ER Visits Involving Sleep Drug Overmedication Almost Doubles

ER Visits Involving Sleep Drug Overmedication Almost Doubles

The number of emergency department visits involving the sleep drug zolpidem (the active ingredient in Ambien) almost doubled over four years, according to a new government report.

Zolpidem-related ER visits rose from 21,824 in 2005-2006, to 42,274 in 2009-2010, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found. In 2010, females accounted for two-thirds of zolpidem-related ER visits involving overmedication. The largest number of visits related to overmedication with the drug involved patients ages 45 to 54.

More than half of zolpidem-related ER visits also involved other prescription drugs, including other anti-anxiety and insomnia medications and narcotic pain relievers. In addition, 14 percent of visits involved alcohol combined with zolpidem.

Full story of sleep drug over medication at drugfree.org