May 1, 2013 12:21 PM by Michael Handler; KSBY News

Thousands end up in the hospital after taking popular sleep drug

Nearly 20,000 people went to an emergency room in 2010 after taking a popular sleep drug.

A new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration studied adverse reactions to Zolpidem. It's the active ingredient in Ambien and other prescription sleep drugs.

A majority of patients who had problems were women and were over the age of 45.

Side effects include dizziness, hallucinations and drowsy driving. The effects can be much more severe if the drug is combined with anti-anxiety medications, pain relievers or alcohol.



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