We have found an IELTS reading simulation exercises--Sleep medication.
Sleep medication linked to bizarre behaviour
12:44 06 February 2007
NewScientist.com news service
New evidence has linked a commonly prescribed sleep medication with bizarrebehaviours, including a case in which a woman painted her front door in hersleep.
UK and Australian health agencies have released information about 240 casesof odd occurrences, including sleepwalking, amnesia and hallucinations amongpeople taking the drug zolpidem.
While doctors say that zolpidem can offer much-needed relief for peoplewith sleep disorders, they caution that these newly reported cases should prompta closer look at its possible side effects.
Zolpidem, sold under the brand names Ambien, Stilnoct and Stilnox, iswidely prescribed to treat insomnia and other disorders such as sleep apnea.Various forms of the drug, made by French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis,were prescribed 674,500 times in 2005 in the UK.
A newly published report from Australia’s Federal Health Departmentdescribes 104 cases of hallucinations and 62 cases of amnesia experienced bypeople taking zolpidem since marketing of the drug began there in 2000. Thehealth department report also mentioned 16 cases of strange sleepwalking bypeople taking the medication.
In one of these sleepwalking cases a patient woke with a paintbrush in herhand after painting the front door to her house. Another case involved a womanwho gained 23 kilograms over seven months while taking zolpidem. “It was onlywhen she was discovered in front of an open refrigerator while asleep that theproblem was resolved,” according to the report.
The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, meanwhile,has recorded 68 cases of adverse reactions to zolpidem from 2001 to 2005.
The newly reported cases in the UK and Australia add to a growing list ofbizarre sleepwalking episodes linked to the drug in other countries, includingreports of people sleep-driving while on the medication. In one case, atransatlantic flight had to be diverted after a passenger caused havoc aftertaking zolpidem.
There is no biological pathway that has been proven to connect zolpidemwith these behaviours. The drug is a benzodiazepine-like hypnotic that promotesdeep sleep by interacting with brain receptors for a chemical calledgamma-aminobutyric acid. While parts of the brain become less active during deepsleep, the body can still move, making sleepwalking a possibility.
The product information for prescribers advises that psychiatric adverseeffects, including hallucinations, sleepwalking and nightmares, are more likelyin the elderly, and treatment should be stopped if they occur.
Patient advocacy groups say they would like government health agencies anddrug companies to take a closer look at the possible risks associated with sleepmedicines. They stress that strange sleepwalking and sleep-driving behaviourscan have risky consequences.
“When people do something in which they’re not in full control it’s alwaysa danger,” says Vera Sharav of the New York-based Alliance for Human ResearchProtection, a US network that advocates responsible and ethical medical researchpractices.
Tried and tested
“The more reports that come out about the potential side effects of thedrug, the more research needs to be done to understand if these are real sideeffects,” says sleep researcher Kenneth Wright at the University of Colorado inBoulder, US.
Millions of people have taken the drug without experiencing any strangeside effects, points out Richard Millman at Brown Medical School, director ofthe Sleep Disorders Center of Lifespan Hospitals in Providence, Rhode Island,US. He says that unlike older types of sleep medications, zolpidem does notcarry as great a risk of addiction.
And Wright notes that some of the reports of “sleep-driving” linked tozolpidem can be easily explained: some patients have wrongly taken the drugright before leaving work in hopes that the medicine will kick in by the timethey reach home. Doctors stress that the medication should be taken just beforegoing to bed.
The US Food & Drug Administration says it is continuing to "activelyinvestigate" and collect information about cases linking zolpidem to unusualside effects.
The Ambien label currently lists strange behaviour as a “special concern”for people taking the drug. “It’s a possible rare adverse event,” saysSanofi-Aventis spokesperson Melissa Feltmann, adding that the strangesleepwalking behaviours “may not necessarily be caused by the drug” but insteadresult from an underlying disorder. She says that “the safety profile [ofzolpidem] is well established”. The drug received approval in the US in1993.接下来为大家介绍"解析雅思阅读模拟练习：Sleep medication"
IELTS reading needs more practice.An article,Sleep medication, is not enough.We hope that the majority of candidates continue to work hard.