Taiwan bans four types of sleeping pills for certain patients

Those who have experienced sleepwalking, semi-conscious movements not to be prescribed these medications

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/04/28
By:  Sophia Yang, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

File photo, a drugstore employee reaches for medicine from shelf. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday (April 29) banned doctors from prescribing medicine containing any of four ingredients to people who have experienced an episode of sleepwalking or other movements while in a partially conscious state.

The four medications are eszopiclone, zaleplon, zolpidem, and zopiclone. The last three are currently listed in Class IV drugs, meaning they are available only by prescription.

FDA division chief Hung Kuo-teng (洪國登) said that while these four drugs are most commonly prescribed for insomnia, there have been reports in various countries about their side effects, which include sleepwalking. So far, the agency has received around 200 complaints across Taiwan, including reports of sleepwalking and even sleepdriving. Fortunately, no major accidents related to these drugs have been reported.

According to official data, over 4 million people around the country take some form of sleeping pill each year.    [FULL  STORY]

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