– Research carried out among heart attack victims found a higher rate among those who took the medication
– Experts in China say taking 60 pills can increase risk by up to 50 per cent
– Makers Sanofi Inc say there are no known adverse cardiac reactions to the drug
A sleeping pill prescribed to thousands of patients can increase the risk of heart attacks by up to 50 per cent, according to scientists.
Research carried out among heart attack victims found that numbers were higher among those who had taken zolpidem tablets, prescribed in the UK under the name Stilnoct and in the US as Ambien.
Scientists have linked taking zolpidem to an increased threat of heart attacks, and believe that taking the equivalent of 60 of the pills can increase the risk by as much as 50per cent.
Even taking just four pills with a dose of 35 miligrams per year increases the risk of a life-threatening cardiac episode by 20per cent.
The study, which was carried out by experts at the China Medical University in Taiwan, is the first to link zolpidem with cardiovascular problems.
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