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Study Links Ambien Use to Unconscious Food Forays
NY Times ^ | March 14, 2006 | STEPHANIE SAUL

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.

Sanofi-Aventis...

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: District of Columbia; US: Maryland; US: Massachusetts; US: Minnesota; US: New York
KEYWORDS: ambien; drugs; food; pharmaceuticals; wodlist; zolpidem

1 posted on 03/14/2006 7:41:07 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem
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.

Um, ever thought of quitting the drug??

2 posted on 03/14/2006 7:42:25 PM PST by Yaelle
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To: neverdem

That's awesome.


3 posted on 03/14/2006 7:43:20 PM PST by CheyennePress
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To: neverdem
"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."

Wow.
Now, I'd call that a side effect.

4 posted on 03/14/2006 7:43:27 PM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: neverdem

Bump for watching


5 posted on 03/14/2006 7:44:48 PM PST by T Minus Four
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To: Yaelle
In fairness, the sentence right after the one you quoted said this:

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.

6 posted on 03/14/2006 7:46:33 PM PST by KJC1 (Bush is fighting the War on Terror, Dems are fighting the War on Bush)
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To: neverdem
"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."


7 posted on 03/14/2006 7:47:03 PM PST by jdm
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To: neverdem
Were you to awake the next morning having gotten laid, you might consider it a positive side effect.

On the other hand, to awake having gotten fat....

8 posted on 03/14/2006 7:47:06 PM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: jdm
ok, in absolutely no way was that necessary
9 posted on 03/14/2006 7:53:02 PM PST by Hot Soup
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To: neverdem
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

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.

10 posted on 03/14/2006 7:56:14 PM PST by krb (ad hominem arguments are for stupid people)
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To: neverdem

sounds like the local branch of the American Trial Lawyers Ass. is about to work themselves into an indignant froth.....


11 posted on 03/14/2006 7:57:50 PM PST by mo
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To: KJC1
I took Ambien CR for about seven or eight weeks. The side effect I experienced is what is described in the pharmaceutical literature as a "manic reaction" which is uncommon. I began to feel so much extra energy and loss of appetite I thought I had developed bipolarism. By the time I realized the cause was the Ambien I had lost 20 pounds. I stopped taking the Ambien, the manic symptoms disappeared, but I have not gained the weight back.
12 posted on 03/14/2006 8:01:14 PM PST by Brad from Tennessee (Anything a politician gives you he has first stolen from you)
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To: Yaelle
Those of us who have been married a while may wish for a drug that induced uncontrollable midnight cravings for sex, instead of food. We'd be putting it in our wives' drinks.

-ccm

13 posted on 03/14/2006 8:07:47 PM PST by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order)
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To: Brad from Tennessee

that sounds like a decent side effect.


14 posted on 03/14/2006 8:08:28 PM PST by statered ("And you know what I mean.")
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To: jdm

15 posted on 03/14/2006 8:17:04 PM PST by rlmorel ("Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does." Whittaker Chambers)
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To: mo

That was EXACTLY.....my first thought! :)


16 posted on 03/14/2006 8:29:42 PM PST by LaineyDee (Don't mess with Texas wimmen!)
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To: Brad from Tennessee

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.


17 posted on 03/14/2006 8:35:57 PM PST by angry elephant (Endangered species in Seattle)
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To: neverdem

Drugs give you the munchies. That concept is not new.


18 posted on 03/14/2006 8:46:02 PM PST by lmr (You can have my Tactical Nuclear Weapons when you pry them from my cold dead fingers.)
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To: krb

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.


19 posted on 03/14/2006 8:55:35 PM PST by Wage Slave
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To: Wage Slave

I think the thing with Ambien is: when you take it, go to bed. :-)


20 posted on 03/14/2006 9:07:28 PM PST by krb (ad hominem arguments are for stupid people)
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To: krb

It's called "Ambien Amnesia"


21 posted on 03/14/2006 9:10:03 PM PST by Rodney Dangerfield
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To: CheyennePress

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!!


