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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

One way of coping with PDX

An international traveler recently returned from Beijing writes:

Hey, a weird thing happened to me on the way home. I usually take a sleeping pill on these long 12-18 hour flights like to New Zealand, China, Russia. This time I took Ambien. Gosh it worked so fast. But I cannot remember anything after falling asleep until we were on our way home in the taxi on about Highway 26. I don't remember eating the breakfast before landing or filling out my customs forms, or getting off the plane, or getting my suitcase or even going through customs. Then I remembered hearing on the news the past few years about people doing weird things from taking Ambien, Xanax or Halcion... I think one person got so belligerent on a flight that they arrested him/her when the plane landed. So I Googled it. And I had "traveler's amnesia". How scary is that... knowing that people take this stuff daily!! Look at this:
Memory loss (so-called traveler's amnesia), sleepwalking, and odd mood states have been reported after taking short-acting benzodiazepines...

In 2006, reports emerged of zolpidem (Ambien) causing sleepwalking and, even more bizarrely, sleep-driving. Most of these cases likely were due to patients using zolpidem along with alcohol or other drugs or taking more than the recommended dose. However, in March 2007, the FDA ordered the makers of 13 of these drugs to strengthen warning labels. The FDA warned these medicines may be associated with potentially severe allergic reactions, such as severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) and severe facial swelling (angiodema). These medicines may also cause sleep-related behaviors, such as driving, making phone calls, and eating food while asleep.

Sometimes you wonder which bloggers were on these drugs when they posted various writings.

Comments (8)

Eating food while asleep?

That happened to me, too. On the way back from Tokyo I took Ambien and I remember a few small things: the woman next to me telling my friend and I "will you please be quiet? You have your headphones on and you're yelling at each other. This is the third time I've asked you!" And telling my friend when we were in the front of the customs line "You just have to hold it together five more minutes and we'll be safe!"

I also remember that the person who was supposed to pick me up got the flight time wrong and we had to call her and wait for her... but I don't actually remember that part, I just remember talking to my friend about it once we got back to her house (I don't remember the ride to her house).


And that's all I remember until we woke up together at her house.

I know someone who takes Ambien on occasion, and based on that experience I totally believe this story. It seems to make my friend act like a happy drunk, and everything the person does under the influence is remembered as if from a dream.

From what I've seen, I'd say one should never even consider taking it while travelling.

Having worked for a few companies now where my superiors travel quite a bit internationally, I'm under the impression Ambien is passed around like candy at 40,000 feet.

It would be worse to be under the influence of Ambien and arrive in China doing something stupid. God knows where you would wake up and long it would take the Chinese police and the embassy to work out a release.

About 3 years ago, plus or minus, (my morning mind is on nightdark savings time, sorry, I think), bustled inside of some news conference when a reporter asked him, 'how do you manage to deal with jet lag in all the international flying that you do?,' Colin Powell said, "... everyone around here is on Ambien ...."

Which I had never heard of at the time, nor since, much, (until now, in this age of nightdark savings times), but I knew it wasn't good, and was enough to explain why the whole damn gang of mass-murderers in the Evil Office and The Fright House and this Badministration, is out their freakin' mind! So, like, too bad, we die. That they may hold power.

Stick with Scotch whiskey. At least when you're passed out, you're not eating, driving, or running heavy machinery.

...and was enough to explain why the whole damn gang of mass-murderers in the Evil Office and The Fright House and this Badministration, is out [of] their freakin' mind

No, that's not enough to explain it. I would venture that they would still behave this way, even without Ambien.

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