The FDA approved Ambien, a prescription sleep aid, in 1992 and the controlled release form, Ambien CR, was approved in 2005. The active substance is zolpidem tartrate, which is found in other medications as well. However, despite the approval of the drug by the FDA has been linked to hospital visits and multiple reports of adverse health effects.
And, according to a 2013 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, emergency room visits tied to Ambien and other insomnia drugs were up by 220 percent in the past few years. As such, this dangerous drug has become the center of a class-action lawsuit.
If you’ve been prescribed the sleep aid by a medical professional and have experienced serious Ambien side effects, you may be entitled to compensation. If you suspect that Ambien is the cause of medical problems you may be having, speak with a lawyer.
The Possible Dangers of Ambien
There are some very concerning side effects of which patients should be aware. Some of the serious side effects may include the following.
- performing activities throughout the night of which you are unaware, including driving a car, making and eating food, talking on the phone, having sex, and sleep walking.
- abnormal thoughts and behavior.
- worsening depression.
- suicide or suicidal thoughts.
- memory loss.
- and, grogginess.
Those who have taken Ambien have been linked with bizarre behaviors, such as binge eating and sleepwalking. In some cases, Ambien users have caused tragic events, such as causing devastating car accidents, all without remembering a thing.
In two examples, reported along with several other examples in a January 2014 article on the Huffington Post website, two women – on different occasions – awoke in police custody with no recollection of why. Both had caused car accidents; one woman even ran over three pedestrians, including an 18-month-old child who suffered severe brain damage.
In another example in the Huffington Post article, and other media reports at the time, Rep. Patrick Kennedy was in a car accident in Washington D.C. in the middle of the night in 2006.
He later claimed he was disoriented after taking Ambien as well as another drug, having left his house around 2:45 a.m. because he thought he had to get to the Capitol to vote as a member of Congress. The incident resulted in widespread media attention and brought this possible Ambien side effect into greater light.
Can I file a lawsuit if I suffered from side effects of Ambien?
You may have grounds for legal action under certain circumstances. This depends on several factors like your knowledge of possible side effects, warning on the drug label, and more.
If you’ve been prescribed this drug and suffered serious side effects – such as an accident during a sleep walking or sleep driving episode or anything else related to the drug – seek legal counsel immediately to review whether you have a valid case.
An attorney can help you explore possible liable parties, including the drug manufacturer, the doctor who prescribed you Ambien, the pharmacy where your prescription was filled, and more. Liability will also depend on the circumstances of the case.
If you suffered serious side effects and believe you have a case, don’t wait any longer to act. The attorneys at Gacovino, Lake & Associates P.C. can help you explore your legal options. To discuss filing your claim, understanding what evidence you’ll need, and what types of compensation you may be eligible to recover, call us now at 800-550-0000 to get started. You can also fill out our online contact form to set up a consultation.