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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.

Ambien and anxiety meds
Date: 2/19/2006
I have been on ambien and for the very short term 3-5 days I would think it to be ok but it works on the gaba receptors in the brain and that can be very bad. There is a new drug rozerem that is better long term it works on a different part of the brain and has not been seen as a additive drug and it does not have a rebound effect.
I have been reading, it seems alot of people are on anxiety meds in the benzo family guess what, ambien is too and a withdraw of these drug is being unable to sleep and by taking klonopin, valium or any other benzo with ambien it just is like doubling the dose of the benzo.

Ambien side effects
Date: 2/20/2006
I have taken Ambien 3x; 1 full dose, and I thought I was crazy; 1/2 dose, stoned; 1/4 dose at midnight, today I feel like I cannot focus my eyes or thoughts, and memory is out of wack. Even Red Bull has not awakened me. I threw the bottle away. $95 down the drain. Nyquil works better!

Ambien withdrawals
Date: 2/21/2006
For about 18 months I've been on/off Ambien, via my physician's care. While my current script allows me nearly 2 more months of the drug, I'm not excited about taking it any longer. However, I'm having withdrawal issues. I've cut the 10mg dose to 5mgs and over the next week or so, I'd like to cut the dose to 2.5 mgs then completely off. After the 10-5mg decrease my dreams are horrible. Nightmares, etc. Similar to when I quit Paxil cold turkey 4-years ago. I do take Lexapro which I understand can lessen the negative effects of Ambien, but I'm wondering if tapering is advised, or just quitting cold turkey. I've had trouble sleeping for several years, can't stand the Benadryl doses others have talked about and have not gone the direction of Sonata or Lunesta.

My other concerns are the short term memory issues I seem to have and the lethargy I feel each morning. My physician advised I not taken Ambien more than 3 x per week, but that's not possible now...I must take it nightly. The only time I don't take Ambien is if I drink alcohol. If I consume a pint of scotch at night, I sleep rather well, but I know this is not a good fix.

Scary side effects
Date: 2/24/2006
I started taking Ambien back in 10/05 for insomnia brought on by menopause. Before I knew it, I was taking it pretty much every night or I couldn't sleep. In Feb '06, I started having PVC's which the cause for it couldn't be found. My echocardiogram was normal and my 24 hour halter monitor showed decreased heart rate throughout the day (as low as 42 bpm). I stopped the Ambien and within 4 days, all my symptoms disappeared. Very scary, will never take another sleeping aid, EVER.

Negative effects of Ambien
Date: 3/2/2006
I have been taking Ambien, and then Ambien CR when it became available for 3 years. I apparently have built up a tolerance, and get better sleep with Tylenol PM, but have been warned about the liver damage with the tylenol. The Ambien has totally changed my personality. My entire life seems negative to me, and I have lost friends and family because they just think I've turned into the wicked witch. I try to stop taking it, but find myself so desperate to try and close my eyes at night, that I eventually take the prescribed dose. This drug, in my opinion, with the memory loss and loss of concentration, has ruined my life. Don't mean to sound dramatic, but I am no longer who I was when I started this RX. Thank You.

Trading insomnia for early senility
Date: 3/2/2006
I have been taking 10s every night for the past three years. I get good sleep but I can't remember much either. It feels like I'm slipping into an early senility and have some side effects.

False positive for THC?
Date: 3/6/2006
Hello, I've been taking ambien on a regular basis for a year with good results. However I just ran into a problem. I'm on parole and now my urine analysis is coming back as slightly positive containing thc or canabitoids. This will become a violation for me - But - I remember reading somewhere that ambien shows up as marijuana. Can you send me the proof that I need to continue using ambien! I am positive that I have not used marijuana and the ambien is making it look this way. If I don't get proof of such, I may have to return to jail. It's not fair because I did read papers on this and I know I'm right. I wish to continue using ambien. My doctor is looking into my problem but I fear she may not have time to get the proof I need in time for my parole officer tomorrow. Please help me asap and I will be for ever grateful.

AskDocWeb: Sorry Chester, we did not find evidence that Ambien causes false positives for marijuana.

Ambien for generalized anxiety disorder
Date: 3/6/2006
Hi, I'm 18 years old and I have just been diagnosed with GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) I have had a lot of trouble sleeping because all my thoughts come to my head when I try to relax and sleep I started to take ambien and have been on it for 2 months, it works really well...I have no grogginess and no side-effects at all. I love it, but I am extremely scared to continue taking it since I'm so young and it can be addictive. All of my doctors tell me that it is ok for now, but I don't believe it...

AskDocWeb: It may help to know just exactly how long your doctor says that it will be okay to take Ambien. Short-term use is okay but how long is that?

