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About Ambien

Discussion forum about the side effects of Ambien. Share your experience and opinion about Ambien. What would you tell your best friend about this product? Please remember that we do not give medical advice. That is for your local health care provider, who is familiar with your medical history.

Date: 9/27/2005
I have taken Ambien for several years off and on, mostly when I travel. I have found it to not work at all at some times and even taking two, could not fall asleep.

AskDocWeb: Ambien is a powerful drug. Please do not take more than the recommended amount. It puts your health and the health of those around you at risk.

Ambien and pregnancy?
Date: 9/27/2005
Hi, I'm 33 weeks pregnant. My doctor prescribed Ambien for sleepless nights (much earlier on in my pregnancy). I didn't start using it until my 3rd trimester. It's 5 mg and I have been taking 1/2 tablet almost every night when I go to bed. After my visit with him today, he was adamant about not taking it at all. Now I am very concerned I may have done something wrong. Can you give me any advice information? Thank you!

AskDocWeb: You should tell your doctor what you have already taken and that you have used them up until your third trimester. And while you are in his office, ask your doctor "What damage has this done to the fetus?"

Chronic insomnia
Date: 9/29/2005
Like most of you I've had chronic insomnia for about 6 years now. I finally caved and went to the doc last week because I just couldn't take it anymore. Well he prescribed me Lunesta. I was so excited. I took it and began to hallucinate after an hour. There were trees dancing in my room! I called him the next day and he then prescribed me Ambien. I've taken that for about 4 nights now. The first few nights were great. But today I'm having vision problems. I've had double vision a couple of times today. Also I'm unbelievably crabby. I'm snapping at my co-workers and my husband. The dry throat is no picnic either. I think I will use this for the occasional sleepless night but not more than 2 or 3 nights in a row.

AskDocWeb: Be sure to tell your doctor about the vision problems.

Ambien sleeping pill a whopper
Date: 9/30/2005
This stuff is a whopper! I quit smoking and suffered from insomnia for about a week. Doc prescribed Ambien and... well... I did sleep. The problem is that if I didn't have to work the next day, I'd have slept ALL DAY! I think half a dose would be more than enough. I can see why this is addictive. BE WARNED,

Chest pains
Date: 10/5/2005
I took Ambiem for the first time last night. When I got up this morning and ever since I have had really bad pains in my chest that won't go away. Could that be a side affect?

AskDocWeb: Ambien can cause myalgia, which is muscle pain but this could be more serious. Please have your heart checked at your physician's office. It could be heart palpitations, but don't take any chances.

Memory loss
Date: 10/27/2005
I can echo the other people on this regarding the memory loss. I was sitting and talking to a friend after taking one but before going to bed. I did and said many troubling things that I have no memory of at all. I was crying and yelling. The doctor never warned me of this potential side effect when I took the Rx. On the plus side, I slept like a rock once the crying and yelling stopped :-)
Jess Ambien update 10/29/2005: Ambien Lawsuit and Litigation: The side effects and drug interactions of Ambien may result in a number of lawsuits.

Claims have been made that Searle, the manufacturer of Ambien, has not taken sufficient steps in researching and/or providing information on side effects and drug interaction to patients, leading to serious adverse effects, and even deaths.

A man in the USA has filed a drug product liability case against Searle Chemicals a/k/a G.D. Searle. It seems his wife was prescribed Biaxin, an antibiotic, followed by Ambien for the treatment of the insomnia, which was presumably a side effect of the Biaxin. The patient was informed that Ambien might cause 'daytime drowsiness or dizziness'. Several days later she committed suicide by hanging herself.

The file documentation indicates that prior to March of 2000, Searle had knowledge of 17 suicides, 15 suicide attempts and 6 "non-accidental overdoses" involving Ambien, Stilnox and/or zolpidem in which these drugs were the primary suspects.

In the drug product liability counts of his complaint, the plaintiff claims that Searle failed to adequately research and test Ambien and didn't provide adequate information as to its interaction with other drugs (apparently with Biaxin in this case). He also claims that Searle failed to adequately warn of contraindications for certain persons, that it could induce depressive, irrational and suicidal behavior.

While the case is still pending, it is clear that this is not an isolated occurrence and that more Ambien litigation can be expected.

