Risk of impairment the morning after use of sleep aid drugs
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has finally announced that the sleep drug Lunesta (eszopiclone) should be prescribed, initially, at a lower recommended starting dose. This is due to many factors, but possibly the most important is that eszopiclone levels in some patients may be too high. This has been studied due to women being prescribed the same amounts as men, even though there is data to suggest women process medications at different rates than men, and may be more susceptible to accidental overdoses. Eszopiclone was found at levels high enough, in the morning after use, to impair activities that require alertness, including driving, even if they feel fully awake. There have been a number of accidents where the at-fault driver was under the influence of a sleeping aid taken the night before.