The drug Zolpidem, commonly known as Ambien, is a prescription sleep aid which has received much media scrutiny and publicity. The drug is commonly prescribed as a short-term treatment for chronic insomnia- a disease affecting one’s ability to fall and stay asleep. Ambien is manufactured in regular and controlled-release forms by Sanofi-Aventis and has been linked with personal injuries as a result of sleepwalking and extreme sensitivity to the drug.
Ambien is prescribed across the United States to combat the effects of insomnia and other sleep disorders. It is intended for use in short-term intervals and the average patient is directed to use Ambien for six weeks. The drug is more effective on sleep initiation problems (falling asleep) and is not as successful for those with problems staying asleep. This is a powerful, federally controlled, drug that is intended for severe sleep insomnia only. Those suffering from general sleep problems are better served by a less potent sleep aid.
Due to its strength and hallucinogenic tendencies, Ambien has proven problematic for many sensitive groups including the elderly and those suffering from certain gastro-intestinal issues. In addition, many users have reported sleepwalking, sleep-driving and communicating with others without their knowledge. Ambien has been known to cause users to get out of bed and participate in activities without any awareness. Elderly patients have injured themselves getting out of bed while under the influence of Ambien. Those with gastro-intestinal issues are especially susceptible to reflux activity while asleep with Ambien and have an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer.
Ambien has been linked with many notable lawsuits involving activities perpetrated by users without their awareness. Ambien has been blamed for driving incidents, sexual assaults and trespassing. Thirteen drug makers making similar drugs to Ambien, including Ambien’s manufacturer, have been issued warnings by the FDA to include the risks of the drug on all warning labels.
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