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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.

Long term use of Ambien
Date: 11/24/2011
Just wondering if long term use of ambien for 5 years can cause health issues with liver or other cancers or disorders. Need exacts. For essay in health class on this matter.

AskDocWeb: Hello Layna, and welcome. You may find it helpful to check your suppositions. The manufacturer appears to define long term use as 28 to 35 days. Since this drug is intended only for short-term use, it may be difficult to get information on what you define as long-term use.

The manufacturer does list some side effects for the liver and biliary system. Abnormal hepatic function and increased SGPT are listed as infrequent. Rare side effects for the liver and biliary system are bilirubinemia and increased SGOT. This drug is manufactured by Sanofi-aventis. A check of their company website did not find any mention of cancer in the prescribing information or medication guides for Ambien.

Lost depth perception on Ambien
Date: 12/2/2011
I lost all depth perception on Ambien. It was terrifying, I couldn't tell where the walls or floor or anything was, it was as if the world was in two dimensions - I could see shapes but couldn't tell where anything was. I never took it again.
Little almond

Irritated and frustrated
Date: 12/8/2011
My husband takes Seroquel and Ambien (low doses of both) and drinks 2-4 beers before going to bed. The problem is, if he doesn't time it right he's stumbling up the stairs and bumping into walls. He also doesn't remember when he has to be helped to bed or picked up off the floor (just once). He is convinced he can't sleep without the combination of the three. I have taken it a couple of times due to the inability to sleep with diabetic neuropathy pain in my feet. I did just fine. Then again, I took it, laid in bed, and read a book until I was tired enough to sleep. Seriously, try everything else first. I am irritated, frustrated and don't know if I want to babysit him for the rest of my life. Good luck to everyone regarding this medication.
Concerned Wife

Addicted to Zolfresh
Date: 12/9/2011
My friend is addicted to zolfresh he takes 20 tab in a day he wanted to get rid off but is fear of withdrawl plz suggest alternative medicines for withdrawl thanks.

AskDocWeb: Sorry Jaya, currently that can't be done safely over the internet. A doctor needs to evaluate your friend's physical condition and medical history before prescribing treatment.

My face was melting
Date: 12/28/2011
I was given ambien at the hospital to sleep after having my daughter. I remember calling my husband telling him I thought the nurse was on an acid trip n I thought she had gave me it to or an x pill. He told me to just go to sleep that I was crazy. I hung up the phone connected to my hospital bed got up staggering went in looked n the mirror seeing that my face was melting. To any one who takes this please recommend over the counter sleep aides. It was the scariest experience.

AskDocWeb: There are non-pharmacologic alternatives for insomnia such as deep breathing exercise, relaxation techniques, and sleep hygiene. That last one, sleep hygiene, consists of a lot more than just a hot bath, although that does work wonders for some people. Sleep hygiene refers to the habits and behaviors that have an affect on the quality and quantity of your sleep. Here's an abbreviated list:
  • Going to bed at the same time every day.
  • Attempt sleep only when you're sleepy.
  • If you don't get to sleep in 20 minutes, get up and do something boring or calming.
  • Avoid bright light, which tells your brain to wake up.
  • Avoid stimulants such as coffee, cola, and chocolate within 4 hours of bedtime.
  • Avoid alcohol within 4 hours of bedtime.
  • Don't use your bed for anything other than sex and sleeping.
  • No naps unless they are for less than an hour and before 3PM.
  • Develop a 15 minute ritual of things to do before bedtime. This might consist of regular hygiene, stretching, breathing exercises, and/or just sitting quietly with a cup of caffeine-free tea.
  • Turn your clock so you can't see it from bed.
  • Regular exercise helps but not within 4 hours of bedtime.
  • Eat right, no heavy meals before bedtime but a warm glass of milk may help if you are not allergic to it.
  • Maintain a high quality sleeping environment. That means a dark, quiet, comfortable bedroom. A cool room with just enough blankets to stay warm helps.
  • Keep daytime routine even you had a sleepless night last night. If you do this even when you are tired it will aid in getting to sleep tonight.

76 year old with no side effects
Date: 12/28/2011
I am 76 years old and have been taking 2 tylenol pm and a 10 mg ambien for ten years. I have no side effects but sleep very well. Should I worry about the effects after 10 years of using?

AskDocWeb: People over 65 are more sensitive to the effects of hypnotics including Ambien. You may be able to take advantage of that sensitivity by reducing the dosage and still get a good night's sleep. Since there is an increased risk of cognitive impairment (anterograde amnesia), falls, and motor vehicle accidents you may want to discuss this with your doctor.

From Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, Volume 42, Issue 3, pages 196-200: "There are legitimate reasons for hesitating to recommend OTC sleep medications or prescribe hypnotic agents to older adults. ? Findings from a meta-analysis of risks and benefits of hypnotics in older people suggested that although improvements in sleep with hypnotics are statistically relevant, the extent is small. Data from this study also suggested an increased risk of falls and cognitive-related side effects associated with these agents did not justify their use in older adults (Glass, Lanctôt, Hermann, Sproule, & Busto, 2005)."

76 year old - no side effects?
Date: 12/28/2011
I am 76 years old and have been taking 2 tylenol pm and 10 mg of ambien every night for ten years. I have no side effects except having a good nights sleep. Can I continue with no side effects?

AskDocWeb: Some side effects are not obvious to the patient. You may want to check with the people around you to find out if they think you have any cognitive impairment or memory problems.

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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright © 2008-2012 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on Ambien and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.
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