All known prescription sleeping pills may at times cause a bizarre behavior called sleep-driving, federal health officials warned Wednesday.
It is similar to sleepwalking, but while driving your car. Imagine getting up in the middle of the night and going for a drive, with no memory of doing so.
The Food and Drug Administration has more than a dozen reports would not say exactly how many cases of sleep-driving it had linked to insomnia drugs, but they believe many more case exist.
But because sleep-driving is so dangerous to the public the FDA ordered a series of strict new steps Wednesday, mostly cutting the dosage in half for most users. The makers of 13 sleep drugs must put warnings on their labels about two known serious side effects:
- Sleep-driving, along with other less dangerous complex sleep-related behaviors like making phone calls, fixing and eating food, and having sex while still asleep.
- Life-threatening allergic reactions, as well as severe facial swelling, both of which can occur either the first time the pills are taken or anytime thereafter.
Being unable to get a restful night’s sleep can seem like the worst experience in the world; consequently, the constant lack of “zzz”s can lead you to ask your doctor for a medical solution to your problem. However, if you (or a loved one) has been taking Ambien to induce slumber, you may be putting yourself at a great risk.
Commonly prescribed and heavily marketed as a cure for insomnia, Ambien (also known as Zolpidem, Stilnox, Stilnoct, Hypnogen, or Myslee) has only been around since the early-to-mid 1990s. Its uses have varied over the years, with many physicians prescribing the drug for those with conditions such as restless leg syndrome and seizures as well as insomnia.
Unfortunately, some drug addicts, particularly those addicted to drugs such as cocaine and crack, have started to use Ambien as a means of “coming down” from a high. Though this is an illegal use of the legal drug, it still gives a clear indication that Ambien is far from being “safe,” especially in the wrong hands.
Although Ambien received FDA approval over a decade ago, Ambien has been recently linked to severe negative side effects including hallucinations and/or amnesia when taken in high doses. This gives pause to anyone concerned about what they are putting into their bodies (or the bodies of those they love.)
Some patients of Ambien have also claimed that its effectiveness comes with a high price of addiction. Even when they have taken Ambien for short periods, they feel a remarkable sense of “let down” after discontinuing its use.
Additionally, Ambien has been connected to cases of persistent vegetative states (PVS), conditions from which patients are usually not expected to recover. In fact, United Kingdom medical reports tell of clients who have fallen into a PVS after taking Ambien.
We, too, are concerned about Ambien and want to educate the public about its defections. However, we need your help to prevent further damage to any other innocent persons, as without specific data, it will be impossible to stop the drug makers of Ambien from endangering other adults.
If you or someone you know have taken Ambien and experienced severe or permanent side effects, we urge you to call our office today. You’ll owe us no money; what we request is your experience, not your savings. Without your help, the makers of defective drug products such as Ambien will never get the message that their medications may be causing irreparable harm.
Some uses of Sanofi-Aventis’s medication Ambien are getting much more than they bargained for when they take their bedtime prescriptions. Though the drug is prescribed for those who cannot sleep, it has been linked to a strange behavior in some insomniacs – sleepwalking.
Though these people ostensibly get mental “rest” while taking Ambien, their bodies certainly do not. And the pills seem to make them do even crazier things than stroll through the house in the wee hours of the morning. Some have driven while in a state of half-wake/half-asleep. Some have had phone conversations with friends and families while they somnambulate. And some are evening claiming that the drug has led to their committing illegal acts.
In fact, a navy lieutenant based in Tampa, Florida, reportedly stole groceries from a local store while taking Ambien. She claims to have no recollection of the event, nor did a polygraph test reveal that she was being deceitful when she said she didn’t remember her theft.
Not surprisingly, Ambien’s marketer Sanofi-Aventis is doing research on its own before making any settlements; however, attorneys on the side of the claimants are confident that their clients will receive some form of restitution for Ambien’s unwelcome and unwanted side effects.
Since 2002, more and more patients who took Ambien have described this adverse reaction to the drug, leading many in the medical world to wonder about the safety of the most prescribed sleep-aid medication. For instance, if people who take Ambien can commit acts without any memory of them, is it really fair to have Ambien on the market? After all, Ambien users who are driving in their sleep could wind up hurting or killing other people, which would lead to even greater troubles for Sanofi-Aventis.
The Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) has not pulled Ambien from the market, but at our law firm, we’re concerned that Ambien may actually be defective. Therefore, if you or someone you care about has suffered ill effects from using the medication to treat episodes of insomnia, we encourage you to give us a call.
Our team of legal experts is here for you and will represent you with integrity, respect, and confidentiality. Together, we’ll let makers like Sanofi-Aventis know that they cannot continue to put people’s lives in jeopardy by marketing drugs that may not have been completed tested for safety before being introduced to the public.