Preface: After reading many new posts by consumers on this medication, many of which are dated this month, panic attacks and nightmares seem to be one of the worst side-effects of this medication – therefore I am re-posting this advisory on what I believe is an extremely dangerous medication, which new posts by concerned consumers appear to substantiate. It’s also notable that many many people taking Lunesta are now taking other medications to mitigate the nightmares and panic attacks Lunesta seems to create; is seeking a good nights sleep sleep worthwhile when it takes other prescriptions just to combat the adverse reactions to Lunesta? In this author’s opinion, any medication that is a gateway to others just to be able to tolerate Lunesta is without question, a step backwards and does nothing more than increase rather than decrease an individuals dependence on drugs. Beware, Lunesta can be dangerous and downright life-threatening to those who have other serious health concerns. LINK There are many more sites that demonstrate panic attacks and vivid nightmares are a common side-effect of this medication. The original date of this post was March, 2007.
At this point, as far as I’m concerned, the Jury’s still out on Lunesta! Since my Mom took one tablet in conjunction with several other medications – nothing has been the same. She suffered some sort of a heart attack during her ordeal in ICU or the Emergency Room – now her feet are swelling (something entirely new) and I suppose that tomorrow the Doctor will inform us as to the extent of damage that her heart suffered.
I’ve been looking all over the Internet and there are stories of terrible side-effects, some that mirror many of the symptoms my Mom had – albeit without the combination of other medications, which taken together, may have contributed to her demise.
There are message board everywhere, and some of them supply hints and show that her “panic attack” which was far, far worse than that – could have been brought-on by the Lunesta. Again, when you give a pill to someone, they say it is making them sick – and then awaken the next morning completely out-of-their mind, you have to question the Lunesta.
This is more of an advisory – a caution if you will, to seniors that are prescribed this drug. If you are currently taking Namenda and/or Aricept – I’d suggest staying with your old sleep-aid until much more research has been accomplished on this drug. If you read through many of the complaints – and the site I’m quoting is only one of many – it seems that in a few cases, Lunesta causes just the opposite of what it was intended to do, keep the patient awake, cause terrible nightmares and panic attacks – symptoms that no one would wish on their elderly parents – whose systems are much more sensitive to drug interactions than those of us who are healthier.
Be careful – and if your old sleeping aid works, you might want to stay with it a while longer. I have a hunch that America will be hearing more about Lunesta in the future – and if you value your health, or that of a loved one, as being cautious could prevent issues and problems that are far worse than loss of sleep.
Lunesta Side Effects: LINK
Here’s another site, one that also states Lunesta has been known to cause infections and other symptoms that my Mother experienced!
Lunesta Side Effects
Although most people tolerate Lunesta well, it is still possible to develop certain side effects while taking this medication. Side effects that are most commonly reported include drowsiness, headache, and infections. Rare but possible side effects (occurring in less than 1 percent of patients) may include high blood pressure, sensitivity to the sun, and hiccups. When Lunesta side effects occur, they are typically minor, but be sure to seek medical attention immediately if you develop serious problems such as suicidal thoughts, anxiety, or hallucinations. (Emphasis added.) MORE
Read: My Mom’s Medicaid Nightmare: Updated – A turn for the Worse As you read her ordeal after she took the Lunesta, remember these “symptoms” or adverse reactions that have been attributed to Lunesta – and then make up your own mind. Is this a medication you would give to your own Mother?
Disclaimer: As a courtesy to Sepracor, the manufacturers of Lunesta, who is looking into this matter – and to protect myself from liability, this disclaimer is provided to make it abundantly clear “why” we believe Lunesta could be harmful to the elderly – and to be specific (in a general sort of way. I’m not laying out the entire situation yet, as information is still being gathered.) as to what happened, what we know, and what is a matter of speculation and/or suspicion.
My Mother was prescribed a new sleeping aid, Lunesta, and on the first night she took it, at 10:00 PM, the problems began to occur soon after taking the drug. She first complained that it was odd, that it didn’t appear to be making her sleepy. (From my observations, as well as the rest of the family, it appeared to have the opposite effect – kept her awake until 3:30 AM, and seemed to agitate her.)
She complained continuously that it was “making her feel weird” – and a complaint of generally feeling bad “all over.” I stayed awake until she went to sleep, finally comfortable that she was “OK.”
The next morning, she awoke and was so utterly confused – she couldn’t seem to understand even simple directions or requests; when the Home Health Care Nurse arrived, she was shocked – and immediately asked if Mom had taken any new type of medication, and I stated yes, Lunesta. I was told not to give it to her again, and to keep a close eye on her – as the nurse was visibly concerned over such a dramatic change in her behavior and demeanor.
Her condition grew worse, until finally at 1:30 AM – we called an ambulance. By that time, she was hysterical, seemed to be delirious – barely knew who I was, never mind the EMT’s who were attempting to save her life. They had to restrain her and tie down her hands and arms on the stretcher/gurney – as she appeared to be fighting for her life – against “what” none of us will ever know…
When I visited her the next morning, she had just finished having her first convulsion, and then went on to have several more during that Saturday and was immediately moved to ICU. Her heart and respiration were sky-high, and I asked what was going on. I was told that she appeared to be in a non-stop panic attack, hyperventilating, and none of the physicians could seem to bring her out of it. The experience was so traumatic that she had the first heart attack of her life, and I don’t know if it happened in the Ambulance, ER, or in ICU. It appeared she was semi-comatose, although still responded to pain.
The actual chronological chain of events is in another post (link is above), and to save time, I will not repeat what has already been written.
