Skip to comments.Study Links Ambien Use to Unconscious Food Forays
Posted on 03/14/2006 7:41:02 PM PST by neverdem
The sleeping pill Ambien seems to unlock a primitive desire to eat in some patients, according to emerging medical case studies that describe how the drug's users sometimes sleepwalk into their kitchens, claw through their refrigerators like animals and consume calories ranging into the thousands.
The next morning, the night eaters remember nothing about their foraging. But they wake up to find telltale clues: mouthfuls of peanut butter, Tostitos in their beds, kitchen counters overflowing with flour, missing food, and even lighted ovens and stoves. Some are so embarrassed, they delay telling anyone, even as they gain weight.
"These people are hell-bent to eat," said Dr. Mark Mahowald, who is director of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center in Minneapolis and is researching the problem.
He and colleagues are preparing a scientific paper based on their findings that a sleep-related eating disorder is one of the unusual side effects showing up with the widespread use of Ambien. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., have made similar findings.
A woman in Salinas, Calif., whose case is to be included in the Minnesota study, said she would awaken to find candy bar wrappers next to her bed and Popsicle sticks on the floor near the refrigerator. She blamed her husband and sons before finally believing their claims that she was eating at night, unaware.
Worried that she would choke, "my son was so afraid at night, he'd come sit by the bed and watch me," said the woman, Brenda Pobre, 54. Despite seeing several doctors, Ms. Pobre did not link Ambien to her nocturnal eating until after she gained 100 pounds.
Spurred in part by consumer advertising, more than 26 million prescriptions for Ambien were dispensed in this country last year, an increase of 53 percent since 2001.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Um, ever thought of quitting the drug??
Now, I'd call that a side effect.
Bump for watching
Despite seeing several doctors, Ms. Pobre did not link Ambien to her nocturnal eating until after she gained 100 pounds.
Now, I have no idea what is going on with these Ambien stories so I am not saying it's legit or not.
On the other hand, to awake having gotten fat....
I have taken Ambien before, and I can attest to this.
I've never awakened and found candy wrappers, but I have awakened and seen evidence that I had fired up the broiler and had a middle-of-the night steak before.
I guess when I was in that hypnotic state I wasn't as lazy as she is.
What I really need is a drug whose side effect is the desire to go run about 6 or 7 miles and then take a nice shower.
sounds like the local branch of the American Trial Lawyers Ass. is about to work themselves into an indignant froth.....
that sounds like a decent side effect.
That was EXACTLY.....my first thought! :)
I took ambien once for four weeks, lost ten pounds, and have not gained the weight back. I never woke up in the night but I did not have the manic effect either. I just knew it was not something one should take as a steady drug but only for extenuating circumstances.
Drugs give you the munchies. That concept is not new.
I have taken Ambien, too, and I believe that many of the weird stories associated with it are true. Instead of eating or wandering in traffic, I tend to email lunatic messages to people. One time I signed up for the Yahoo Answers thing. I have only vague recollections of being at my computer doing these things. I think Ambien is like LSD.
I think the thing with Ambien is: when you take it, go to bed. :-)
It's called "Ambien Amnesia"
A girl I work with took this drug. She told me one night after working her second job at a restaraunt, she took home a BIG hamburger. Most of the time she eats half and puts the other half away for another night. She can't eat the whole thing in one sitting. So, she takes her pill and eats part of her hamburger and puts the rest in the fridge and goes to bed. The next morning, she gets up and finds the empty container sitting on the table. Has absolutely NO idea what happened to it!! She lives alone with 2 cats, so there wasn't much to figure out!! I sent this article to her to check out, so she can see she is apparently normal!!
Some people are sleepwalkers/eaters without taking Ambien. Maybe they only remember these incidents because of taking it? Anyway, anyone who takes it and has any unusual episodes should stop taking it and call the doctor. Common sense usually makes more sense than some of these studies.
reference bump ... I expect to see TV commercials soon from lawyers just as we do now for other drugs.
When I took ambien, I would get near total memory blackouts and a horrid "restless leg" syndrome.
It's nasty stuff.
Yeah, they've showed "sleep disorder experiment volunteers" videos for years, of people who would get up and eat all night without knowing it. Now I wonder if these people just did it all on their own, or if they were taking Ambien or something like it.
