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Medical News and Perspectives
December 19, 2012

Zolpidem Increases Patients’ Fall Risk, Study Shows

JAMA. 2012;308(23):2447. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.128004

Zolpidem, the most commonly prescribed hypnotic agent in the United States, significantly increases the risk of falls among hospitalized patients, according to a new study.

Sleep specialists at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn, compared fall rates among 4962 hospitalized patients taking zolpidem with 11 358 hospitalized patients who didn't take the drug. During 2010, there were 151 falls among those taking zolpidem, for a fall rate of 3.04 per 100 patients. Among those who didn't take the drug there were 81 falls, for a fall rate of 0.71 per 100.

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