The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reminding consumers that some drugs to treat insomnia could make them less able the next morning to perform activities for which they must be fully alert, including driving a car.
FDA has informed manufacturers that the recommended dose should be lowered for sleep drugs approved for bedtime use that contain a medicine called zolpidem. FDA is particularly concerned about extended-release forms of zolpidem. They are sold as generic drugs and under the brand name Ambien CR. New data show that the morning after use, many people who take products containing extended-release zolpidem have drug levels that are high enough to impair driving and other activities. FDA says that women are especially vulnerable because zolpidem is cleared from the body more slowly in women than in men.
FDA also found that some medicines containing the immediate-release form of zolpidem can impair driving and other activities the next morning. They are marketed as generic drugs and under the following brand names:
- Ambien (oral tablet)
- Edluar (tablet placed under the tongue)
- Zolpimist (oral spray)