Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Dangerous Side Effects of Ambien

Ambien is a widely prescribed sedative used to treat insomnia. Many people use Ambien, but some have dangerous side-effects including violent outbursts, nocturnal binge eating, hallucinations, sleepwalking episodes, engaging in sex, making phone calls, purchasing items from the internet, and even driving while asleep.

People who ate while sleeping found candy wrappers in their beds, lighted stoves, missing food, and woke up to flour all over their kitchen from baking. Some were surrounded by potato chip crumbs in their beds, not knowing how they got there.

Sleep drivers recalled frightening events where they were arrested in their pajamas, but didn’t know how or why. They claim to remember going to bed only to wake up handcuffed, not knowing how they got into their car.

Zolpidem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
These behaviors go beyond the symptoms of sleepwalking. Dr. Russell Katz, the F.D.A’s director for neurology products said, “we do believe that sleepwalking is different from these behaviors. Sleepwalking is considered more of a reflex. These behaviors are complex and they’re different fundamentally because of the complexity. People get up, they take their car keys and they go drive. As you might imagine, that might be potentially dangerous to the patient as well as others.” However, Dr. Katz also mentioned that the side effects were rare, and drinking alcohol before taking the drug increases the chances of having a strange side effect.

William C. Head, a defense lawyer in Atlanta who handles impaired-driving cases said “ninety percent of these cases involve alcohol as well.” Many times people who have been arrested only had one or two glasses of wine, but they took ambien after consuming alcohol.

Any prescription drug should be carefully considered by the patient. Being aware of all side-effects and warnings is important. Even if a drug is prescribed by a doctor, the patient has a choice if he wants to take it. Ambien isn’t labeled as an addictive drug, but many have become addicted to it and sought treatment for Ambien abuse. If you are struggling with addiction to Ambien or any other drug, help is out there. Drug and addiction rehab centers help people find peace and recovery.
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