Roseanne Barr not first celeb to claim Ambien led to bizarre behavior: What is the insomnia drug?

Roseanne Barr appeared to blame Ambien, a prescribed sleeping capsule, for the racist tweet that is likely led to her popular ABC show “Roseanne” to be canceled on Tuesday by ABC.

In a series of now-deleted tweets, Barr said it was late and she was on the narcotic when she wrote the tweet about former President Barack Obama’s aide Valerie Jarrett. Barr’s tweet told Jarrett, who is African-American and born in Iran, is like the “muslim brotherhood& planet of the apes had a baby.”

“Guys I did something unforgiveable so do not defend me, ” she wrote in one post and then deleted Tuesday night. “It was 2 in the morning and I was Ambien tweeting-it was memorial day too-i went 2 far& do not wishing it defended-it was egregious Indefensible. I made a mistake I wish I hadn’t but…don’t defend it please. ty.”

Many social media users slammed Barr’s defense. Sanofi, one of the pharmaceutical companies that constructs Ambien, tweeted Wednesday, “People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the situation of people around the world. While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effect, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”

However, other celebrities have also blamed Ambien for strange tweets and odd behaviour. Here is what you need to know about Ambien, as well as its common side effects and other celebrities who have taken it.

What is Ambien ?

Roseanne Barr appeared to blame the narcotic Ambien for her racist tweet that got her present canceled.

Ambien is a drug sold by Sanofi, Zolpimist by NovaDel Pharma Inc. and Edluar by Meda Pharmaceuticals Inc. The narcotic was used to treat adults who have been diagnosed with insomnia, which is the inability to fall and stay asleep, according to the U.S. Food& Drug Administration. Ambien can be taken as an oral tablet, an oral spraying, under-the-tongue tablet or an extended-release tablet.

What are the common side effects of Ambien?

Ambien has a number of side effect including nausea, memory loss, nervousnes, confusion, rapid heartbeat, diarrhea, appetite loss, aggressivenes, impaired vision, inability to concentrate and craving, according to American Addiction Centers. The centre said it was possible for a person prescribed Ambien to become addicted and dependent on the medication despite advertising itself as the opposite.

People who abuse the narcotic have been known to crush the medication to snort it or mix it in an alcoholic drink. Once Ambien was mixed with alcohol, it could enhance the effects of the medication. There have been numerous reports of people not recollecting what happened once they were under the influence of the medication such as sleep-walking and sleep-driving.

Why does the FDA caution those taking Ambien?

The Food and Drug Administration in 2013 had ordered drugmakers to lower dosages for Ambien and other sleeping pills following surveys that suggested patients “face a higher danger of trauma due to morning drowsiness, ” CBS News reported.

The analyzes showed that some people who were took the narcotic felt drowsy in the morning, which could impair their driving. The research saw the medication was still present in a patient’s bloodstream at a high enough level to interfere with their driving. The FDA necessitated drugmakers to cut the dose in half for women and for the immediate-release tablets. The narcotic takes longer to leave a woman’s body than for men.

Which other celebrities have blamed Ambien for strange incidents?


Former House Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy said he took Ambien not too long before crashing his auto into a roadblock. ( Reuters)

Former House Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy crashed his auto into a security barricade close to the U.S. Capitol in 2006 and said he had taken Ambien not too long before the incident. He claimed he had not been drinking prior to the accident, CBS News reported.

Elon Musk went on a Twitter spree after claiming he had drank red wine and ingested Ambien. ( Reuters)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk went on a Twitter rampage in June 2017, Mashable reported. He started the series of tweets by discussing his exhilaration over a Tesla shareholder meeting and ran from there. He admitted to having a “little red wine, vintage record, some Ambien … and sorcery! ” He tweeted a year earlier that he has learned that “tweeted on Ambien isn’t wise.”

Tiger Woods was under the influence of Ambien during a DUI arrest in 2017. ( Reuters)

Embattled golf star Tiger Woods was arrested for a DUI in 2017 after deputies found the athlete who was parked curiously on the side of the road, asleep. During a sobriety test, Woods slurred, couldn’t stroll a straight line and appeared “out of it.” A toxicology test indicated Woods had a number of prescription drugs in his system, including Ambien.

Sean Penn admitted to being on Ambien during Stephen Colbert’s late-night talk prove. ( Reuters)

Academy Award-winning actor Sean Penn admitted to being on Ambien during an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” in March, People reported.

“I’m doing well, ” Penn told Colbert. “You’ve inherited a little of the Ambien I had to take to get to sleep after a red eye last night.”

Fox News’ Sasha Savitsky and Gregg Re contributed to this report .

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