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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.

Loosing memory
Date: 9/6/2006
I initially became very depressed and could only sleep for 2 to 2 1/2 hrs every night. Doctor prescribed Ambien 5mg just before turning in. This gave me initially 5hrs sleep. I have been taking them for 18mths and now sleep for only 3hrs a night. I am losing my recent memory and have to stop and think of the next word I have to say. I notice some people walk away waiting for me to deliver the next sentence. I am sure this is from the intake of ambien every day. I also take Lexapro for depression 10mg per day

Memory loss
Date: 9/9/2006
I was reading through the questions and comments. I noticed someone wrote about memory loss as a side effect although it's not in the text. Is this a possibility because I have a very poor memory lately.

AskDocWeb: Yes, memory loss has been associated with Ambien.

Ambien invisible visitors
Date: 9/10/2006
I have had what I thought were visitors, helping me, never seeing them though. Also making phone calls to everyone at night, and not remembering what we spoke about. Has anyone noticed hair thinning in the women, after being on ambien quite awhile?

Ambien problems
Date: 9/10/2006
I've been taking Ambien for about 6 weeks now. It is wonderful to get a good night's sleep, but I felt like it put me into such a deep, deep sleep like being put under for surgery. I always fell asleep immediately. If I waited over 10 minutes after taking it to go to bed, it felt like my legs were lead and I could hardly walk to get to bed. I noticed also I have a constant headache during the day since I've been taking it. I have developed a side effect of back pain between my shoulder blades since I have been taking it. I have been to my chiropractor and he can't find any problems after several visits. Also I started having stomach or digestive problems since I've been taking it. I reduced my dosage to 5 mg. and am not sleeping as deep, but now I have horrible crazy dreams. I still have the headaches, stomach problems, and back pain. I am going to go down to 2-1/2 mg. then try to go off it. I have tried over the counter products, but they don't seeem to work very well for me.

Ambien eyesight trouble
Date: 9/11/2006
I have been taking Ambien for about a month. I have sleep apnea and have had trouble staying asleep for any length of time even with the CPAP. So my doctor prescribed Ambien. It has my to be able to sleep for 6 hours straight wish is very nice. But the last couple of days I have had trouble with my eyesight. I feel like I have someone elses glasses on! I keep cleaning them and moving the arms but I just keep moving my head trying to see out of my bifocals. So I thought what have I been doing different? The Ambien, that's it! So to the Internet I went. Looks like I found my answer.

Date: 9/12/2006
I work night shift in the ER and I'm a full time student, 22, Male. About 6 months ago my doc wrote me a script for ambien because I was suffering from self-diagnosed insomnia (prob #1). I enjoyed the sleep I got and became quite dependent on it, as so many do. For a while, I had no problems. I've had problems with amnesia before due to the medicine--things like waking to find my room rearranged or my mom freaked out because of a conversation I had with her that I don't remember. but it was worth the occasional explaining I had to do to get good rest. well NOTHING is worth what happened to me last Friday night. after a night of studying, I settled down, took an ambien, flipped on the TV, and got in bed. when I come to, I'M IN JAIL. no joke. and all I remember is a few vague flashes through the night of failing a field sobriety test and being booked in the jail. I have NO IDEA what has happened to me. later I come to find out that one of my friends called me at his fraternity house and needed a ride. well apparently I said OK and got dressed, left my house and somehow or where had enough alcohol to register 0.06 on a breathalizer. I never made it to the frat house or if I did I was leaving and hit a telephone pole. I still don't know for sure. but I do know I'm in deep and have NO idea what I'm going to do. I'm in nursing school and plan to go onto Med School when I finish. This DUI, if it stays on my record will cause me serious problems. Anyone have any advice for me?!? HELP! Here's my advice: unless you're in a hospital or have a sitter at night--STAY AWAY from AMBIEN! It's just not worth it. It changed me.

Long-term memory loss
Date: 9/14/2006
I have taken ambien 15 days out of the month for the past five years. I alternate with 1-2 mg ativan. When it says to take this medicine while in bed, it is not kidding. Don't fool yourself into thinking that you can wait it out until you are sleepy. I don't understand why people don't follow these directions. I take my pill and I have the glass on the nightstand and I am in bed less than 30 seconds later. It usually kicks in about ten-fifteen minutes after it is taken. I don't know how much longer I can take it though, because I am experiencing long term memory loss that is so bad that I can't remember appointments, or to look at my calendar for appointments or to write down appointments, etc. Memory loss is a blessing and a curse, because I can hardly remember the days when I was in deep depression before I started taking ambien. My doctor prescribed it because I took Zoloft and could not fall asleep. I think that ativan works better for me without the memory loss.