There was also an "exposé" this week on people who would get in the car and drive other places, sometimes having wrecks, sometimes going through the drive-through at fast-food places, all kinds of things - all while on Ambien and supposedly fast asleep in their beds.
I took a sleeping pill one time when I had a neck injury from a car accident, because it was hard to fall asleep in any comfortable position - and I slept for 22 hours. I've never taken any kind of sleep medication again.
Paging John Edwards...
I can't speak for all of them, but I can tell you that there are people who are not on medication that have such a sleep disorder. I took Ambien once. I fell asleep with it. Three hours later I was wide awake, and I didn't take it again, because it was useless.
It may not be effective for some, but then there are other people who it works for. All medications are like that. If someone is prescribed something and it's not working or causing problems, they should call their doctor. Especially the patients that have unusual reactions. Some people find Tylenol effective for a headache, while others take Advil. What works for one person, doesn't for another.
My mother ate while sleepwalking a few times while we were growing up. She wasn't taking Ambien - she just had a predisposition to sleepwalking (had done it since she was a child) and occasionally would eat.
Maybe obesity ain't the worst that can happen to you.
Apparently there are other Ambien (claimed) side effects.
I suppose the below story is possible, Ambien being an officially classified 'hypnotic' drug and all.
Ambien (zolpidem and related) - Rxboard
Suicide from Ambien????
Posted By: Chris
Date: Sunday, 30 January 2000, at 11:15 p.m.
I was prescribed Ambien for at least two years and experienced profound Amnesia with each dose- not every night , but a lot. One day, after a period of increasing depression, I attempted suicide (very nearly successful). I had no plans to do this and as it was happening, I felt like I was watching a movie. I was completely dissociated from what was going on. It very disturbing for me and my family, so we looked it up in the Physicians Desk Reference (PDR). It outlined that Ambien should be given for a short period of time (7-10 days) and the patient watched carefully. Side effects listed included: Deepening depression, depersonalization, and suicidal tendencies, ( among others). I experienced all of these side effects and one or two of the others that escape me right now.
Are doctors abusing this drug and risking the lives of patients?? Has anyone had any similar experiences? Has anyone considered a lawsuit to get control of Doc's prescribing drugs without regard for it's side effects or dangers? I am now unable to live on my own for fear that this thing is still with me, and I will do something that I don't want to do. I am 38 yrs old and living with my Mother. She has to keep all Meds in the house locked up to protect me.
The woman in this story at the top of the thread was on GMA this morning and I still can't figure out how she gained 100 pounds without knowing why.
I couldn't remember if she lived alone, because she never said anyone else knew about it, so I thought she was single. But the story says she has a husband and sons! And they knew she was doing it and would stay up and try to stop her!
Another woman who also does it said that her husband locked up the candy and sweets, but then she would eat canned vegetables out of the can or uncooked rice or whole loaves of bread. They mentioned someone else who would eat buttered cigarettes or cardboard. One of them said her husband would sit there and shovel food out of her mouth, afraid she would choke on it or eat something poison.
Gibson asked the original woman, from the story, when all this started (he was incredulous throughout the interview that she didn't know what was causing it) --- she said it was just a few days after she started on Ambien!
Now, if she didn't know she was doing it, how did she know when it started?
That's what Ambien did to me too. I told my doctor I felt like I was on speed.
Ambien (zolpidem and related) - Rxboard
Suicide from Ambien????
I believe this.
But instead of simply prescribing something else for the people who are having problems, they will deny the millions of people who don't have problems with Ambien. Its the American way these days.
Maybe Ambien causes food dreams? How about sex dreams? Are people getting laid that don't know it?
I've taken Ambien about 5 times total. Never had any side effects, no odd reactions. Very smooth sleep aid, for me, for very short term.
On the other hand, I had trazadone 25 (half the usual dose) ONCE and it made me feel like I was completely drunk. It was such an unpleasant feeling, I stayed awake until it wore off.
I'm about sick of hearing all these ambien stories in the news. Some people have to try and save us from ourselves. I hate the way the US is becoming a nanny state, you can't smoke unless your in your house under your bed with the shades drawn and lights off. Trying to put a tax on sodas. People have no idea what personal responsibility is about these days. People are worried about government having too much control and wire-tapping, but I'm more worried about petty bueracrats trying to tax, legislate, and ban and habit they deam unhealthy. People that thrive on imposing petty rules and laws on only certain people worry me.