Every drug affects every person differently. A new study from the University of Washington has found that those taking a sedative sleeping pill for the first time double their chances of being in a car accident for up to a full year. But it has long been recognized in the medical community that sleeping pills pose all kinds of risks including lasting effects on user after they wake.

Sleeping pills have many hazards, not least of which is that they can be addictive and ultimately worsen the quality of sleep. Some drugs, like Ambien, have faced increasing stiff regulation, to the point the Food and Drug Administration released a recommendation in 2013 that dosages be lowered so as not to affect performance the day after taking the medication.

Specifically, the FDA approved a label change for zolpidem (Ambien) and similar drugs in 2013. The changes recognized that higher doses could impact performance the morning after a dose, and that this impairment posed significant danger to those who drive or perform other duties that require mental alertness.

Other risks of sleeping pills

In addition, some of these drugs affect men and women differently. Most medical professionals are not well versed in sleep medications, and may adhere to the standard prescription information without investigating any other life events that can contribute to an irregular sleep pattern. When this happens, overdoses may cause problems including dependence and decreased performance at work and at home. Doctors unaffiliated with the study point out that merely prescribing pills is akin to sedating patients, as opposed to getting to the root of the problem which causes the insomnia in the first place. Doctors should be recommending cognitive behavioral therapies, not pills.

The effects of sleeping pills can be long-lasting. Drowsiness, lack of alertness and slow response times can easily contribute to a car crash. If the cause of your crash is found to be related to sleeping pills, and you were not adequately warned by a doctor or by the manufacturer of potential side effects, you may have a products liability lawsuit. Please contact us to find out more about your rights.