All sleeping pills may sometimes cause a bizarre but dangerous side effect -- sleep-driving, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned.
Those who take the pills could go on to drive cars when not fully awake. They may have no memory of having taken a tablet at all.
Also they could be making phone calls or fixing and eating food even while still asleep, not realizing that are yet to wake up.
Still worse, those who consume such pills could be subject to life-threatening allergic reactions, as well as severe facial swelling, both of which can occur the first time the pills are taken.
The FDA has now ordered the makers of 13 different sleep-inducing pills to strengthen warnings on their labels on both counts and has asked them to write letters to doctors to notify them of the new warnings.
All prescription sleeping pills now will come with special brochures called "Medication Guides," written in a simple language and will detail the risks for patients.
This entire class of medicine, known as sedative-hypnotic products, carry these rare risks, the FDA says.
Further since some drugs may cause the problems more than others, the FDA has also recommended that manufacturers conduct clinical trials to determine the risks involved.