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Seau’s use of Ambien questioned

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More than two years ago, linebacker Junior Seau committed suicide.  It was reported at the time that Seau had been taking Ambien to help him sleep, albeit unsuccessfully.

Now, in San Diego reports that Seau indeed had Ambien in his home at the time of his death.  The ABC affiliate in San Diego also reports that former Chargers physician David Chao had prescribed the medication — and shares an expert opinion that Seau should not have been taking Ambien due to a history of depression.

“In a case as in Junior Seau, who is suffering from a variety of problems manifested by confusion, depression, improper atypical behavior … you don’t prescribe a drug like Ambien,”  Dr. Cyril Wecht told  “You may be placing that patient at greater risk to doing something to himself, such as committing suicide.”

Seau’s family has filed suit against the NFL for brain injuries occurring during two decades of NFL football.  Seau’s family did not sue Chao, and the two-year statute of limitations most likely expired on the 2014 anniversary of Seau’s passing.

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15 Responses to “Seau’s use of Ambien questioned”
  1. mikeyhigs says: May 21, 2014 11:32 PM

    Is it the Charger’s team physician’s responsibility to diagnose him with “confusion, depression, improper atypical behavior?” Or was he there to diagnose physical issues? Who diagnosed him with those things? Was it postmortem?

  2. dretwann says: May 21, 2014 11:34 PM

    If the family only just became aware that essentially medical malpractice may have contributed to his suicide, isn’t that where the statute of limitations clock begins counting down? If they had no reason to believe or suspect malpractice, then there is no reason to file suit.

  3. footballradioshow says: May 21, 2014 11:38 PM

    The NFL has way bigger drug problems to worry about than weed.

  4. orivar says: May 21, 2014 11:55 PM

    “You may be placing that patient at greater risk to doing something to himself, such as committing suicide.”

    YOU THINK? I refuse to take any of these drugs unless they help me sleep or I absolutely 100% need them like when my heart was inflamed.

  5. ncarolinarn7 says: May 22, 2014 12:47 AM

    Oh gimme a break. Really? What lay person thought that up??? My goodness the lack of knowledge and understanding about any topic can let imaginations run wild can’t it?? That is nuts? I can not believe Ambein caused this man to commit suicide. Tylenol do it I bet.

  6. terminalmancer says: May 22, 2014 12:48 AM

    Why is a forensic pathologist cited as an expert on drug interactions? Cyril Wecht seems like a bright guy and he was my local coroner for a long long time, but I’m not sure why they pulled him into this.

  7. theflyingelvis says: May 22, 2014 12:52 AM

    Some people I know take ambien and feel absolutely nothing, but when I take it I’m out like a light. Guess it depends on the person and their metabolism. I will say though, ambien is some NASTY stuff. When you take it, you don’t really fall asleep, it’s more like you pass out. Also, you do things and can’t remember them the next day, total amnesia. I mean, Charlie Sheen, who’s probably taken every drug on the planet at one point or another, called it “the devils aspirin” so that’s saying something, and I agree. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was at least a contributing factor in Seau’s death.

  8. ningenito78 says: May 22, 2014 1:03 AM

    That’s assuming the prescribing doctor knows about the depression and irrational behavior. It’s not like people that are truly depressed announce that to people.

  9. drunkraider says: May 22, 2014 1:22 AM

    I just dont understand how these people think they can sue the NFL when nobody is forcing these players to play and earn millions of dollars.

    Do you think for a second his family where at home screaming at him to stop playing when he was bringing home millions?

    i highly doubt it.

  10. greggfletch1 says: May 22, 2014 1:23 AM

    I had one beer and took a Ambien, I drove to the store and got beer. DONT REMEMBER A THING ABOUT THE DRIVE.

  11. catquick says: May 22, 2014 2:24 AM

    Lots of people who never played football commit suicide. I thought about it last week and came up with more than 10 names of friends or acquaintances who have done it. Why does Seau’s death have to be ” football related?”

  12. dapollock69 says: May 22, 2014 6:42 AM

    Chao has had his share of shady dealings, google him. Why he was the team doctor for so long is mind boggling. The doctor from the Simpsons would have been more qualified. Not saying he was directly responsible for Seau’s case, but perhaps a better doctor wouldn’t have hurt.

  13. DitkasHair says: May 22, 2014 8:11 AM

    Odd, Physicians use to cover each other’s arses on a regular basis….I guess a TV camera in your face allows you to 2nd guess like a Sportscaster.

    I’ll agree Ambien is one crazy drug, but unless this TV doctor has Seau’s medical records, he should keep his mouth shut.

  14. dietrich43 says: May 22, 2014 12:50 PM

    Dr. Wecht is a hack. I wouldn’t believe one word he utters.

  15. steeler43 says: Dec 8, 2016 1:59 PM

    Ambien is a terrible drug, Xanax is worse. Sedatives are just dangerous, period. They are the hardest drugs to detox from, second only to alcohol. Team “doctors” hand them out like candy to players, along with narcotics. We only hear about the players who become addicted to opiates, but I want to find out how many become addicted to tranquilizers and benzos. To me, that is more of a crime than giving them opiates.

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