Sign Petition

Ban Stilnox, Imovane and related sleep medications

4,317 Signatures Goal: 5,000

We, the undersigned, call upon the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to ban immediately zolpidem, zopiclone and all other non-benzodiazepine hypnotics for the treatment of insomnia and other sleep-related disorders. Zolpidem is one of the most frequently-prescribed hypnosedatives in the world. In Australia alone in 2006, approximately 1.2 million boxes of Stilnox (the most popular brand of sleeping tablets containing zolpidem) were dispensed, making it the second most commonly-prescribed sleeping tablet in the country. However, emerging post-marketing evidence suggests that Stilnox and other so-called \'z drugs\' (which also includes zopiclone and zaleplon) are associated with a range of neurological and psychiatric effects, including sleep walking, sleep driving, sleep eating and sleep sex. Other commonly reported side effects include hallucinations, nightmares, daytime drowsiness and fogginess, serious short-term memory loss, severe depression, weight loss, fatigue, loss of concentration, nervousness, confusion, anxiety and panic attacks, altered personality, loss of sexual inhibitions, paranoia, delusions, loss of rational thought, blackouts, amnesia, de-personalisation, addiction, self-mutilation, psychotic episodes and criminal behaviour. There have also been a significant number of reports in Australia and overseas of patients experiencing strong suicidal ideation, as well as several reports of attempted suicides, accidents occasioning death and completed \'suicides\'. Many of these side effects have the potential to impact not just on the individual taking the drug/s, but on other members of the public as well - particularly in the case of adverse reactions such as sleep driving. It has been reported that Stilnox is also commonly used as a recreational drug, with users taking it for its hallucinogenic and mind-altering effects. Additionally, recent reports that zolpidem has been successful in waking patients from long-term comas must surely alert the TGA to the fact that zolpidem is no ordinary sleep medication. Clearly, the potential side effects of zolpidem and zopiclone far outweigh the purported benefits, particularly when there are suitable alternatives on the market in the form of benzodiazapenes, and when there are many other remedies and therapies available to the general public for the treatment of insomnia. While the manufacturers of Stilnox and related drugs have been able to classify many of the serious side effects that presented themselves in clinical trials under the deceptively innocuous term \'complex sleep-related behaviour\', several other side effects that members of the public have reported experiencing could only ever be reported through anecdotal evidence, as it would obviously be highly unethical and dangerous to replicate such situations in a controlled clinical trial. Therefore, we believe that the TGA must start to take seriously the thousands of reports that have been made of the dangerous, and sometimes fatal reactions to these drugs. Both zolpidem and zopiclone have been listed on the WHO Drugs Schedule 5 Drugs of Dependence and Abuse since 2002. Unfortunately, as Australian doctors have not been alerted to this fact, these drugs are far more readily prescribed in Australia than in the UK, Europe and Canada. We strongly believe that the recent attempts by the TGA to increase warnings about the potential dangers of these drugs do not go far enough in alerting the general public to the serious and potentially devastating side effects these drugs can cause, nor do they fulfil the TGA\'s mandate for \'ensuring the quality, safety and efficacy of medicines in Australia\'. We urge the TGA to act according to its mandate to protect the Australian general public by immediately banning zolpidem, zopiclone and other non-benzodiazepine hypnotics for the treatment of insomnia and other sleep-related disorders.


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  • K
    K India, Trivandrum
    Nov 24, 2016
    Nov 24, 2016
    I'm interested to learn more about RCTs involving long-term use of Stilnox and recommendations for less-addicting alternatives, even though Stilnox is one of the least addicting strong sleep medications I know. I was prescribed Stilnox in 2009, and the doctor has prescribed it for me ever since. I use it sparingly, perhaps 5 pills a month, about once a week on that night when I've been in bed for hours and still can't fall asleep. I also use valerian root, camomile, yoga, meditation, accupuncture, ayurveda, etc. I am well versed in alternative medicine, but alas at times must take a drug, and Stilnox had the least side effects on me than other sleep aids. I never drink alcohol when I take Stilnox. I have experienced symptoms of sleep walking and even sleep using the computer. Reading over the article by SIOBHAN COSTIGAN and other media on this drug, I am interested to learn more about studies involving alternative treatments among patients who responded well to Stilnox. Please do consider viable and affordable alternatives.
  • Bobby wenlock
    Bobby wenlock United Kingdom, Hebburn
    Oct 15, 2016
    Oct 15, 2016
    This drug us hideous, i am seriously addicted to this stuff.
    Every single day i have to inject it directly into my scrotum, neck and anal cavity, effects come on within seconds and last all morning.
    I have also begun drugging livestock and children with this drug for sexual pleasures..
  • marie white
    marie white Australia, Brisbane
    Oct 07, 2016
    Oct 07, 2016
    The effects speak for themselves. This is a toxic effect therefore a toxin. What is there to discuss .
  • Craig Cavenett
    Craig Cavenett Australia, Melbourne
    Sep 28, 2016
    Sep 28, 2016
    Car accident, job loss, court appearances, thousands paid out in legal fees and car repairs.
    How many lives must be destroyed before Stilnox is banned!
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    Tanielle Nasser South Africa
    2 days ago
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    K India
    1 week ago
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    Nicole Bucci Australia
    4 weeks ago
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    Angela Ford Australia
    1 month ago
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    Bobby wenlock United Kingdom
    2 months ago
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    marie white Australia
    2 months ago
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    Craig Cavenett Australia
    2 months ago
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    Desiree Cook Australia
    3 months ago
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    Georgia Taylor Australia
    5 months ago
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    richard brown United Kingdom
    6 months ago
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    Julie Bay Australia
    7 months ago
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    Hassan France
    8 months ago
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    Poppy May Australia
    9 months ago
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    saidi France
    10 months ago
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    louis United States
    12 months ago
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