Steve Murphy and I took on Pharmaceutical companies in this week’s Perpetual Post.  Read his side here.

Mines is below.

I was all ready to make fun of prescription drug commercials, because they are hilarious, when through the miracle of internet I became acquainted with the fabulous world of prescription drug websites! They’re kind of like the commercials, only with fewer cartoons, more stock photos of people looking concerned, and more fine-print made less fine.

In fact, I would like to quote directly from the delightful Patient-Medication-Guide on the website for prescription sleep-aid LUNESTA, which can be found on

“After taking LUNESTA, you may get up out of bed while not being fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing. The next morning, you may not remember that you did anything during the night. Reported activities include:

• driving a car (“sleep-driving”)

• making and eating food

• talking on the phone

• having sex

• sleep-walking”

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty awesome night to me. I enjoy many of the above activities, and can’t always find time for them during the day—so perhaps LUNESTA is exactly what I need to get the most out of my evening hours. I’m not sure I’m down with the concept of “sleep-driving”, but that would make a good excuse the next time I run a red light during a late night drive. “Huh? Officer? What? I’m not asleep in my nice warm bed?! Nooo! LUNESTAAAA!!!” It’s the perfect crime.

Given these side-effects, I have to concur with LUNESTA’s claims to give you a good night’s sleep. Actually, any period of rest during which I make and eat food, talk on the phone and have sex—I call a GREAT night’s sleep. LUNESTA, you may have just found another satisfied customer.

Then again, some of the negative side-effects of taking LUNESTA include:

• abnormal thoughts and behavior. Symptoms include more outgoing or aggressive behavior than normal, confusion, agitation, hallucinations, worsening of depression, and suicidal thoughts or actions.

• memory loss

• anxiety

Ok. Any of those side-effects would kind of put a crimp in my sleep-eating, sleep-screwing and sleep-talking-on-the-phone style (by the way, that’s also a great way to get out of a phone conversation that’s quickly going south. “I owe you how much in unpaid cable bills?…What?…What am I doing? Who is this anyway?! LUNESTAAAA!!!” Click.)

I mean really, what’s the point of making delicious sleep-feasts and having fabulously sexy sleep-relations if a) you don’t remember any of it and b) you’re confused, aggressive, depressed, anxious, suicidal and hallucinating? Aren’t those the same symptoms you have if you’re an insomniac? Why not skip the LUNESTA and lessen the chances that you’ll wake up doing 80 on the highway or eating a bullion-cube sandwich? You might only get laid while you’re awake, but at least you’ll remember it.

There are also common side effects like

• unpleasant taste in mouth, dry mouth

• drowsiness

Is there some legal reason they have to list drowsiness as a side effect for a sleep-aid? Finally, my last favorite part of the Patient Guide? (There were so many!):

• For customer service, call 1-888-394-7377.

• To report side effects, call 1-877-737-7226.

Oh, to work the LUNESTA reported side effects hotline! What a wealth of unimaginable dramatic and comedic riches!

“Last night I called every number in my cell phone and yelled ‘I HATE FEET!’ at anyone who picked up.”

“I woke up two towns over with my car in a ditch…and dry mouth.”

“I had no trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. And then I had no trouble eating half a roast chicken and having anonymous sex with my building’s security guard. I feel like I finally have my life back, thanks to LUNESTA.”