FDA Warns That Ambien's Effects Could Linger in Body

Lisa Stark reports the latest news on popular sleeping aid.
1:38 | 01/10/13

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Transcript for FDA Warns That Ambien's Effects Could Linger in Body
And now, a warning for millions of people who take sleeping pills like ambien. Today, the fda said there is evidence that these pills can stay in the body longer than thought. Including among drivers behind the wheel. And they plan to change the way some people use it, especially women. Here's abc's lee a stisa stark who saw first hand why. Reporter: We showed you how dangerous it is to drive under the influence of ambien. Here I am in a driving simulator, 30 minutes after taking the pill. Am I on the wrong side of the road? 90 minutes after downing the medication. I totally fell asleep for a second. And at four hours, still obviously impaired. Now, it turns out even those who wait the recommended eight hours of taking ambien and its generic versions may still be too impaired to drive. It's especially true for women who, for some unknown reason, do not clear the medicine as quickly. New studies show that after taking a regular 10 milliongram ambien or its generic, 15% of women will still be impaired eight hours later. And after taking the extended relief version, a whopping 33% won't be alert enough for things like driving. So, the fda says the new recommended dose for women, half of what it is now. But first, check with your doctor. Those relying on other sleeping medications shouldn't rest easy. The fda is examining those, as well. Lowering the dose will help ensure women are alert for that morning drive and it will also help reduce this. Whoa. That was close. Dangerous cases of sleep-driving. Lisa stark, abc news, washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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