“Doctors are Handing Out these Drugs like Pez.”
Perhaps even more frightening than the news that popular sleep aid Ambien apparently causes people to get out of bed, get in their cars, and urinate in the street, is this warning label on the latest sleep drug to be widely marketed in the US, Lunesta:
Lunesta should only be taken immediately before bedtime. Be sure you have at least eight hours to devote to sleep before becoming active. You should not engage in any activity after taking Lunesta that requires complete alertness, such as driving a car or operating machinery. You should use extreme care when engaging in these activities the morning after taking Lunesta.
And, even more alarming:
Sleep medicines may cause a special type of memory loss or “amnesia.” When this occurs, a person may not remember what has happened for several hours after taking the medicine. This is usually not a problem since most people fall asleep after taking the medicine. Memory loss can be a problem, however, when sleep medicines are taken while traveling, such as during an airplane flight and the person wakes up before the effect of the medicine is gone. This has been called “traveler’s amnesia.”
Yikes. Valerian, anyone?