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Drugs You Don’t Need For Disorders You Don’t Have

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~~~~TheHuffingtonPostHighline1

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One evening in the late summer of 2015, Lisa Schwartz was watching television at her Vermont home when an ad for a sleeping pill called Belsomra appeared on the screen. Schwartz, a longtime professor at Dartmouth Medical College, usually muted commercials, but she watched this one closely: a 90-second spot featuring a young woman and two slightly cute, slightly creepy fuzzy animals in the shape of the words “sleep” and “wake.”

Schwartz had a reason to be curious about this particular ad. Two years earlier, she had been a member of the advisory panel that reviewed Belsomra for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration—and the process had not gone well for the manufacturer, Merck. The company saw its new drug as a major innovation, emphasizing that the medication acted on an entirely different mechanism within the brain than the previous generation of insomnia medicines like Ambien and Lunesta. During the drug’s development, Merck had suggested that it could treat insomnia more effectively and produce fewer side effects than existing medications. In 2012, one Merck scientist described the science underlying Belsomra as a “sea change.”

But when Schwartz and her colleagues scrutinized data from the company’s own large-scale clinical trials, what they found was a lot less impressive. People taking Belsomra fell asleep, on average, only six minutes sooner than people taking a placebo and stayed asleep for a mere 16 minutes longer. Some test subjects experienced worrying side effects, like next-day drowsiness and temporary paralysis upon waking. For a number of people, these effects were so severe that the researchers halted their driving tests, fearing someone would get into an accident. Because of these safety concerns, the FDA ended up approving the drug at a lower starting dosage than the company had requested—a dosage so low that a Merck scientist admitted it was “ineffective.”

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!!!!!BN2016-3-31YOU ARE GETTING SLEEPY. VERRRRY SLEEPY.1Image: Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post

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Click link below for article and video:

http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/sleep-advertising/

 

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Ambien Side Effects: What Does Science Say About The Sleep Medication? (VIDEO)

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science

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Hi everyone. Cara Santa Maria here. You’ve heard the stories, right? Someone takes Ambien so they can sleep, and next thing they know, they’re waking up halfway across town with no memory of how they got there. From sleepwalking to sleep driving–and even sleep sex–Ambien has been implicated in a number of strange sleep behaviors. A friend of a friend of mine took Ambien, went to bed, and about a week later, she got all these packages in the mail. Apparently, while she was sleeping, she’d ordered a bunch of “hooker clothes” (her words)! So what is it about Ambien that can induce such bizarre behavior, and why do people continue to take it?

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Ambien Side Effects

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.Click link below for story, videos, and slideshow:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/03/ambien-side-effects-sleep_n_2199712.html?utm_hp_ref=science

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