Roseanne blames Ambien for her racist tweet -- but Ambien-maker says racism 'is not a known side effect' of its medication

ABCRoseanne Barr blamed Ambien for her racist tweets.
  • Roseanne Barr, the star of the now canceled eponymous sitcom “Roseanne,” on Wednesday blamed Ambien for her tweet comparing former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape.
  • Sanofi, the maker of Ambien, tweeted that “racism isn’t a known side effect” of Ambien.

Embattled comedian Roseanne Barr blamed Ambien use for her racist tweet on Tuesday, in which she compared Valerie Jarrett, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, to an ape.

“I think Joe Rogan is right about ambien,” Barr said in a now deleted tweet that she sent about 2 a.m. on Wednesday. “Not giving excuses for what I did (tweeted) but I’ve done weird stuff while on ambien-cracked eggs on the wall at 2am etc.”

Pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, the maker of Ambien, hit back.

“People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world,” the company tweeted. “While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”

ABC canceled the hit sitcom “Roseanne” following the comedian’s tweets on Tuesday. “Roseanne” averaged 23.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen, making it the most popular show of the year so far.

Ambien, which is used to treat insomnia, does have side effects, as do most pharmaceutical drugs. But none of them could directly lead to racist tweeting. Some users of Ambien report headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea. A small percentage of users have reported behavioural side effects such as disorientation and hallucinations.

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