Police: Woman stabs self, blames Ambien

Posted at 3:12 PM, Jul 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-13 11:38:38-04

A woman claims she was taking a popular sleep aid when she stabbed herself in the foot on Wednesday. 

According to the Chandler Police Department, officials were called out to a residence near Chandler Boulevard and Arizona Avenue just after 10 a.m. 

Police said the 25-year-old woman claimed to have stabbed herself in the foot with a large butcher knife while she was asleep. According to authorities, the woman said she took Ambien, which is used to treat insomnia. 

The woman was taken to a hospital as the investigation continues, police said. 

Doctors say severe or dangerous adverse reactions to Ambien are rare, but they also can occur any time you take the medication.

"We have no idea which individuals are going to be susceptible for adverse reaction to Ambien; there's no predictors," said Dr. Dan Quan, an emergency room physician at Maricopa Medical Center. 

Quan said there have been changes to improve Ambien's safety in recent years.

"Ambien is prescribed at a lower dose than it used to be," Quan said. "Five milligrams versus 10 milligrams just to help prevent some of these adverse reactions or events."

FDA-approved drug labeling for Ambien says less than one percent of adult users experience hallucinations. It also warns sleep-driving and other complex behaviors have been reported in people who are not fully awake.