The Hypnotizing Effect of Lunesta
I have always had my worries about drugs. Even as a kid I would never touch any drug despite the peer pressure or the promise of dream-like experiences. But now it feels as though we are under peer pressure as adults to take pharmaceutical drugs. Every time I open a magazine or turn on the television there is an avid marketing campaign to get me to overwhelm my primary care physician with questions about prescription drugs. I can just imagine the peer pressure being exerted on physicians for something like Lunesta when a patient has chronic insomnia, just because of the influence of marketing. Then the physician has to spend another ten minutes telling you why that might not be the best choice, because undoing brilliant marketing is not an easy task. And then your 15 minutes is up until your next physical! It's only been since a change in FDA oversight in 1997 that drug companies took advantage of directly advertising to consumers instead of focusing on doctors. This led to ads using medical "experts" such as Robert Jarvik, the inventor of the artificial heart, who was shown heartily recommending Lipitor for his cholesterol while rowing a boat on a pristine lake. That ad was part of Pfizer's $260 million dollar campaign to get you to ask for Lipitor. And it worked! Despite the fact that Robert Jarvik was never licensed as a medical doctor, cannot prescribe any medication, wasn't actually the inventor of the artificial heart and according to the ad camerman, never even rowed the boat.
Now drug advertising has had to come up with a new plan because of stricter requirements by the FDA to talk more about the risks of the drug. This was because ads like the Lipitor ad never mentioned any side effects and gave the impression that drugs were great for everyone, even "Dr" Jarvik. Now ads appeal to your emotions, with family love, happy lives and cute puppies. Lunesta is the epitome of this generation of drug ads.
When you're awake at 3:00 AM and you're scrolling through the channels, one of those Lunesta ads is enough to make you leave 20 messages on your physician's voice mail. Or to frenetically search the internet for one of those Canadian pharmacies that ship overnight! In fact, the gentle wings of Lunesta look mighty comfortable settled over that actress looking like she's enjoying the sleep of a queen. But then the soothing narrator begins, almost like she's hypnotizing us as we're drooling over such restful sleep.
"Lunesta should only be taken if you have 8 hours to devote to sleep" (because you'll feel like a zombie otherwise).
"Until you know how you will react to Lunesta, you should not drive or operate machinery" (which we all do while we're sleeping).
"Walking, eating, driving, or engaging in other activities while asleep without remembering it the next day have been reported" (what other activities have been reported? What a great excuse for a booty call!).
"Other abnormal behaviors include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations, and confusion. In depressed patients, worsening of depression including risk of suicide may occur. These risks may increase if you drink alcohol" (So someone could become overly aggressive, kill someone because of a hallucination and then commit suicide?).
Severe allergic reactions such as swelling of the tongue and throat occur rarely and may be fatal" (how can that be an acceptable side effect of a sleep medication?).
"Lunesta, like most sleep medicines, carries some risk of dependency. Side effects may include unpleasant taste, headache, morning drowsiness, and dizziness" (none of which is true with natural options by the way).
Even with those side effects and the potential for becoming the next serial killer while sleeping, people line up around the block for Lunesta. It is currently the most prescribed sleep medication on the market. Which is great for Sunovion, the US manufacturer of Lunesta, since they spent $183 million just in the first year Lunesta came out hypnotizing us into buying it and ignoring the potential side effects. (Lipitor named above spent its total over the the first four years of the drug's release).
This is even more of a reason to do your research and to look for natural options. I can tell how many people are used to drugs because they will always ask me when I suggest a natural option, what are the side effects? The answer is none. Natural options do not have side effects because they work naturally with the body instead of forcing the body to do something it doesn't want to do. You may need sleep, but it's better to figure out why you aren't sleeping and support the body to do it naturally, then to simply ignore the underlying issue for the sake of a drugged sleep instead.
I do have bouts of insomnia, but I've discovered what the triggers are and I know what to do naturally to help me sleep when I know I won't sleep well. But we all would love to have peaceful sleep every single night, but not at the cost of our health and possibly our lives. With Lunesta, we might be sleeping with the fishes as my grandfather used to say. Maybe they should show that with the hypnotic side effect narration...