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Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata: What Are the 'Z Meds' for Sleep?

Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata: Millions of bleary-eyed Americans turn to this class of so-called "Z-drugs" to get restful sleep.

But how do these drugs work, and do they come with risks?

Experts at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have issued an

  • Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporter
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  • March 8, 2024
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  • Full Page
  • Strong Sleeping Pills Tied to Falls, Fractures in Dementia Patients

    Strong sleeping pills known as "Z-drugs" may increase the risk of falls, fractures and stroke among people with dementia, British researchers report.

    People with dementia can have trouble sleeping and are often prescribed drugs such as zaleplon (Sonata), zolpidem (Ambien) and zopiclone to help them nod off, but higher doses of these drugs can have negative effects.

    "As many as 90% o...

    For Insomniacs, Sleep Aids Can Ease a Troubled Mind

    People with severe insomnia may find that a sedative helps them sleep and banishes thoughts of suicide, a new study suggests.

    "If you have a patient who complains that their sleep has taken a turn for the worse, then there is reason to open the door to a question about suicide," said corresponding author Dr. W. Vaughn McCall. He's chairman of the department of psychiatry and health b...

    More Americans Mixing Opioids With Sedatives

    As if the opioid crisis wasn't already bad enough, new research shows a sharp rise in the number of Americans taking dangerous combinations of opioids and sedatives.

    These sedatives, known as benzodiazepines, are prescribed for pain, insomnia and anxiety. And another class of similar medications, called Z-drugs, are also being taken with sedatives at alarming rates, the researchers fo...