Does Ambien inspire late-night snacking?
Newspaper reports that the Sanofi-Aventis sleeping medication awakens a sleepwalker's desire to raid the refrigerator.

NEW YORK ( - Ambien, a sleeping pill made by Sanofi-Aventis, spurs the desire for intensive midnight snacking, according to a news report.

The sleeping pill causes some of its patients to sleepwalk into their kitchens in the middle of the night and raid the refrigerator, consuming thousands of calories, according to emerging medical case studies, reported The New York Times. Often, the patients don't remember eating, but they find evidence in the form of crumbs in the bed, spilled food in the kitchen and mouthfuls of peanut butter.

Dr. Mark Mahowald, director of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center in Minneapolis, told the Times: "These people are hell-bent to eat." Mahowald has been researching the phenomenon, and researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., made similar findings in a separate study.

Sanofi-Aventis (down $0.02 to $44.95, Research), a Paris-based company, is one of the largest drug manufacturers in the world, totaling $32.6 billion in 2005 sales. A Sanofi spokeswoman told the Times that the company has received some reports of eating, which it has reported to the Food and Drug Administration.

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