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Sleeping pill linked to fall risks report

  By Margaret Jack   |   Posted in Sleep Research   |   Tuesday 20th November 2012

A well-known sleeping pill has been linked to an increase in the risk of accidental falls and hospitalisation by new research in the US. Ambien (zolpidem) was found in the Mayo Clinic study to increase fall risk by as much as four times, resulting in the institute looking to reduce usage of the drug with its patients. Data from over 16,000 patients was used in the investigation.

“We are now phasing out Ambien and moving toward sleep enhancement techniques that are not based on drugs and which we believe are safer and probably as effective,” said chief patient safety officer at the clinic Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler. “Ensuring that people get enough sleep during their hospital stay is very important, but it can also prove very challenging.”

Sleeping pills are a controversial subject in the field of sleep. While they are likely to For most people medicating should always be a last resort when it comes to sleep, and even then it should only be used in a strictly limited way to avoid over-reliance and potentially dangerous daytime side-effects such as falls – as indicated in this study.

The results of the study were published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

 


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