A writer who loves fantasy, avoids reality, and who knows the value of hanging a death skull outside my door to ward off uninvited visitors.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Ultimate "How-Is-This-Legal" Pill

You know, about a month ago (give or take), my hubby showed me a commercial that left me utterly stunned. When he first started playing it (it was during a recorded show), my mind sort of wandered as a beautiful butterfly made its way across my t.v screen, as though lulling me into a sort of daze-like state. But, at hearing the words "without remembering it", I immediately snapped out of it and asked my hubby to "Play it again, Sam", only not so much a Bogart way, but in more of an "excuse me, WHAT" way.

And so, he did. And I almost fell over; though I'm not sure whether it was shock or laughter that threw me for a loop.

I won't name the drug here, but the commercial features a woman trying to fall asleep as a butterfly flies around pulling boxing ring ropes down, and when you see it, you'll think of me.

I's a sleeping pill, prescribed to those with trouble falling and/or staying asleep. I don't know how many of you actually listen to the fast-talking portions of prescription drug commercials (or read the tiny print on screen), but I do, and it's clear the makers of this "magic" pill took their account to the right advertising agency, which in turn, came up with the only way to seduce an unsuspecting consumer into "talking to their doctor to find out if it's right for them." They distract the potential victims from hearing the side effects by showing them said butterfly fluttering about as soothing music plays in the background.

See, with the promise of "much-needed sleep" comes the warning that some people have reported making and eating food, talking on the phone, having sex, sleep-walking, and finally, the ubber exciting, ever-memorable act of SLEEP-DRIVING, and having no memory of it the next day.

And we're back to "EXCUSE ME, WHAT????"

How is it possible that a drug like this is on the market? How did this ever get past the FDA? I mean, the website and the commercials even go as far as "explaining" that they have no idea how the drug works, but that it's thought to affect the brain a certain way in order to help you fall asleep. Oh, and I forgot to mention another thing (don't know how it escaped me, this little nugget of gold): apparently, if you have a history of depression, suicide MAY occur, as it also produces abnormal thoughts and behavior, such as aggressiveness, confusion, hallucinations, and the aforementioned possibility of taking your own life, as well as other side effects.

The other day, I was watching Gene Simmons: Family Jewels, and Shannon Tweed couldn't sleep b/c Gene was snoring, so for weeks she'd been taking a sleeping pill. All the while, she noticed she'd been gaining weight, and the kids had been leaving an unusual amount of food laying around at night. So she checked her security footage, and found that she'd been eating and cooking in her sleep, with no memory of any of it. Clearly they bleeped out the name of the pill she was on, but is anyone seriously doubting which one she was on?

I'm sorry, but I think I'd rather take my chances with falling asleep naturally (however difficult), over taking a drug that "may or may not" make me want to kill myself. With my luck, my attempt would fail anyway, leaving me to eat the fridge. But hey, in reaching for that proverbial silver lining, at least I wouldn't remember any of it in the morning...

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