Long-term Ambien use and depression/suicide...

Previous | Next
 rated by 0 users
Latest post 10-14-2010 5:26 PM by Truffles4me. 6 replies.
  • 11-09-2009 12:44 AM

    • Wegogiant
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 11-09-2009
    • IL
    • Posts 2

    Long-term Ambien use and depression/suicide...

    Sadly, my father committed suicide this past May. He had taken Ambien nightly for about 7 or 8 years prior. At some point the doctor who originally prescribed the drug told him that using it as a sleeping aid on a nightly basis would be okay. I have access to his medical records from the last two years or so and he complained of insomnia, getting 5 hours of sleep or less per night despite the drug, just months before he committed suicide.

    In my recent findings it seems it's not uncommon for a person taking Ambien, or other sleep aids, long term to experience a tolerance to the drugs' effect. The insomnia that results from the tolerance would naturally lead to several health problems including depression and-- as a result-- suicide.

    Does anybody know of a class-action in place that I might have the opprotunity to join? If not, does this sound like viable means to create a class-action with? Note that this is not a question pertaining to Ambien's blatent cause of sleepwalking or accidental overdose.

  • 11-09-2009 11:10 AM In reply to

    • Wegogiant
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 11-09-2009
    • IL
    • Posts 2

    Re: Long-term Ambien use and depression/suicide...

    My dad was 61 years old.
    There is psychological and medical documentation about a person's lack of sleep and the health concerns it can cause. Of course every person is different and a lack of sleep would effect everyone differently, but it would seem natural to me that the long-term effects of prolonged insomnia would lead to high levels of emotional distress.
    I don't think he was ever diagnosed with depression, although he honestly had a lot of stressors in his life around the time of his suicide. These include divorce proceedings, unemployment, and a relationship outside of his marriage that he was unhappy with.
    The toxocology report showed that he had nothing in his system besides Benedryl when it happened. He did it at around 4 or 4:30 AM and was still awake. He had not taken the Ambien that night (and I believe a night or two previous as well). He had been taking Crestor for high cholesterol, but he lost a lot of weight last summer and as a result his cholesterol dropped severely. I don't think he was taking any other medications at that time.

    I thank you for your condolences. It seems you wouldn't call this viable for a class action. Would this be considered a medical malpractice case? I consider the drug the "bad guy" here and not the doctors. I think the doctors were just doing what they thought was best at the time, but the fact is this drug is dangerous.

  • 11-09-2009 11:49 AM In reply to

    Re: Long-term Ambien use and depression/suicide...

    "It seems you wouldn't call this viable for a class action."

    No.  Unless there are large numbers of patients committing suicide due to taking the drug then it isn't a class action case.Many factors go in to whether or not a drug is a high risk for causing significant problems in the overall patient population that takes it.  You are making huge broad based assumptions about your father's situation and the cause and affect relationship to the drug.  In order to prevail in a class action case you would have to have multiple cases similar to his.

    "Would this be considered a medical malpractice case?"

    In an individual med/mal situation you would have to have expert medical testimony that it was the drug alone that caused his depression and the suicide and not other factors.

    You have some serious issues to face here:

    1)  He had not taken the drug that night and possibly several nights.  This indicates he did not have a dependance on it nor was he following his physician's instructions.  Had he taken it he might have slept. 

    2)  He had multiple severe stressors in his life at that time that could have caused the insomnia and the suicide as well.  "Divorce proceedings, unemployment, and a relationship outside of his marriage that he was unhappy with."  All of that would factor in to whether or not there was a case.

    " the fact is this drug is dangerous."

    One of the hardest things for the survivors of suicide to cope with is why the family member did this.  There is no answer that ever explains it even if there was a goodbye letter.  It is a tragedy and truly if the person knew the depth of the grief they would leave their loved ones with they would not do it.  The search for an explanation to ease the pain of survival is understandable.  The fact that the toxicology study showed that he had none of the drug in his system means that it will be virtually impossible to establish a cause and effect relationship that it was the root cause of the suicide.  I am sorry that you and your family are having to go through this.

    If you want to pursue this you can have his records reviewed by a medical malpractice attorney to see if a relationship to the drug can be established.  The "Find A Lawyer" feature can assist you in finding someone in your area to help you with this.  Best of luck to all of you as you get through this.

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • 11-09-2009 2:01 PM In reply to

    Re: Long-term Ambien use and depression/suicide...

    If he never discussed his depression with his doctor I don;t see how you can fault the doctor or the drug company for his suicide. I'm sorry for your loss but you yourself claim it was the insomnis that caused the problem, not the drug.

  • 10-14-2010 4:46 PM In reply to

    • Jarichon
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 10-14-2010
    • Posts 1

    Re: Long-term Ambien use and depression/suicide...

    I had a particular incident Thursday morning. I came home from work and as usual could not fall asleep (Iworked a long day 10am-1am). I did everything to relax and couldn't so I took 10mg of Ambien. I had what I perceived to be an awful dream and when I woke was amazed that I was still living. During the course night I had walked into my kitchen, opened a drawer, took out a box of razor blades (ones used in a heavy duty utility knife), walked into the bathroom and got a face cloth, then walked into the living room and sat on the couch and proceeded to cut my left arm. I sliced across my veins both horizontally and lengthwise, all the while making sure that any blood was only spilled onto the face cloth. I awoke on the couch - with the blades, cloth and anything with blood on it on the coffee table. 

    I now have 17 substantial cuts. 

    Think I'll take Ambien again? 

  • 10-14-2010 5:26 PM In reply to

    Re: Long-term Ambien use and depression/suicide...

    First, my condolences to you for the loss of your father.  Especially considering the situation.

    Second, there are LOTS of stories similar to both yours and Jarichon's.  Just go to "ask a patient dot com" and search the drug Ambien and read what other Ambien users have to say about it.  They do so many crazy things while on it.  I've known quite a few people with similar stories, FRIENDS AND FAMILY that have gone through similar experiences on Ambien.  So I am not "making assumtions" about it.  These are perfectlty normal people who do things they would never do after they take an Ambien.  Thankfully most don't remember what they did but there are a lot of witnesses and evidence of what happened in the morning.  VERY scary stuff.

Page 1 of 1 (7 items) | RSS

My Community

Community Membership New Users: Search Community