Despite the recent FDA warning about Sleep Aid medications like Ambien and Lunesta causing hypnotic and potentially dangerous sleep walking behavior, attorneys have been slow to take on these cases. An ongoing theme of the calls to the lawyers’ offices invariably involve someone driving while in this hypnotic state. When arrested, the hapless driver is charged with driving under the influence, sometimes leading to claims that there was some “drinking while sleeping” as well. Since the cases of eating while in this hypnotic state are fairly well documented, it is hard not to feel some sympathy for a person in this situation, but it seems near impossible to convince a jury that this medication would be the main culprit attending an alcohol related activiity.
I predict we will see more bizarre behavior with these drugs as time goes on.
Affected products include zolpidem tartrate tablets and extended-release tablets (Ambien and Ambien CR, Sanofi-Aventis); butisol sodium (Medpointe Pharm HLC); pentobarbital/carbromal (Carbitral, Parke- Davis); flurazepam HCl capsules (Dalmane, Valeant Pharm); quazepam tablets (Doral, Questcor Pharms); and triazolam tablets (Halcion, Pfizer).
Also included are eszopiclone tablets (Lunesta, Sepracor); ethchlorvynol capsules (Placidyl, Abbott); estazolam (Prosom, Abbott); temazepam capsules (Restoril, Tyco Healthcare); ramelteon tablets (Rozerem, Takeda); seconal sodium capsules (Ranbaxy); and zaleplon capsules (Sonata, King Pharmaceuticals).