Sometimes, Ambien can turn sweet dreams into nightmares.
Hours after ABC axed the reboot of her eponymous sitcom, Roseanne Barr blamed sleeping pills for the racist tweets that prompted her show’s cancellation. The comedienne, tweeting from late Tuesday into Wednesday morning, bounced back and forth between retweeting those standing by her and apologizing for her remarks.
In a since-deleted post, she called her racist jabs at former Barack Obama aide Valerie Jarrett “unforgivable” and “indefensible,” noting that she was “ambien tweeting” at 2 a.m.
“I think Joe Rogan is right about ambien,” Barr continued. “Not giving excuses for what I did (tweeted) but I’ve done weird stuff while on ambien – cracked eggs on the wall at 2 am etc.”
Sanofi, the company that produces the drug, was quick to dismiss Barr’s excuse.
“People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world,” the company tweeted Wednesday. “While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”
Side effects of Ambien do include dizziness, headaches, impaired judgement, abnormal thinking and behavior changes.
“Some of these changes may be characterized by decreased inhibition, similar to effects produced by alcohol,” according to its FDA label.
Blackouts and loss of time are also associated with the drug.
The internet is rife with stories of those who have fallen asleep after taking the drug, only to wake up and realize they’ve done something strange in their sleep.
Taxi driver writer Paul Schrader in a late-night missive written on Facebook in 2016 dubbed the Trump presidency “a call to violence” and suggested “we should be willing to take up arms. Like old John Brown.”
The social media post earned him a visit from two police officers from the NYPD’s Counterterrorism unit.
“A couple of cabernets and half an Ambien, and God knows what you’ll post,” he told THR after the incident.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has also blamed odd social media behavior on the sleeping pills.
“I’m the only author, so, love or hate it, that’s me,” he tweeted in response to a question on whether he ran his own Twitter account.
“I’ve learned some lessons though, such as tweeting on Ambien isn’t wise.”
And in June 2017 he wrote: “A little red wine, vintage record, some Ambien… and magic!”
The prescription drug was similarly trending on Twitter in March, after two-time Oscar-Winner Sean Penn’s loopy appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
“You’ve inherited a little of the Ambien I had to take to get to sleep after a red-eye last night,” the “Milk” actor said before pulling a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket and lighting one up on stage.
Ambien was also one of the drugs found in Tiger Wood’s system after police found him asleep in the middle of the highway last year.