Date: 9/18/2006
I just finished reading all the pages and realized that my off and on hallucinations for the past year can be due to this medication. I have been taking it for 10 years (I live in Europe) but very seldom perhaps 1 time every month or two. I don't seem to have the addictive component but have noticed these hallucinations every time I take a Stilnox. It is a very specific hallucination related to a phobia that I have. I think I can do without this medication. Thanks for your good work!

Help from Mike?
Date: 9/18/2006
Hey everyone. After reading many of these posts, it's obvious that sleeping aids can take their toll on you in many different ways. If you feel like you're becoming dependent on Ambien or have a story regarding how Ambien or another sleep aid had caused you to behave out of the ordinary, please email me. We might be able to help.
Mike Montel Show

AskDocWeb: We are pleased that you are interested in what Ambien has been doing to thousands of people. There is a lawsuit going on right now but the problem is, they are only going after weight gain, not the memory loss or people being charged with DUI. What about the people who get out of bed without knowing, drive their cars (sometimes nude) and get in accidents? It would help if you had people on your show to share their horror stories about Ambien.

Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing
Date: 9/18/2006
I get very dry mouth and have difficulty swallowing.

AskDocWeb: About 3% of Ambien users report having dry mouth. The difficulty in swallowing could indicate a serious condition and should be reported to your doctor.

Ambien PRO & CON
Date: 9/24/2006
I've seen a lot of people on here express concern over getting up in the middle of the night w/no memory or acting strangely when on Ambien, just remember that thru 'normal' sleep these things CAN also happen, ever had a phone conversation at 3am that you didn't remember? Of course driving in your sleep is scary and I don't take that lightly. I've taken Ambien here and there over the last few years, it is great for SHORT term use. I found it lost its potency after a few weeks, tho I'm the type of person who does that w/things like Ibuprofen as well. That being said, a member of my family has been hooked on it for a few years now and they do a LOT of the '3am snacking' w/no memory, a lot of stumbling around drunkenly before finally falling asleep and it only works about 1/2 the time for them now. I know for a fact this person does not drink at all, so there's no problem there. They are more depressed and forget than usual but I can't say I know it's the Ambien causing this, but I do worry about someone who's so addicted to anything.

Ambien advice
Date: 9/24/2006
I have been taking ambien for 2 years. I'm 56 and have had severe chronic insomnia since I was a child. I love that it saves so much wasted time laying in bed all night with no sleep. I take it after I lay down and it works every time. You shouldn't be sitting up when you take it or doing anything other than laying down with eyes closed. That way you won't experience anything other than sleep.

Date: 9/24/2006
This stuff was a lifesaver for me. Although it is a bit startling how very quickly it works sometimes. I take it 5 days a week. It's great not to lay there listening to my husband sleeping while I stare at the ceiling for hours. I do seem to get more headaches in the morning now... but I can SLEEP~! It's wonderful.

Date: 9/25/2006
I have taken Ambien in the past for a year. Then stopped. I started back again when I started Wellbutrin. I experienced the vivid dreams and depression. Well, I was already depressed and the Ambien's side effects enhanced it, hence the Wellbutrin. I don't take ambien every night now. I have spaced it out to every 2 nights, no closer. That way I don't build up a tolerance like I did before. Ambien's great, just don't take it EVERY NIGHT. And for the love of God, don't leave the house after taking it!

Ambien withdrawal
Date: 9/26/2006
I stopped taking Ambien about three weeks ago, as it was no longer helping me fall asleep. I had been taking it for years due to sleep disturbances caused by fibromyalgia. I had thought it was just a mild sleep aid ... withdrawal never entered my mind. The symptoms I have been experiencing are extreme muscle tension which causes my body to jerk uncontrollably, sometimes for hours, mental tension/anxiety comparable to drinking many cups of strong coffee, and an inability to fall asleep until 5 or 6AM. Comments from a vet friend made me wonder if I might be experiencing withdrawal. The info I have found on the net mentions jerking (which I found to be the most alarming symptom), so I think I am on the right track. If I had had any idea, I would have tapered off, but when my prescription ran out, I didn't refill it. Suggestion to long term users: if you decide to stop taking this not-so-gentle drug, enlist your doctor and ask him to help you taper off.

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