Running Naked on Ambien

By: Michael Seinberg

OK, we all know various drugs have side effects. But Daniel Stewart, Jr. of Etowah County Alabama is now suggesting that the sleep aid Ambien can cause unexpected nudity and he’s suing Qualitest Pharmaceuticals to make his point.

Stewart claims that on the night of October 3, 2011 while he was on a business trip to Columbus, Indiana he took an Ambien to help him get to sleep. The drug would appear to have worked, but then Stewart claims that he proceeded to leave his room in a state of utter nudity and commence pounding on the doors of other guests as well as in the lobby, though he claims to have no memory of nude knocking.

The locals did not take kindly to his undressed outburst and Stewart was subsequently arrested and convicted on a variety of naughty charges.  He was then fired by his employer, Honda, for misconduct. Apparently Honda prefers their traveling employees to remain clothed in public.

The lawsuit claims that Qualitest failed to warn him that he could end up running naked through hotels and pounding on doors and thus he feels he must sue for that oversight. A quick Internet search for Ambien side effects yielded results that ranged from neck pain and flatulence to heartburn and difficulty walking. Serious side effects included chest pain, difficulty breathing, hives, and throat closing up. Uncontrolled nudity was not noted.

The rest of the lawsuit includes pages of anecdotal claims from other Ambien users who attest to a variety of negative experiences that ranged from using firearms to sleep driving and in every case they report total amnesia after their arrests and incidents. Again, amnesia was not noted in the official side effects list though constipation was mentioned.

Ambien is a prescription drug and is usually prescribed strictly for the short term relief of insomnia. It is suggested that it only be used for a very short time (no longer than 2 weeks) and many of the folks in the anecdotal section noted using the drug for months or years. So what can we assume? Ambien should not be abused, should not be used for too long, and should not be used by people prone to running around naked or filing lawsuits.

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