In case you were sleeping when the news was announced last week, generic versions of Ambien are on the way. As Reuters reported:
The Food and Drug Administration said … that regulators had approved generic versions of Ambien, a blockbuster sleeping pill from Sanofi-Aventis. The drug, also known as zolpidem tartrate, has been linked to potential risks like driving while asleep and allergic reactions. Like Ambien and other popular sleep drugs, the new generics will also have to carry warnings on their product labels, the agency said.
Manufacturers cleared to make generic versions include Mylan Laboratories, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Roxane Laboratories, Watson Laboratories, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Dr. ReddyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Laboratories, Apotex and Synthon Pharmaceuticals. Genpharm, Mutual Pharmaceutical, Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Carlsbad Technology and Lek Pharmaceutical also won agency approval. The generic makers will sell the drug, approved to treat short-term bouts of insomnia, in 5-milligram and 10-milligram doses.
A spokeswoman for Sanofi, Emmy Tsui, said the drug maker would continue to sell Ambien as well as its extended release version, Ambien CR, which is also approved to help people stay asleep.