Sleep Driving: Ambiens Deadly Side Effect


In 2006 Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), claimed he was under the influence of Ambien when his car crashed into a barricade on Capitol Hill, but his is only the most famous case of a person claiming to be driving while asleep under the influence of the sleeping drug. Although it seems like an insufficient claim, the truth is that it has proven to be a very successful defense. Also in 2006, an Andover, Massachusetts man was acquitted of vehicular homicide and driving under the influence when he claimed that the sleep drug caused him to get behind the wheel.

Sleep experts confirm that this is a rare side effect of Ambien. Because the drug is legal with a prescription, people driving under the influence of it are generally not charged. And driving, apparently, is not the only things people do when under the influence of the drug. Charges of rape against a man were dropped when the man claimed the woman, a patient in a psychiatric ward, had consented to intercourse. The woman had taken Ambien, and her memories of the events were unclear.

According to experts, sleepwalking, sleep driving, and other possible side effects of Ambien are relatively rare, but they are common enough to warrant their inclusion on labels, ordered by the FDA in December 2006. The FDA has also recommended that the drug manufacturers conduct clinical studies to determine their actual frequency.

But in the meantime, these drugs continue to lead to deaths. If you or someone you love has suffered as a result of Ambien-induced atypical behaviors, contact today to get in touch with a local pharmaceutical injury lawyer who can take your case.