Tuesday, May 26, 2009


In the interest of documenting my lifelong struggle with insomnia, it seems only appropriate that I go to the trouble of pausing, rewinding and ultimately copying the entire disclaimer announced during the broadcast of a recent Ambien CR ad.

For anyone living under a rock for the last two years, Ambien CR is the new generation of sleeping pills, with the added bonus of it having "2 layers of sleep aid…one to help you fall asleep faster and one to help you stay asleep for longer" than the original Ambien, which only lasted for approximately four hours.

The teevee ad opens with a woman waking in the middle of the night to a rooster crowing at the foot of her bed. The voice-over guy announces “When morning comes in the middle of the night, it’s time to ask your health provider about 2-layer Ambien CR!”

The announcer goes on to explain that two layers is way better than one. Then, he begins his disclaimer…and it’s a doozy. It’s completely amazing that anyone still takes this stuff after hearing this:

"When taking Ambien CR, don’t drive or operate machinery. Sleep walking, or eating and driving while not fully awake, with memory loss for the event as well as abnormal behaviors such as being more outgoing or aggressive than normal or confusion, agitation or hallucinations may occur. Don’t take it with alcohol, as it may increase these behaviors. Allergic reactions, such as shortness of breath, swelling of your tongue or throat may occur and in rare cases, may be fatal. Side effects may include next day drowsiness, dizziness and headache. In patients with depression, worsening of depression including risk of suicide may occur. If you experience any of these behaviors or reactions, contact your doctor immediately."

Meanwhile, during this entire horrific monologue, this lady’s supposedly waking up looking refreshed and properly airbrushed to begin her day…as she would evidently never fall victim to any of these unappealing, unconscionable side-effects.

But the masses have to worry that they may climb into their neighbor’s John Deere tractor in the middle of the night and drive it towards the hallucinogenic image of a swimming pool from Poltergeist whilst screaming “Thoo sum um a beech! Thoo moothd da cemetahree buh noh da headstomes!!!” as they experience swelling of the tongue and throat. Of course, they will have amnesia for this event…which may make it difficult to report it to their health care professional in the morning.

“Wake up ready for your day! Ask your health care provider about Ambien CR!”

Or….maybe not.

Susan F said...

SCARY!! I'm of the school that thinks these ads shouldn't even be on TV. I don't think people should be asking for specific drugs, because I think they're physician should be the one making the decision.

kathryn said...

You are very wise, Susan. Maybe a second career is calling to you?? (You're not too busy, right? :)

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