The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning regarding unusual side effects of prescription sleeping pills. The makers of 13 prescription sleeping aids will now be required to put warnings on their labels cautioning that the drug may cause sleep-driving, along with other less dangerous “complex sleep-related behaviors” – like making phone calls, fixing and eating food, and having sex while still asleep.
In short, the FDA advises that people taking the drugs may get up in the middle of the night and drive, or engage in other behavior and have no memory of doing so.
The more dangerous side effects like sleep driving are rare, but the FDA is requiring the warning because of the obvious danger involved, and because there are precautions patients can take to avoid the problem. To lower the risk, patients should never take a prescription sleep aid with alcohol or any other sedating drug, or take a dosage higher than is recommended.
The drugs affected by the FDA’s warning are: Ambien; Butisol sodium; Carbrital; Dalmane; Doral; Halcion; Lunesta; Placidyl; Prosom; Restoril; Rozerem; Seconal; and Sonata.