Adverse Reactions to Zolpidem (aka Ambien) Mean More ER Visits

The number of emergency department visits involving adverse reactions to the sleep medication zolpidem rose nearly 220 percent from 6,111 visits in 2005 to 19,487 visits in 2010 according to a report from The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Zolpidem is the active ingredient in Ambien, Ambien CR, Edluar and Zolpimist. The SAMHSA report also finds that in 2010 patients aged 45 or older represented about three-quarters (74 percent) of all emergency department visits involving adverse reactions to zolpidem. The report also states that in 2010 there were a total of 4,916,328 drug-related visits to emergency departments throughout the nation.

“In January 2013, FDA responded to increasing numbers of reports of adverse reactions by requiring manufacturers of drugs containing Zolpidem to halve the recommended dose for females.”

According to SAMHSA, “From 2005 to 2010 there was a 274 percent increase in the number of female visits to emergency department involving zolpidem (from 3,527 visits in 2005 to 13,130 in 2010) — in comparison to a 144 percent increase among males during the same period (2,584 visits in 2005 to 6,306 in 2010). In 2010 females accounted for more than two-thirds (68 percent) of all emergency department visits related to zolpidem.”

The department points out that, “in January 2013, FDA responded to increasing numbers of reports of adverse reactions by requiring manufacturers of drugs containing Zolpidem to halve the recommended dose for females. FDA also suggested that manufacturers reduce the recommended dose for men as well.” You can find the full report at SAMHSA.gov.

— MedShadow Staff


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