Tags: Sleep | Aids | Motor | Vehicle | Accidents | Elderly | Women

Sleep Aids May Hike Car Accident Risk for Some

Sleep Aids May Hike Car Accident Risk for Some
(Copyright DPC)

By    |   Thursday, 18 February 2016 03:55 PM

An ingredient used in many popular  prescription sleep aids may hike the risk of motor vehicle accidents by up to 124 percent when taken by elderly drivers and women, a new study finds.

A new study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham finds that prescription sleep aids that contain zolpidem increased the risk of motor vehicle collisions in drivers aged 80 and older and also in women regardless of Age.  Zolpidem is an anti-insomnia drug that is found in Ambien, Intermezzo, Stilnox, as well as some others.

The researchers reviewed the five-year motor vehicle records of 2,000 north central Alabama zolpidem users, age 70 and up, and then estimated the at-fault motor vehicle accident rates comparing zolpidem users’ and nonusers’ data in age- and sex-defined subgroups.

The study found that the overall rate of motor vehicle crashes was 46 percent higher for current zolpidem users compared to nonusers. In women, the collision rate was 65 percent higher compared to 23 percent higher in men who used zolpidem, and for drivers age 80 and over, the collision rate was 124 percent higher for users compared to non-users, they said. 

They attributed the higher accident rate to the drug’s side effects, which includes drowsiness upon waking and impaired coordination. They also recommended health care practitioners consider proposing behavioral treatment for sleep to these groups, they said of the study, which appears in Sleep Medicine.

Such alternatives to prescription sleep medication would include relaxation techniques, melatonin supplements, mind and body approaches such as meditation, as well as stimulus control such as consistent sleep schedules, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol, they said.

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A new study finds that some sleeping aids may result in elderly and women drivers being involved in more car accidents.
Sleep, Aids, Motor, Vehicle, Accidents, Elderly, Women
Thursday, 18 February 2016 03:55 PM
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