Consumer Reports finds growth in sleep aid use

August 14, 2006

A new article in Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs is reporting that pharmacists filled 43 million prescriptions for sleep drugs in 2005, a number that is up 32% from 2001. The report also notes that direct-to-consumer advertising contributes to increased use of sleep aids.

Consumer Reports finds growth in sleep aid use

A new article in Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs is reporting that pharmacists filled 43 million prescriptions for sleep drugs in 2005, a number that is up 32% from 2001. The report also notes that direct-to-consumer advertising contributes to increased use of sleep aids. Newer insomnia drugs, such as Ambien and Ambien CR (zolpidem, Sanofi-Aventis), Lunesta (eszopiclone, Sepracor), Sonata (zaleplon, Jones Pharma), and Rozerem (ramelteon, Takeda), are not necessarily better than the older, less expensive drugs such as OTCs or benzodiazepines, according to Consumers Union, publisher of the report. The newer drugs' side effects can range from dizziness and day-after-sleepiness to cognitive impairment and rebound insomnia. The report urges consumers to speak with their healthcare providers to determine their true need for treatment since behavioral therapy alone can improve sleep habits and attitudes toward sleeping and bedtime.

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