22 posted on 03/14/2006 9:17:49 PM PST by curlewbird
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To: neverdem

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.


23 posted on 03/14/2006 9:18:23 PM PST by World'sGoneInsane (LET NO ONE BE FORGOTTEN, LET NO ONE FORGET)
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To: neverdem
ROFLMAO

it would be rather disturbing to wake up with a mouthful of peanut butter i would think. and if it takes you 100 pounds to figure out something is wrong, you dont catch on very fast
24 posted on 03/14/2006 9:19:38 PM PST by wafflehouse
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To: neverdem

reference bump ... I expect to see TV commercials soon from lawyers just as we do now for other drugs.


25 posted on 03/14/2006 10:16:41 PM PST by NonValueAdded ("If I were a Cuban, I'd certainly be on a raft," Isane Aparicio Busto)
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To: neverdem

When I took ambien, I would get near total memory blackouts and a horrid "restless leg" syndrome.

It's nasty stuff.


26 posted on 03/14/2006 10:20:13 PM PST by Wiseghy ("You want to break this army? Then break your word to it.")
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To: World'sGoneInsane

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.


27 posted on 03/15/2006 12:09:43 AM PST by Rte66
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To: neverdem

Paging John Edwards...


28 posted on 03/15/2006 12:23:27 AM PST by Jim Noble (And you know what I'm talkin' 'bout!)
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To: albertp; Allosaurs_r_us; Abram; AlexandriaDuke; Americanwolf; Annie03; Baby Bear; bassmaner; ...
Libertarian ping.To be added or removed from my ping list freepmail me or post a message here
29 posted on 03/15/2006 12:39:17 AM PST by freepatriot32 (Holding you head high & voting Libertarian is better then holding your nose and voting republican)
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To: Rte66
Now I wonder if these people just did it all on their own, or if they were taking Ambien or something like it.

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.

30 posted on 03/15/2006 5:46:18 AM PST by World'sGoneInsane (LET NO ONE BE FORGOTTEN, LET NO ONE FORGET)
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To: neverdem

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.


31 posted on 03/15/2006 6:01:00 AM PST by Xenalyte (You're not the boss of Tiger Bot Hesh!)
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To: neverdem; All

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.
http://www.rxlist.com/rxboard/ambien.pl?noframes;read=110


32 posted on 03/15/2006 6:55:45 AM PST by S0122017 (I know something you don't know. If you know something I don't know, we can trade.)
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To: World'sGoneInsane

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?


33 posted on 03/15/2006 7:41:31 AM PST by Rte66
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To: Brad from Tennessee

That's what Ambien did to me too. I told my doctor I felt like I was on speed.


34 posted on 03/15/2006 10:30:19 AM PST by muggs
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To: Wage Slave
I think Ambien is like LSD.

Lunesta too.

35 posted on 03/15/2006 10:34:45 AM PST by muggs
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To: S0122017
I suppose the below story is possible, Ambien being an officially classified 'hypnotic' drug and all.

Ambien (zolpidem and related) - Rxboard

Suicide from Ambien????

I believe this.

36 posted on 03/15/2006 10:46:03 AM PST by muggs
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To: World'sGoneInsane
Some people find Tylenol effective for a headache, while others take Advil. What works for one person, doesn't for another.

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.

37 posted on 03/15/2006 3:52:17 PM PST by beckysueb (Smoke 'em if you got ,em!)
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To: neverdem
It doesn't matter what I ever had to take; If I do a little midnight raid, it will be toss and turn until I must get up. No further sleep.

Maybe Ambien causes food dreams? How about sex dreams? Are people getting laid that don't know it?

38 posted on 03/15/2006 4:06:44 PM PST by BobS
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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.

Horrible.


39 posted on 03/15/2006 4:11:42 PM PST by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: neverdem

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.


40 posted on 03/15/2006 7:11:21 PM PST by jakerobins
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