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Zolpidem Use Among Inpatients Associated with Higher Rate of Falls
Inpatients who were given zolpidem were six times more likely to fall than patients who were prescribed the drug but didn't take it, according to a cohort study in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.
Researchers assessed zolpidem prescriptions among all non-ICU, non-pregnant inpatients at the Mayo Clinic in 2010. After adjusting for factors such as delirium and insomnia, patients who were administered zolpidem had a higher rate of falls than those who did not take zolpidem (3.04 vs. 0.71 falls per 100 patients). The authors estimate for every 55 patients treated with zolpidem, one additional fall could be expected to occur.
They note that at their institution, order sets have been changed to discourage use of zolpidem, and they recommend that other hospitals follow suit.
Journal of Hospital Medicine article (Free abstract)
Background: Journal Watch General Medicine summary on impaired balance and zolpidem (Your Journal Watch registration required)
Published in Physician's First Watch November 20, 2012
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