New Sleeping Pill Study Shows Health Downsides

Posted on Mar 29, 2013

It is estimated that between 50 and 70 million Americans struggle with insomnia or other sleep disorders.  So it should come as no surprise that millions are also prescribed sleep aids that are supposed to help. Unfortunately, recent research shows that the side effects of sleep aids may be more detrimental than previously thought. 

A previous study linked sleeping pills to bizarre sleep behavior like unconscious driving of vehicles, sleepwalking, sleep eating, amnesia, and hallucinations.  A new study shows that adults taking sleeping pills are nearly four times more likely to die early compared to those who are not prescribed sleeping pills.  More shocking is that this seems to hold true even for those taking them in small numbers.  Additionally, those taking sleeping pills may also be more likely to be diagnosed with cancer.

The study looked at those taking Ambien, Restoril, Lunesta, and Sonata.  They found that even those who took fewer than 18 pills a year were at a greater risk of death. These findings are in addition to the previously known side effects of the medications including:

  • Drowsiness upon waking
  • Burning or tingling of the extremities
  • Impaired judgment
  • Depression
  • Changes in appetite
  • Difficulty keeping balance
  • Dry mouth
  • Gas, constipation, diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Unusual dreams
  • Heart problems

You don’t have to be in a hospital to be a victim of medical malpractice in Virginia.  If you have suffered detrimental effects from a prescribed drug, contact the Virginia medical malpractice lawyers at Shevlin Smith today.  Our Fairfax attorneys have the knowledge and experience to fight for you.   

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Michael J. Shevlin
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Specializing in medical malpractice and serious personal injury cases since 1994.