On the day she was being released from the hospital, a neurologist prescribed Cymbalta – and when the nurse tried to get her to take the medication, she refused. The nurse asked me if I would please help to convince her to take the medication, which I did – and it took almost 20 minutes. As confused as she was, she remembered taking a pill that night and getting sick – and associated that incident with the new medication she was prescribed. I find it remarkable that after so long of an ordeal, she still remembered when she actually started to become ill – and was terrified to take a “new” medication.
I thought that was over, but today on her Doctor’s appointment, Cymbalta was again prescribed, and when I attempted to give it to her a few minutes ago – she refused, demanding to know all of the adverse effects – frightened that it would make her sick. This time I only tried for a short while, and gave-up when she told me to “take it myself if I was so sure it was safe” – she states she will talk to the nurse tomorrow and then the Doctor. I guess she wants to be assured it won’t make her sick – as she believed the Lunesta did; I have tried to assure her that the Doctor wouldn’t prescribe anything that would hurt her – but unfortunately, that argument doesn’t hold water anymore, and I believe she will need psychological counseling to get over this fear of medication. I am particularly worried about this, as her condition is apt to change, and I can easily foresee her Doctor prescribing other medications in the future – and I do trust her Doctor. We may have a difference of opinion on some matters, but overall, he’s an exceptional physician, and I plan on using him as my personal Doctor if he will take me on as a patient.
We have no conclusive evidence that Lunesta caused an infection – if indeed that was what was really wrong. At this point in time, no pathogen has been identified – and even the physicians’ still don’t know what was actually wrong with her – which is why I reject the assumption by any physician that “it couldn’t have been the Lunesta.” It seems illogical to me to state it wasn’t the Lunesta, while at the same time admitting that no one is really sure what made her sick.
This I do know, and I would feel comfortable arguing it in front of any jury or magistrate – and am confident that a jury of her peers would agree. The Lunesta did cause an effect that was opposite of what it was represented to do, she stated loud and clear it “was making her sick,” and subsequently became worse, had a heart attack, and almost lost her life. Now she has a heart condition on top of everything else, and without any input from me or other family members, remembers herself that it was the Lunesta that initially made her feel sick.
Was Lunesta the primary cause of her illness? I honestly don’t know, and will not makes claims I cannot support. I do know that she did experience an adverse drug reaction, as we witnessed it ourselves, and we have independent witnesses to collaborate that statement – plus her own recollection and testimony, although admittedly a little fuzzy – but she remembers enough that she’s terrified to this day to take anything new.
I believe in occasional coincidences – but when someone takes a medication, and soon thereafter becomes ill, complaining all the while it was making her feel weird – it’s more than obvious that something in the Lunesta didn’t agree with her, and while it may not have been the sole cause of her illness, based on the adverse effects I have found posted on other sites on the Internet – it certainly appears to have been a contributing factor to whatever it was that almost killed her, and has caused irreversible harm to her health, not to mention the financial burden on her and the family.
I do not believe that Lunesta would be a danger to people that are younger, but I definitely believe that if an individual has a compromised immune system, or is elderly and weak with other health problems, this medication should be avoided at all costs until further research and case studies confirm, beyond a reasonable doubt, that it is safe for the elderly and those with other health issues. If you look through the personal accounts of adverse reactions as I have, it’s evident that the elderly have suffered the most from adverse reactions – and for them, it could be a matter of life or death.
Note: If you have information in regard severe or “rare” cases of suspected Lunesta adverse drug reactions, possible reactions with other drugs, especially if they occurred in an elderly patient, someone with a compromised immune system – or a suspicion that Lunesta has caused panic attacks, convulsions, or a loved one developed an “unknown infection” or other mysterious ailment, heart attack, etc., while taking this medication, please contact me at email@example.com; since this is a relatively new drug, I sincerely believe it is important to gather any and all information in regard “severe” adverse reactions to this medication – whether you reply to me, the makers of Lunesta, or even your local authorities.
If you do contact me and wish to remain anonymous – please be assured that your identity will not be made public and will be treated with the strictest of confidence.
NOTE: The “mild” heart attack I spoke of turned into congestive heart failure;(Another week in the hospital.) Now, on top of all of the other health issues, she has to take heart medications and must be monitored for certain symptoms on a daily basis. As I stated earlier in this post – and which is becoming more obvious as each day passes, the elderly with other health issues are more than like to be at serious risk to an adverse drug reaction to this medication than those with healthy systems.
3-26-08 It’s noteworthy that I did speak with the manufacturers of Lunesta, and even though they were “looking into this situation”, we have never heard another word from them. Not an apology – even verbal; how many people have died because of this drug, and as the side effects seem to be consistent with my Mom’s experience – how many more have seriously compromised their health by simply seeking a good nights sleep? My gut feeling is they honestly don’t give a damn and we will wait to see if a class action suit is filed against Sepracor, which we will join in, or in the alternative, instigate ourselves when our own time-table for settling this matter has passed – which is rapidly approaching.
04-03-08 We don’t have a firm answer yet, however, my Mother’s case is being reviewed by a law firm that may be engaged in beginning a class action suit against Sepracor in regard individuals that have been harmed by Lunesta! We have noted countless searches seeking to find out if there is a suit against this new sleeping aid – so keep an eye on this page, and when we have a final answer, hopefully within a week, we will advise those who are seeking legal aid who have been seriously harmed by Lunesta where they can find the help they require to seek redress for their injuries. We are currently unaware what the “threshold” for serious injury is – and when we have those facts, count on us to relay the information to the many of you that appear to be seeking help.