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New Sleep Drug Approved For Long-Term Use

I was quite alarmed this morning when I read a report about Lunesta, the first sleep drug approved by the FDA for long-term use (longer than 10 days). Not only will this give a boost to a lagging market niche -- and further line the pockets of Big Pharma. This newest approval will likely clear the way for people to use Lunesta and other similar drugs far longer than they should, perhaps months and even years.

That's a prescription ripe for disaster, especially since drugmaker Sepracor has published data on only six months of continuous use of Lunesta, and long-term effects are unknown!

Thankfully, some experts are voicing similar concerns. A sleep expert with Harvard Medical School felt the clinical trials of Lunesta still left patients with "significant insomnia," but the possibly huge avalanche of cash that could come from promoting this class of drugs was far too tempting for companies not to promote them.

Here's Sepracor's gameplan for unveiling this new "wonder" drug: A $60 million ad budget primarily spent on prime-time and cable television that targets consumers along with Sepracor's 1,250 sales reps calling on doctors. Sepracor's president compared their plans for the marketplace to "the order of what you would see and enjoy from McDonald's in the first quarter."

How contemptable can a company be? True insanity...

There are far more healthy ways to get better sleep and more of it:

  • Learn the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), my favorite energy psychology tool.
  • Sleep in complete darkness or as close to it as possible.
  • Turn off the TV before bed and read something spiritual or religious.
  • Avoid using loud alarm clocks.
  • Wear socks to bed.

Spartanburg Herald-Journal December 17, 2004

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