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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.

Thoughts of suicide
Date: 3/19/2007
I am taking 12.5 mg. ambien cr. I have been on this for almost six months. I have been having thoughts of suicide, but haven't told anyone. I feel I am addicted. How do I step down from this?

AskDocWeb: If you can't do it on your own then you need help, tell your doctor. He may recommend that you go to therapy for your suicide thoughts, hopefully before they become real.

Concentration and ability to focus
Date: 3/21/2007
I have been taking approx. 19mg's of Ambien CR for 5 months now. I have no idea what the long term effects will be. The fact is I have been a chronic insomniac since I was a child and after some of my worst boughts of sleeplessness this last year I decided to go to a sleep clinic and take control. Some nights are better than others, sometimes I just can't get to sleep no matter what. Sometimes I feel like I have not slept at all. I am consistent in my dosage and try to lower it every so often to the 12.5 only so that I can function. I do sleep more than I used to, and the CR is a lot better than the original I tried since I am not cooking, driving, walking etc. while I am on it these days. But I do have serious questions at my next appt about its safety after the last round of bad press. My biggest concern; concentration and ability to focus during the days. Anyone else have a noticeable and consistent pattern of degradation in that?

Frightening experience with Ambien
Date: 3/23/2007
I had a very frightening experience after taking Ambien where I remember going to the bathroom, but woke up in severe pain and having trouble breathing. I must have fallen into some part of the doorframe but have no memory of it. It resulted in 2 fractured ribs, I'm a nurse who lost 3 weeks of work from this experience and still quite sore. I am afraid to take this drug anymore.

Significant memory loss
Date: 3/24/2007
I experienced a significant memory loss last night while taking ambien. I did dishes and pulled clothes out of the closet that I don't have any recall of. My fiance said he told me to go to bed @ 5am and I just kept cleaning??? This is bizarre to me.

Depression and strong panic attacks
Date: 3/24/2007
I have several medical problems that make sleep difficult. My Doctor prescribed Ambien CR 12.5 mg. At first I found it wonderful and I was able to sleep. After the 3rd week I suddenly found myself in a frequent state of depression, strong panic attacks. I stopped taking Ambien and I am on my 3rd day of hell. Please never, never take Ambien. You will be on a fast train to a living Hell.

Is this addicting
Date: 3/28/2007
Is this addicting...over a year...strange side effects...light headed, floating feeling, lack of concentration, depressed, anxious, irritable, forgetful, sleepy, numbness and tingling in left hand and foot.

AskDocWeb: The tingling if your left hand and foot are a warning sign. It sounds like you should get checked out by your doctor.

UPDATE: In March of 2007 the FDA asked that all makers of sedative-hypnotics, like Ambien, Sonata, and Lunesta, add warnings to their labels about
(1) anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) and angioedema (severe facial swelling), which can occur as early as the first time the product is taken; and
(2) complex sleep-related behaviors which may include sleep-driving, making phone calls, and preparing and eating food (while asleep). The warning affects the following 13 drugs and their manufacturers:
  • Ambien and Ambien CR (Sanofi Aventis)
  • Butisol Sodium (Medpointe Pharm HLC)
  • Carbrital (Parke-Davis)
  • Dalmane (Valeant Pharm)
  • Doral (Questcor Pharms)
  • Halcion (Pharmacia & Upjohn)
  • Lunesta (Sepracor)
  • Placidyl (Abbott)
  • Prosom (Abbott)
  • Restoril (Tyco health care)
  • Rozerem (Takeda)
  • Seconal (Lilly)
  • Sonata (King Pharmaceuticals)

Like taking LSD or mushrooms
Date: 4/5/2007
I have found all the exact symptoms in ambien that I am reading here. One night I took it and decided it would be a good idea to paint my bathroom door with nail polish. I have gone on shopping sprees at 11 at night. I have driven to the ocean and don't remember how I got home. Sometimes it doesn't do anything and I do fall asleep. I have mild insomnia and get the drug every couple months. It distorts your vision and I have thrown up from it enough times to know I am done with it, now that I read its an epidemic. Scary stuff. It is exactly like taking LSD or mushrooms which is very scary if your not expecting the effects.

