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Ambien Side Effects, Sleep Driving Lawsuits

Ambien Side Effects May Be Linked to Sleep Driving Lawsuits

Ambien | Lawsuits, Lawyers | Side Effects: Severe Allergic Reactions, Complex Sleep-related Behaviors, Sleep Driving

Ambien Side Effects

On March 14, 2007, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) demanded that Sanofi Aventis, the manufacturer of Ambien, a sedative-hypnotic drug toughen its product labeling to include harder language concerning potential risks. These risks include severe allergic reactions and complex sleep-related behaviors, which may include sleep driving. Sleep driving is defined as driving while not fully awake after ingestion of a sedative-hypnotic product, with no memory of the event.

Along with the labeling revisions, the FDA requested that Sanofi Aventis send letters to health care providers to notify them about the new warnings. Other sedative-hypnotic medications that are the focus of the revised labeling include:

  • Butisol Sodium (Medpointe Pharm HLC)
  • Carbrital (Parke-Davis)
  • Dalmane (Valeant Pharm)
  • Doral (Questcor Pharms)
  • Halcion (Pharmacia & Upjohn)
  • Lunesta (Sepracor)
  • Placidyl (Abbott)
  • Prosom (Abbott)
  • Restoril (Tyco Healthcare)
  • Rozerem (Takeda)
  • Seconal (Lilly)
  • Sonata (King Pharmaceuticals)

Concerns have been raised about the safety of Ambien (zolpidem tartrate), the anti-insomnia drug manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis. Reports are surfacing people taking Ambien are experiencing sleepwalking, memory loss / amnesia, binge eating while sleeping, having sex while sleeping, and other disturbing side effects. Some of the most serious side effects involve Ambien users having auto accidents the day after taking Ambien due to daytime sleepiness and the lingering feeling of being drugged. One disturbing report concerned a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston who could not recall advising residents on rounds the morning after taking Ambien.

Ambien Studies Researchers in Minnesota are looking at instances where people taking Ambien for insomnia got up in the middle of the night and engaged in such behaviors as binge eating. The patients reportedly remembered nothing of the experience upon awakening. Dr. Michael Cramer Vornemann, a researcher at the University of Minnesota Medical School and the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, said it appears that those with a prior history of sleep walking and also women may be at higher risk for experiencing these side effects. The researchers believe that thousands of people taking Ambien experience sleep related eating disorders. The researchers looked at older sleep aids and found that these side effects are unique to Ambien, and possibly other newer medications such as Lunesta and Sonata. Mayo Clinic research conducted earlier on Ambien had similar findings. Consumer group Public Citizen has called for very limited use of Ambien because it causes temporary amnesia.

Sleep Medication Usage According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, an estimated 30 million people in the U.S. take sleep medications, which represents a huge increase in recent years. The increase is partly due to manufacturers of anti-insomnia drugs investing heavily in consumer advertising. Sleep-induced side effects may be rising because of the increasing use of Ambien and other anti-insomnia medications.

Legal Help for Ambien Side Effects Victims

If you or a loved one took Ambien and suffered memory loss, sleep walking, or other harmful side effects, contact us for a free case evaluation about your case today. Please fill out the short form at the right, or call our lawyers at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).


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Ambien, Lunesta, Other 'New-Generation' Sleep Aids Linked to Bizarre Behavior

May 6, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP
New generation sleeping pills, like Lunesta and Ambien, may be as likely to cause serious adverse reactions as older sleep aids.  While older pills are much more likely to cause daytime sedation, addiction and withdrawal symptoms, drug classified as nonbenzodiazepines (NBZs), including Lunesta and Ambien, seem just as likely to cause amnesia and erratic behavior.Introduced in the 1990s, NBZs are all sedatives used for the  treatment of insomnia. They have proved to be safer than both...

Ambien Linked to 6 UK Fatalities, Possible Suspect in Heath Ledger Death

Jan 28, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP
Ambien—trade name Zolpidem in the United States—has been linked to six deaths in the United Kingdom and a large number of adverse reactions.  Ambien is the sleeping drug which actor Heath Ledger admitted taking just weeks prior to his death.  Ledger was found dead by his housekeeper at his New York apartment last Tuesday, and Ambien was among the prescriptions drugs found in his apartment.  Results of a postmortem examination last week on the actor were inconclusive...

Woman blames 'sleep driving' on Ambien

Mar 16, 2007 |
You've heard of sleep walking, "sleep eating," other bizarre behaviors associated with the medication Ambien. On Wednesday, the FDA urged drug makers to add warnings about these side effects on their labels. But for one North Texas woman, the caution comes too late. She may be headed to jail because of what she did while she was sleeping. "Earrings, diamonds, pendants," says Phyllis Graham, were all the result of what she calls an "Ambient night." "I was on QVC and Ebay." She has no...

New labels on sleep aids to specify odd effects

Mar 15, 2007 | Baltimore Sun
Under pressure from the federal government, drugmakers are revising the labels on Ambien, Lunesta and other popular sleep aids to warn that the pills may result in users driving, eating and even having sex while sleeping, health officials said Wednesday. The manufacturers of 13 popular medications, taken by millions of Americans, are preparing information bulletins for users that will highlight the possibility of bizarre nighttime side effects. The Food and Drug Administration requested the...

FDA wants pill labels to warn of `sleep-driving'

Mar 15, 2007 | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has told the manufacturers of 13 brands of sleeping pills, including Ambien, Lunesta and Rozerem, to change labels on the pills to warn consumers of possible adverse events such as severe allergic reactions, "sleep-driving" and preparing and eating food while asleep. The FDA defined sleep driving as "driving while not fully awake after ingestion of a sedative-hypnotic product, with no memory of the event." Dr. Steven Galson, director of the FDA's Center for...

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