Watching the nightly news has become an almost unendurable marathon of drug ads. You feel punch drunk at around the 20 minute mark from all the side effects being described.
I don’t know which drug has the record for highest ratio of promotion to caveats, but Intermezzo must come close. It’s a sleep aid.
Here is the text for the television ad for Intermezzo. The ad runs a minute and a half. The first 20 seconds is a promotion and the last 10 is a feel-good closer. The other full minute is all caveat.
Going to sleep may be easy but when you wake up in the middle of the night it can be frustrating. It’s hard to turn off and go back to sleep. Intermezzo is the first and only prescription sleep aid approved for use as needed in the middle of the night, when you can’t get back to sleep. It’s an effective sleep medicine you don’t take before bedtime. Take it in bed only when you need it, and have at least four hours left for sleep.
Do not take Intermezzo if you’ve had an allergic reaction to drugs containing Zolpidem, such as Ambien. Allergic reactions such as shortness of breath or swelling of the tongue or throat may occur, and may be fatal. Intermezzo should not be taken if you have taken another sleep medicine at bedtime or in the middle of the night, or taken alcohol that day. Do not drive or operate machinery until at least four hours after taking Intermezzo and you are fully awake. Driving, eating or engaging in other activities while not fully awake without remembering the event the next day have been reported. Abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucination and confusion. Alcohol, or taking other medications that make you sleepy, may increase these risks. In depressed patients worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. Intermezzo, like most sleep medicines, has some risk of dependency. Common side effects include headache, nausua and fatigue.
So if you suffer from middle of the night insomnia, ask your doctor about Intermezzo, and return to sleep again.