Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ambien President

Last week the McCain campaign allowed a few privileged souls to have a look at the candidate's medical records. I think his supporters want us to believe that he's pretty healthy for an old guy...

However, as I perused some analysis of these records, I was alarmed as soon as I saw the word "Ambien." I've known people who have used this drug, and they all have stories to tell. For those who don't know about this prescription medication, it is for short-term treatment of insomnia. It's effective, but if the person using the drug tries to stay awake, his or her behavior may be "altered" to say the least.

My friend's father was under the influence of Ambien when, at 2 am, he went outside to water (actually soak) the front lawn wearing only underwear and a winter jacket... and blasting Van Halen so the whole neighborhood could hear. When his family tried to coax him inside, he simply screamed "I'm going to have a greener lawn than all of you!"

Sounds crazy, doesn't it? But many people have had similar issues while taking the drug. Sleep-eating is one acknowledged side-effect. However, even scarier is sleep-driving. In 2006, Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy smashed his Ford Mustang into a barrier near Capitol Hill. He said that he had been disoriented by two prescription medications he had taken -- one of which was Ambien.

So... not to drag out an old question... but who do you want answering the phone at 3am? I assume you don't want a President disoriented by a "central nervous system depressant." I'm not the only one concerned that McCain's Ambien use could be a security threat. Doctors of course say "Used appropriately, Ambien is a relatively safe medication." And of course, McCain's staff will know when he takes it, I hope?

Anyway, why is it that we legalize shit like Ambien, and we're still debating medical marijuana? Because it will cut into big pharma's profits I assume.


Anonymous said...

My name is Catherine Snow and i would like to show you my personal experience with Ambien.

I have taken for 1 years. I am 57 years old. Works great if I take it on an empty stomach, and get right into bed. If you take it and try to keep yourself awake, you can override the pill and be up all night.

Side Effects :

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Catherine Snow

Ambien Prescription Information

Kristen said...

"Side Effects: None"

I'm not sure what you mean by that, dark_one. Maybe you have not personally experienced side effects, but many have been documented. I linked to an article about sleep-eating, but here are more Ambien side effects from

Ambien may cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking Ambien and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using Ambien and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

* worsening sleep problems;
* depressed mood, thoughts of hurting yourself;
* unusual thoughts, risk-taking behavior, decreased inhibitions, no fear of danger;
* aggression, feeling agitated;
* hallucinations, confusion, loss of personality.

Less serious Ambien side effects may include:

* daytime drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, feeling "drugged" or light-headed;
* lack of coordination;
* amnesia, forgetfulness;
* vivid or abnormal dreams;
* diarrhea, nausea, vomiting;
* headache, muscle pain; or
* blurred vision.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.