Date: 4/9/2007
Do not take this drug!!! I drove my car into a utility pole breaking my neck while sleep driving after taking ambien.

Withdrawal symptoms
Date: 4/10/2007
What are the withdrawal symptoms please, I have taken for a few weeks, 10 mg, while traveling.

AskDocWeb: Insomnia and nightmares are the most frequently reported withdrawal symptoms. A few people have reported headaches, shakes (or jerking), and heart palpitations.

Marvelous drug
Date: 4/12/2007
I think ambien is a marvelous drug, I have used it for a while, and I am not addicted. I feel it has helped me to function. I do not sleep, and have not done so for years. I don't know what other drugs can help. I tried Lunesta, did not like it. What is one to do? I need my sleep to function. I don't drive, nor drink, but have experienced an increase in appetite. Please advise.

AskDocWeb: Sleep drugs of any kind can produce a lot of different reactions. You really need to see your physician about what may be the best choice for you.

Husband takes Ambien, wife sleeps on couch
Date: 4/13/2007
My husband takes ambien about twice a week. He has been using this sleep drug for about 3+ years. Lately he has been getting very aggressive and talking to me without any memory of this in the morning. I tried to wake him and he did open his eyes and responded when I asked him if he was awake. However, he didn't seem aware and in the morning he had no memory of me waking him. He was talking to people in the room that were not there and pulling on my arm. He seemed to be in a dream. I got up and slept on the couch.

Long-term Ambien use
Date: 4/14/2007
I've been taking ambien for approx. 10 years. I started to experience puritis about 4 years ago and now abnormally tired muscles...i.e. flue like symptoms for the last year...could ambien use be responsible? Thanks for your reply!

AskDocWeb: Yes, we found one long-term study on Ambien in which 2% of users experienced Influenza-like symptoms.

Extreme eating binges
Date: 4/17/2007
I've told my husband several times that every pill doesn't have the same dosage...some may have no effect while the next one may put you on "a high". I go on extreme eating binges that I'm unaware of until my family tells me what they observed. I've done other things that cause me great concern. I am convinced that it is entirely possible to drive a vehicle unknowingly. I feel that this drug is very dangerous; however, I hate to give it up because it makes me sleep all night. I've been taking it for perhaps a year and wonder if it could be causing some of my memory problems. My productivity is way down and I'm not doing anything about it. Doctors prescribe this drug too freely.
Jo Ann

AskDocWeb: Yes, it could be causing memory problems.

Date: 4/18/2007
I would be up practically all night if it were not for Ambien. The fatigue and nervousness I felt from not sleeping was solved when I started Ambien 3 years ago. Yes there are side effects listed, just follow them and terrible things won't happen. The warnings are there for a reason.

Sleep walking
Date: 4/19/2007
I have had several instances of sleep walking since taking Ambien...I have gotten up and cooked, gone to the neighbors and asked for a cigarette. I was wondering if anyone else has had these experiences.

AskDocWeb: Yes others have experienced like episodes.

I am addicted
Date: 4/20/2007
I have been taking Ambien for quite a while now. I am addicted. My mother thinks she has the bottle hidden but every week or so I get about 10 of them and stash them in my room. I have been taking one, sometimes two, every night for the past 3 months. I have been noticing things about myself that scares me. I am extremely irritable. I don't want to be around anyone. I look forward to taking the Ambien everyday. Also, recently I have been having pale bowel movements. I was wondering, could this be a side effect of long term use of Ambien? I am really worried about myself. I don't know how to stop taking Ambien on my own.

AskDocWeb: Talk with your physician and be honest with him/her about over dosing on the medication and to help you get off of it.

Ambien loss of memory
Date: 4/23/2007
I have found Ambien to totally relieve my insomnia symptoms. The sleep that follows is very sound and very restful. I do not wake up drowsy. With that said, here are the things to watch out for: If you do not go to bed immediately after taking it, you WILL do things out of the ordinary and you WILL NOT remember it. I personally have said things, made phone calls late at night, ordered things online even altered my passwords to Paypal and my Bank Accounts with NO memory of this. I have friends that have similar symptoms. In fact, every person I know that uses Ambien has these side effects so please be very careful and you must trust those around you when you are on Ambien.

Read more Ambien Feedback.

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