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. :-)
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