Talk of Tiger's "Ambien Sex" Arouses Public Interest

One would have to be living in a remote section of the woods to have not heard about Tiger Woods’ recent indiscretions with numerous women. Each day has brought a new, titillating tidbit on the billionaire golfer and his missteps, but one in particular goes beyond gossip to become a matter of concern for pharmacists. High-profile mistress Rachel Uchitel reportedly bragged to friends about the “crazy Ambien sex” she and Woods have enjoyed, sparking online conversations surrounding sex on the drug, as well as possible curiosity that could lead to abuse if not nipped in the bud through patient education.

Back in 2007, sanofi-aventis ramped up warnings in prescribing information for Ambien, explaining reports of “sleep driving” and other complex behaviors, “eg, preparing and eating food, making phone calls, or having sex,” in which some patients had engaged without total awareness or recollection. The drugmaker explained that such behaviors can occur for reasons not related to taking sedative/hypnotic medications, including as a result of an underlying physical or psychiatric disorder, but advised patients only to take Ambien immediately before going to bed and to report any abnormal effects to their doctors.

In cases involving recreational use of the medication, however, the warnings can fall upon deaf ears. Uchitel’s reported claims of “crazy Ambien sex” have people talking online, with some relating stories about their own uninhibited sexual experiences with the drug.

Pharmacists are in the best position to nip in the bud the possible abuse trend that could arise from such publicity. Additional education for patients who are prescribed Ambien could prevent dangerous behaviors.

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