FDA strengthens warning about sleeping pill dangers

US and World

(CNN/WIAT) — The Food and Drug Administration is strengthening warnings about some commonly used sleep aids.

Black Box warnings are the FDA’s most prominent warning. The will be used with the popular sleep medications: Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata. The warning will alert patients to the risk of potentially dangerous behaviors associated with consuming the product.

“They wake up for some reason during sleep and they exhibit behaviors we would perform while awake, like walking, eating, potentially even driving,” Dr. Nancy Foldvary-Schaefer with the Sleep Disorder Center said.

The move follows several reports of rare but serious injuries and deaths resulting from sleepwalking, sleep-driving and other complex behaviors while sleeping, such as unsafe use of a stove.

After a safety review involving, the FDA investigated 66 cases in which patients engaged in activities resulting in serious injuries or death.

The agency also says doctors should not prescribe these medicines to patients who have experienced such episodes after taking these drugs.

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