Feedback on Ambien
Date: 11/5/2005
After discovering your website and reading about Ambien, I thought I would give my feedback. I had started waking up 3 or 4 times a night. I started on Ambien off and on over this past year. It worked for about a week. After that, I started waking up again several times a night. Then came the nightmares. I felt literally thought I was awake. Strangers trying to pull me out of bed, grab me. I tried so hard to scream and wake up my husband but couldn't move! I did not realize the Ambien was causing these nightmares when I told my doctor they were not working anymore. He then put me on Lunesta. They are doing the same thing! Now purely frustrated, I thought I would try Tylenol PM. And, guess what? I still wake up 3 or 4 times a night, and recently started up with the nightmares again. I am swearing off any sleep aid. Hopefully, someone is looking at the OTC medications also. Have you done any research on Lunesta yet? Or OTC sleep aids? Might be worth looking into.

AskDocWeb: Yes, Lunesta can cause the same symptoms as Ambien. Any suggestions for getting to sleep or getting a good nights sleep will be posted here.

Ambien side effects
Date: 11/13/2005
I have become addicted to this drug. I cannot go to sleep without taking a 5mg tablet. I have been taking it for 6 months. I would like to stop tired of the dizzy after feeling.

AskDocWeb: It is possible to just THROW them away. Sometimes you just have to tough it out.

Please Note: Do not flush any medication down the stool. It causes problems with water treatment downstream. Some cities get their drinking water from rivers. They use it, treat it, and return it to the river for use by other cities downstream. The fewer the number and amount of contaminants in that water, the better.

Jerking movements
Date: 11/16/2005
I have been on ambien (5mg) for almost a 1 year now. I've been trying to get off it by cut the dose to half. It works sometimes. Also, I have been experiencing jerking movements.

AskDocWeb: It sound like you might be having some nerve damage. Talk to your doctor before taking ambien again and do so as soon as possible. You don't want to risk your health over a sleep aid.

Ambien hallucinations
Date: 11/23/2005
How do you make the hallucinations cease while on Ambien? They're everywhere, mostly passive, but there must be a means to omit that part of the evening.

AskDocWeb: Think of it as a good reason to go immediately to bed after taking Ambien.

Ambien withdrawal
Date: 11/24/2005
A friend who has been taking ambien for some time seems to have become addicted to them, in so much as she finds she is unable to sleep without them. Can you recommend a course of action for her to withdraw from them. Perhaps an alternative to that drug, preferably natural. Or is the best course of action simply tapering off combined with increased physical activity. Are there any dietary suggestions you can make to aid in this?

AskDocWeb: Tapering off seems to work, such as taking it every other night, then every three days, etc. Other things you can do are listed on our sleep page. Feel free to add to the list.

Ambien withdrawal
Date: 11/26/2005
This is the second time I have used Ambien. This time my doctor wrote the prescription at my request when I experienced a long term problem getting to sleep at night. Part of the problem was racing thoughts and mild anxiety caused by personal circumstances unrelated to my health, which is, for the most part, better than most others my age (66).

The other reason was I'd been diagnosed with Sleep Apnia by a sleep clinic and was having some difficulty adapting to the use of the machine at night. The air supply device and the requisite mask are no longer an issue and have become, for all intensive purposes, transparent.

My prior use of Ambien made it clear that if I continued use after a certain period, that I would become Ambien dependant. So, after about 45 days of constant use this second time, I chose to stop using Ambien only to find that I can not simply cease using it "cold turkey" and still expect to fall asleep.

While none of the symptoms reported in clinical tests have manifested, I find that sudden discontinuance is causing insomnia. I lay in bed for 4 or 5 hours, wide awake, unable to sleep. The irony of all this is that the fatigue that was due to the Sleep Apnia has been replaced by a fatigue caused now by my inability to fall sleep unaided by the drug.

Recently, instead of taking the entire dose, I started cutting the 10mg tablets in half. Eventually I will cut them into quarters, gradually weaning myself overt a ten day period. I have been down this path before and anticipated that suddenly stopping the use of Ambien would prove counterproductive. Other than this withdrawal problem, I found the drug to be very effective and symptom free.

Read more Ambien Feedback.

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