Does drug advertising lead to over-medicating?

Austin Kirk

By Austin Kirk
Posted October 2, 2006


Recent reports of serious injuries from sleepwalking, sleep eating and sleep driving as a result of Ambien side effects calls into question the growing use of direct to consumer advertising by pharmaceutical companies.

Approximately one in six Americans have difficulty sleeping on a frequent basis. As a result of heavy marketing from the manufacturers of Ambien and other sleep aid drugs, more and more of those individuals are asking their doctors to prescribe medications.

Since 2001, use of sleep pills is up nearly 50%. Advertisements from the manufacturers are not directed to doctors and are not designed to educate the medical community. Rather, the advertisements are directed to consumers for the purpose of encouraging people with trouble sleeping to seek out the medication from their doctors.

Most experts recommend that prior to taking a prescription drug as a sleep aid, over the counter remedies or changes in habits and lifestyle should be pursued. In many cases, medications are being prescribed before these other steps are taken which could improve an individuals ability to sleep. For many who suffer only mild insomnia symptoms, the risks associated with Ambien sleepwalking may outweigh the benefits of the medication.

A recent study reported that 4.5% of those with sleeping problems used alternative medications. In the study, Nancy J. Pearson, of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland, said �Most respondents who used herbal therapies or relaxation techniques found these therapies helpful for managing insomnia or sleeping trouble.

Ambien is expected to be available as a generic in the near future, despite the serious injuries suffered as a result of users sleepwalking, sleep eating and sleep driving. Other sleeping pills which are widely marketed include: Lunesta, Rozerem, Sonata and Ambien CR.

Saiontz & Kirk has been reviewing Ambien side effect lawsuit claims for individuals who have suffered serious physical injuries as a result of sleepwalking, sleep driving and sleep eating. Catastrophic injuries can occur when users who are still asleep attempt to operate a motor vehicle, attempt to prepare meals, eat raw meat or engage in other unsafe activities they would not do while they are awake. If you, a friend or relative have suffered a serious injury as a side effect of Ambien, request a free claim evaluation.

Other medications which are well known for direct to consumer advertising have also been linked to serious side effects, including: Viagra, Fosamax and Vioxx.

1 Comment • Add Your Comments

  • Holdem Blackjack says:

    Very nice site – bookmark added!

    Posted on November 3, 2006 at 10:17 pm

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