Skip Navigation Links



    Learn More     Subscribe    
Join Now!      Login
Breast Cancer Quiz
More than three-quarters of women who get breast cancer are over whtat age?
hat Doctors Don't Tell You
The Zs, the newest sleeping pills
All too dependent

© What Doctors Don't Tell You (Volume 15, Issue 11)

Known collectively as the Z drugs, zopiclone (a cousin of Lunesta), zolpidem (Ambien) and zaleplon (Sonata) have been touted as the non-addictive alternatives to their benzodiazepine predecessors.

Nevertheless, a substantial and growing body of evidence suggests otherwise. Both human and animal studies into the abuse potential of zaleplon, for example, have found that dependence on this drug is similar to that of the benzodiazepine triazolam (Psychopharmacology [Berl], 1999; 145: 39-51; Drug Alcohol Depend, 2000; 61: 69-84).

The reported symptoms of non-benzodiazepine dependence include altered consciousness and visual hallucinations (Eur Psychiatry, 1999; 14: 358-9), psychomotor agitation, abdominal pain and hypertension (Dtsch Med Wochenschr, 2001; 126: 653-4).

While those who have a history of drug addiction or abusive personalities seem likely to abuse these drugs (Encephale, 2004; 30: 153-5), there have also been reports of patients with non-abusive tendencies who have developed a dependence on them (Actas Esp Psiquiatr, 2002; 30: 259-62; Rev Neurol, 2002; 34: 253-6; BMJ, 1998; 316: 117). People with psychiatric disorders are also more vulnerable to such addiction (Nervenarzt, 1999; 70: 72-5).

In addition, a number of these patients have reported feelings of euphoria and physical wellbeing, which may go some way towards explaining the addictive potential of the drugs (Encephale, 1999; 25: 652-7).

Patients believed to be dependent on the Z drugs typically display signs of withdrawal, including heightened levels of anxiety and craving (Int Pharmacopsychiatry, 1982; 17 [Suppl 2]: 228-34; BMJ, 1998; 316: 117). Other effects noted in patients in withdrawal are epileptic fits (Pharmacopsychiatry, 1991; 24: 138-40), sweating, palpitations, hot flushes, tremors and rebound insomnia (BMJ, 1998; 316: 117).

Given the evidence mounting against the drug companies’ claims that the new-generation sleeping pills such as Lunesta are “non-narcotic”, it’s worth asking whether catching a few Zs is actually worth the risk of taking these Zs.

Tina Tan

Add your comment      
About The Author
What Doctors Don’t Tell You is one of the few publications in the world that can justifiably claim to solve people's health problems - and even save lives. Our monthly newsletter gives you the facts you won't read anywhere else about what works, what doesn't work and what may harm you in both orthodox and alternative medicine. We'll also tell you how you can prevent illness.......more
Share   Facebook   Buzz   Delicious   Digg   Twitter  
From Our Sponsor
Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training
     September 16-December 16, 2014
     Teleclass, CA USA
Additional Calendar Links
Wellness, Sensing, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us

Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.