What’s This About ‘Ambien-Tweeting?’
Roseanne Barr faced a backlash over a series of controversial tweets. She blamed, in part, the drug Ambien for these late-night musings. In response, news outlets examine the side effects of this and other "sedative hypnotic" medications.
The Associated Press:
Science Says: Ambien's Odd Side Effects Don't Include Racism
Ambien and similar sleep aids are well-known for sometimes causing some weird behavioral side effects, but changing one’s political or cultural views is not one of them. ... But people also have reported making phone calls, eating meals, having sex and doing other things that they don’t remember after taking so-called “sedative-hypnotic” medications. People charged with crimes occasionally even have tried “the Ambien defense.” Doctors call these “complex sleep behaviors.” On its official Ambien labeling, manufacturer Sanofi calls the side effects “abnormal thinking and behavioral changes” — changes that can include decreased inhibition. (5/30)
Ambien-Maker To Roseanne: Racism Is Not A Side Effect Of Our Drug
Sanofi, who makes Ambien, tweeted a response Wednesday morning: "While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication." Dr. Rachel Salas, associate professor of Neurology in the Sleep Medicine Division at Johns Hopkins Medicine, said “people could text or tweet while on Ambien and not remember.” She advises people to avoid sleeping near their phone or electronics while taking sleep medication. (May, 5/30)
The New York Times:
Roseanne Barr’s ‘Ambien-Tweeting,’ Explained. Sorta.
The scientific research, too, suggests there’s good reason to be skeptical. It’s true that Ambien on occasion produces significant side effects, including hallucinations and memory lapses. But blaming the drug for bilious tweeting is a stretch. (Carey, 5/30)