine found that zolpidem was a contributing factor in 35 out of 91 deaths in which the drug was detected between 2001 and September 2010.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is happy to keep the product on sale since they argue the drug still has value to those with severe insomnia. That being said, they have publicly recognized that there is evidence of extreme side effects in some individuals, although these reports have been decreasing since warnings were added to the label advising people to avoid alcohol when taking the drug.
Our conclusion? Only take sleeping pills when absolutely necessary, always read the label, be aware of any potential side effects and never mix sleeping pills with alcohol.
Source: The Courier-Mail
Last updated: September 6, 2012