Addicted to Ambien
Date: 3/8/2006
I was on Ambien from 1994 to 2000. I like many others became addicted to it. I had multiple wrecks that I never could remember. My entire personality changed. I am usually a quiet, demur person. On Ambien, I would call my friends and tell them off and act superior. My behavior was completely different. The withdrawal off of it was hell. I would pace my house for hours in the middle of the night. Never, ever again will I use Ambien. I am thankful I never hurt myself or someone else in a car wreck or got a DUI.

Is this from Ambien?
Date: 3/8/2006
My husband has been taking Ambein for a while now. Last week he walked out on me and OUR 4 kids with no reason that he can think of except that he might not love me anymore. I saw on TV the side affects and I am not sure if this is his problem but I hope so because then it may be able to stop this. Any thoughts? I will talk to his doctor and pray.

AskDocWeb: We have heard from others that Ambien has caused some very unusual behavior.

Arrested because of Ambien
Date: 3/9/2006
My twin brother has had 3 or 4 episodes of sleep driving. Last week he went to get cigarettes and put them in car and walked home 1 block. Then went to get milk and ran into fence gate of our apt complex. He came in house wanting my help, says car won't move. Police come, we walk to car, still running against damaged fence, gets ticket for leaving scene of accident. I am at wits end, I need help. He has been taking ambien, tyn 3/codiene, viacadin and asprin. Has pain from spinal chips arthritis, etc. We are 76 years old and I am on oxygen and use elec. wheel chair. Both veterans and I am retired air force. Need to get him in retirement home I think, maybe both of us.

AskDocWeb: It sounds like it is time for him to give up his driver's license and depend on other means of travel. Due to the severe pains in his back he absolutely needs the pain meds, but the Ambien is questionable. It takes time to get into a retirement home, some of them have a waiting list so don't wait until the last possible moment.

Ambien suicide
Date: 3/9/2006
My Brother just committed suicide while on this Drug less than 10 days! He had never showed signs of despair! 2 Children, wife beautiful home...ruined lives! Please notify me if there is a class action suite against this company!

AskDocWeb: No yet, but there may be soon. Mark your calendar to check back in a few months, we will definitely post anything we find.

Ambien suicide
Date: 3/10/2006
My son took ambien and it cost him his life. He died jumping off a bridge. This medicine must be taken off the market. Others please do not take unless in a hospital setting.

A good nights sleep
Date: 3/10/2006
I have been using ambien less than 7 times a month. When I use it I have a good nights sleep and wake rested with no side effects. I have been using ambien 2 years.

Nerve damage
Date: 3/10/2006
Six days ago (Saturday) I began trembling, most noticeably in my hands and arms which had become increasingly weak. I soon realized that I was trembling from top to toe. By Monday morning the weakness in my body (again, mostly hands and arms) had become so bad that I was quickly losing the use of them entirely. I drove to my doctor's office and once inside, couldn't remember his name or much of anything for several frightening moments. I spent a terrifying six hours and forty-five minutes in the emergency room. My ct scan was clean, my blood tests were good. The doctor said he suspects possible nerve damage. I asked if I might be experiencing withdrawal symptoms from the Ambien (5mg) I had stopped taking about three days earlier. He said it was possible but not likely. Now, nine days later, I am still a bit weak but mostly am disturbed by the continued shaking. Is nerve damage like this permanent?

AskDocWeb: Possibly, but without knowing the details there is no way to tell. It sounds like you need a professional opinion from a neurologist.

Law firm for Ambien case
Date: 3/9/2006
Can you provide the name of the law firm that is handling a ambien case? I would be willing to share my story via email

AskDocWeb: Update: 3/25/07: Link removed - It appears that they are no longer accepting new clients.

Experience worth noting
Date: 3/12/2006
I've yet to hear anyone relate anything close to what happened to me while taking Ambien but, since I typically do not take drugs, I think my experience is worth noting.

I was prescribed Ambien for sleep and given a prescription of 40 10 mg tablets. I took the first tablet as directed and apparently fell asleep immediately. I "came to" two days later when my husband insisted I get out of bed. During the course of the two days, I'd taken almost the entire bottle of the drug without any awareness of doing so. There was ample evidence that I'd been active around the house, cleaning and washing clothes, etc., and even driving to the grocery store. My husband said that I had "normal, if short" conversations with him during the evening hours of the first day. I have no recollection of taking any pill past the first one, driving anywhere, talking to anyone, or doing anything during this time frame. My husband thinks I'm lying, and I can't say that I blame him.

The major after effect I've had from this experience is a frightening decreased ability to retain routine information or instructions. I received the first "needs improvement" on a job performance evaluation I've ever received in a 40 year history in the work force. I simply cannot retain information now, so I have to rely on lists to function.

All things considered, it's a miracle I didn't kill myself during this state. Obviously, I will not be taking ambien again.

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