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For those of us who have been diagnosed with sleep
disorders, medications often become a part of our daily lives. Still, many people aren't aware of the possible
side effects of the sleep medication they take.
If you’re one of the many of us who take medications to help
us sleep, you should be aware that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
has requested that all manufacturers of sedative-hypnotic drug products, a
class of drugs used to induce and/or maintain sleep, strengthen their product
labeling to include stronger language concerning potential risks.
Sedative hypnotics (aka sleeping pills) have many possible
side effects and drug interactions, and patients using these medications noted
strange behavior in addition to the side effects listed on the initial FDA
label. Although all of these sleep aids can cause these problems, one medication,
Ambien (zolpidem) has been prominently featured in the news as a cause of these
problems, as it h...
I wrote an article earlier mentioning that the sleeping medication Ambien was found near the body of actor Heath Ledger. I speculated at the time that perhaps an overdose of Ambien had caused his death. Official investigation revealed that, although Ambien was absent in the actor's body, there was a mix of half a dozen other sleep medications, pain killers and anti-anxiety medications present. These medications are usually safe if taken in the recommended dosage. However, if dosage is increased, or if some pills are mixed with other pills, they can become lethal. The most dangerous are opioids (pain killers) that affect the central nervous system. Make sure you let your doctor know of all other medications, including over-the-counter and herbal remedies, when you are getting a new prescription. Never increase the amount you're taking without talking with your doctor. Never take medicines prescribed for other patients or give yours to someone else. Discuss...
Quite a few people with chronic pain use benzodiazepine medications like Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Klonopin. These medications lure people with the promise of relaxation; however, once hooked, it is difficult to shake loose from the benzodiazepine barb. Not many people realize the downside of these types of chemicals which include: confusion, distortion, forgetfulness, depression, tolerance, dependency, and rebound anxiety. Over time the barb digs in deep. Alternatives to benzodiazepines should be considered before becoming endlessly hooked.
One primary reason those with chronic pain use benzodiazepines is to treat muscle spasms. Increased tension can lead to increased pain; but, rebound anxiety created by benzodiazepines can also lead to increased pain as the medication effects wear off. Some alternative muscle relaxants might actually be a better solution for painful muscle spasms. One frequently overlooked medication is called Baclofen. This medication is not only useful to...
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