FDA lowers starting dose for Lunesta

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The Food and Drug Administration announced last week that the sleep drug Lunesta should be started at a lower dose.

The decision is based after studies showed some patients are impaired the next morning after taking the drug, specifically with their psychomotor and memory skills. The drug also is called eszopiclone.

The recommended starting dose is now down to 1 mg for men and women. Those who are currently taking 2 mg or 3 mg doses should talk to a healthcare professional, the FDA said.

Long-term care facilities began turning to administering Lunesta and Ambien rather than older benzodiazepines. But another study showed residents could be at a higher risk for hip fracture when taking the insomnia medications.