Recently Sanofi, makers of the sleep aid Ambien, branded Roseanne Barr a racist in a tweet and claimed their drug has many side effects but “racism” is not one of them.
People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world. While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.
— Sanofi US (@SanofiUS) May 30, 2018
That’s a risky claim. For one, Ambien has been reported to make people do things they would never do if not on the drug. That’s a fact. A simple Google search will show you countless stories of horrific hallucinations and behaviors that people have experienced while taking Ambien. An article entitled 44 Ambien Stories that Will Creep You the Eff Out by Eric Redding compiles horror stories of Ambien users detailing everything from tweeting photos of their genitals to waking up to blood spattered all over the walls and not knowing how it got there. Sounds great.
“I awoke one morning with what felt like grits all over my mouth. I freaking ground down my teeth in one night. So my front teeth are all flat, except for my canines,” says one user. “I was stuck with a three year magazine subscription because I answered the door after taking some. My brain just turns to mush and I make poor decisions,” reported another. Many others reported having sex without knowing it, driving without being aware, calling or texting friends with crazy claims and stories and more. Another Ambien user reports:
I woke up and my bed was in a Louisiana swamp and 6 men in masks were picking it up and carrying me away. Luckily, my laptop was handy so I picked it up and got on AIM and started messaging everyone about what I was seeing. Except, the keys were floating off the keyboard and I was having to reach for them to type my pleas for help. The next day a friend of mine came over after having printed our conversation. He said he almost called 911 to have someone pick me up so I could sober up in the hospital.
That sounds terrifying.
This person reports that Ambien caused him to regret lots of behaviors he would never have engaged in if not on the drug:
Getting women’s phone numbers never remembering any of it. Well it feels like a distant dream that you’ve forgotten. Lots of text messages and phone convos that cause major regret. Lots of damage control.
Is it really hard to believe that Roseanne may have been under the influence of a dangerous drug that caused her to tweet something she normally would not have had she been in her right mind? The tweet about Valerie Jarrett was awful, everyone agrees. The question is, would she have done it if she had been sober? These Ambien stories are profuse. The drug is classified as a hypnotic. The known side effects are extremely worrying, including confusion, depersonalization, dysphoria, paranoia, hallucinations and becoming violent. This drug appears to be very dangerous and Sanofi is making light of it by claiming that their drug had nothing to do with Roseanne’s odd online behavior. Are they sure about that?
The chances that Roseanne knowingly tweeted something that would brand her a racist forever—and would tank her career and those of the people she cares about—are about zero. The chances that Ambien contributed to her poor decision are much higher.
Scott Adams, Dilbert creator and internet personality, thinks Sanofi’s flippant tweet is one of the worst things he’s ever seen a company do. In a Periscope broadcast, he said, “Like a bad lawyer, [Sanofi has] introduced into evidence something you shouldn’t have introduced into evidence,” which has opened up a line of questioning about their drug that they probably don’t want to have. As a result, stories of Ambien users having bad experiences are flooding the web.
Scott Adams talks about Roseanne’s Ambien defense. https://t.co/QaReJLkkRm
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) May 30, 2018
Matt Drudge has gotten on board with exposing Ambien side effects too.
I think everyone can agree that Sanofi really should have stayed out of this because now we know there may be millions of people sleep-driving on a hypnotic drug. Maybe the FDA needs to reevaluate the safety of Ambien.