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What Are Some Side Effects Of Ambien?

Sleep medications can come with unusual side-effects, and Ambien is no exception. Ambien (zolpidem) belongs to the sedative-hypnotic class of drugs known as the sedative-hypnotics, and is similar to benzodiazepines except they are less habit-forming. Ambien is still an addictive drug and people can form an addiction within two weeks; many have no idea that they have a problem until they cease taking the medication and can’t sleep without it. Some of the following side-effects are well-known to many users, and have even made headlines:

  1. Driving – Also known as “sleep driving,” some Ambien users have driven their car while under the influence of the drug, and with no recollection of doing so. Not only is it possible to drive while sleeping, but it can cause impaired driving the next morning. The infamous “Ambien defense” has been used in court cases of people accused of driving while under its influence—and behaving in other strange, illegal ways.
  2. Sleepwalking and Sleep eating – Considering the first strange side-effect, sleepwalking and sleep eating may not come as much of a surprise. It may sound harmless, but sleepwalking while on Ambien is extremely dangerous. In 2009, a man under the influence of Ambien opened fire and killed eight people at a nursing home in North Carolina. A class action suit was filed, citing people who ate things like buttered cigarettes and eggs with their shells intact as “Ambien zombies.” Incidents like these pushed the FDA into action to require stronger labels on all hypnotics.
  3. Sexual Effects – Ambien is associated with the loss of sexual inhibition, which can cause the user to behave recklessly or become more sexually aggressive than normal. Since it is a sedative, it can also cause impotence or cause a user to fall asleep during intercourse. Because of these effects, the drug has been used as a date rape drug. Always be on your guard and never let strangers or people you don’t know too well near your drink.

 

 

 

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