FDA in the United States has urged drug companies to print strong new warnings on 13 drugs that are intended to treat sleep disorder. FDA has also ordered the companies to provide information to the patients on drug safety.
Last week the FDA had underlined the harmful effects of some of the drugs which involve life-threatening allergic reactions. Rare incidents of weird behavior like cooking food, eating and even driving while asleep were noted. The patients were not able to recollect any of these incidents after they got up.
Last year, Patrick Kennedy, a member of the United States Congress had reported about a sleep-driving incident. He had a mishap in which his car had crashed into a security barrier near the building where lawmakers meet. Mr. Kennedy reports that he had taken a sleep medicine earlier in the night. He said he was also being treated with a stomach sickness drug that can cause sleepiness.
Though the FDA had not reported any sleep driving incident, the New York Times had reported bizarre sleep incidents where people took the drug Ambien. Sleep-driving and sleep-walking were reported by some while a few others said they found evidence that they had cooked food or eaten in their sleep after they woke up. But they had no memory of carrying out these activities.
An official from FDA says these are rare incidents but there could more cases than are reported. He also said that if patients conformed to the directions given in the drugs, such incidents can be avoided. FDA has urged the drug companies to carry out studies to investigate the problem.