October 30, 2007
Ambien Appears to Wake Up Coma Patient
A British woman who slipped into a coma six years ago after taking heroin is reportedly regaining consciousness after being given an Ambien-type drug.
Amy Pickard of Hastings was given zolpidem, the drug marketed in the United States under the name Ambien, The Daily Mail reported.
The young woman's case is described on The Waking Pill, a BBC documentary scheduled to be aired Wednesday. She is one of 360 patients around the world in a trial on using zolpidem for coma patients.
Ambien is marketed as a sleeping pill. But in 1999, a young South African, Louis Viljoen, who had been comatose for five years, was given a pill because he was restless. Instead of going to sleep, he spoke for the first time since he had been hit by a truck.