On January 10, 2012 the FDA issued a safety announcement, informing the public that zolpidem, an insomnia drug used in Ambien, Ambien CR, Zolpimist and Edluar, may cause impairment the morning after. Takers may experience a lack of alertness needed to properly conduct certain activities, including driving.

Insomnia Pills Known to Impair Activities

It is already known that any type of pill taken for insomnia can impair a person’s ability to be alert and of course driving falls within the activities not to participate in while under the influence of the medicine. Also, most drug labels already list that drowsiness is a side effect and that some could still experience drowsiness the day after the product.

Impairment of Mental Alertness Highest in Extended-Release Pills

The problem and the new warning stems from the revelation that patients can actually feel wide awake and fine yet still have their mental alertness impaired. The FDA indicates that the patients most at risk are likely taking an extended-release form of the drug, which is found in Ambien CR and its generic forms. Women are also more at risk since they eliminate the drug zolpidem slower than men do from their bodies.