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About AmbienDiscussion 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 doesn't work for me
I don't know what ambien is good for personally. I have tried the script a few times, and it almost never does anything at all. It has, on occasion done its job, so I do know what it should feel like, but even so am awake in 2 hrs, for good. Most always, however, it is like taking a knife to a gunfight, basically, totally useless. But I wanna know why??? Why do so many people find it consistently working, what makes it not work for me? Is it a chemical thing or I'm just more of an insomniac than the pill can handle? 4-1/2 hrs/per 6 days, is typical me...all other sleep enducing drugs trigger severe restless legs syndrome in me. Ambien does not. What is left to do?
AskDocWeb: You're right, it's a chemical thing. Because of the variations in body chemistry from one person to the next, Ambien will not work for everyone. Have you tried Lunesta?
Eating anything in sight
I have been taking ambien for 3 months now for insomnia and I sleep great now. But... right after I take the pill...within about 10 minutes I am in the kitchen eating anything in sight. This is not remembered the next day and I only know this is happening because of the dishes beside the bed and my husband telling me about it. I never ate at night after dinner before this. I've gained 6 lbs. since starting ambien. Dr. said this happens with some of his patients but the package says nothing about this side effect.
I have been taking 10 mg. Ambien for about 4 years. now. Up until recently I never experienced any negative effects, but I now have very violent and frightening dreams - nightmares. It has gotten to the point where I am afraid to go to sleep. Also, rather than lasting throughout the night, I awaken between 2:30 and 4:30 a.m. and cannot go back to sleep.
I haven't slept really good in a long time. I finally went to the doctor because I just couldn't handle it anymore. She prescribed ambian CR, it worked great! I have rested so well the last few nights and feel like a new woman! Thanks Ambien!
Next day side effects
I have just started taking Ambien for insomnia and sleep very well with it, but have some side effects after a couple days of taking it such as drowsiness, slight headache, slight dizziness, and some affect on mood. My question is would taking the pill with a full glass of water which is recommended help dilute the medication and lessen the next day side effects. I have not been taking the water at bedtime because of enlarged prostate and the necessity to urinate during the night. Thanks,
AskDocWeb: Taking Ambien with a full glass of water will not dilute or lesson the next day side effects.
WALKING in SLEEP
I had my 1st in 81 years of "WALKING in SLEEP" after taking AMBIEN/ next morn. Found WINE stains in Kitchen and on Drink glass (where the wine is) and I KNOW I closed down desk computer that nite which was open next morning and EVERYTHING was scrambled and much was dragged to TRASH? VERY FRIGHTENING!
Sometimes it works great
I have taken Ambien almost every night for almost 8 months. Sometimes it works great - and it definitely is a plus if I wake up during the night in allowing me to fall asleep again quickly. It can be difficult for me to get to sleep. Last night I took a pill at 9:30 and was still awake at 2:00. I've tried cutting back to 1/2 pill but only get a few hours sleep, which was the problem before my doctor prescribed Ambien. About a month ago I knew that I could only get about 5 hours sleep so didn't take one at all. I slept for only 45 minutes just before the alarm went off. I am starting to think I should not be taking this drug but don't know how many 45 minute nights I can handle. I have a high-pressured position and do a lot of traveling by car and need to sleep at night. I drink alcohol rarely and have not had addiction issues but my mother was dependent on sleeping pills and I feel myself headed down the same path. Although I haven't had any food or driving episodes, I did fall asleep on the toilet one night!
I take umbrage
I greatly appreciate reading the feedback of those of you with experience using Ambien (along with your own sound judgment) properly. It is very helpful. However, many of the replies don't take into consideration some important facts. When I read about people who say Ambien is addictive, their reasoning being that when they stopped taking it they couldn't sleep, it leads me to remind them why they started taking it in the first place. Isn't it because they couldn't sleep? So 1) without Ambien they couldn't sleep; 2) started taking it and COULD sleep; 3) then stopped taking it, went right back to not sleeping, like before. Hmmm ... are some of you following my logic here? But it is the ones like the entries dated 2/27/2007 and 3/5/2007, which really frustrate me. The foolishness of washing down a sleeping pill with a 1/2 case of beer should be obvious to anyone. I hope someone in his fraternity has the sense to make him stop. The second author describes Ambien as a "very dangerous drug" and compares it unfavorably to alcohol and illegal drugs. I think it's important to note that the author clearly states that her friend takes it throughout the day and then acts like a jerk. Well, her friend made an extremely poor decision to use the drug improperly (I'm willing to bet no one prescribed it to her to be taken throughout the day -- it is specifically to be taken at bedtime), so SHE ruined your trip, not her "addiction". My guess would be that your friend probably has other depression or mental issues that made her decide to try abusing Ambien in the first place.
Those of us who honestly just want to be able to sleep can handle the responsibility of looking at a whole bottle of pills but only taking one when truly needed -- and this means AT BEDTIME and at bedtime only. I would feel better if I could write off this story as it sounds -- like an immature, unstable person who will hopefully get her act together when she grows up. But she has a family so is at least of a biological age where she should know better. Those children should be taken away from her before she kills them.
By the way, I have chronic insomnia that seems to have some underlying genetic cause (my sister, mother, and grandmother all have the identical type of sleep disturbance) and I have used Ambien successfully for six years now. I believe the key factor is that I have used it correctly. My only goal with the drug is to attain a restful night's sleep; when I take Ambien I get one, and without it I don't. Just like before. I have also deliberately stopped taking it for weeks at a time just to make sure that I didn't feel addicted, and I had no problem NOT taking it, other than that I went right back to my old sleep problems. True addiction would not allow a person to just stop taking a drug even though they knew there was a bottle of pills right in the hall closet. Anyone who thinks otherwise is fortunate to have apparently never seen the horrors of a real drug addiction. This is where I take umbrage at the use of the word "addiction" in some of these responses. (Please note that I'm not addressing all of you; only the respondents who warn against the dangers of addiction when describing people who have consciously made bad decisions to abuse this medicine.) I hope anyone reading these dialogues in sincere hopes of good advice will not be turned off by those of us who act irresponsibly.
My Mom has been off of Ambien for 13 days. What are the withdrawal symptoms and how long should they last?
AskDocWeb: She will probably just go back to her old sleeping patterns, which was why she took ambien in the first place.
I'd love to be one of the people who falls asleep 15-30 minutes after taking 10mg, but I take 20mg and am up for 2-4 hours before finally passing out...the sleep eating thing hasn't bothered me, as when I first started getting the ambien cravings I was still awake...also I was wondering if sneezing was a common side effect, but I didn't see it addressed on the site...but I'd say 20 minutes after taking ambien I tend to sneeze a few times, even if I haven't been sneezing at all during the day...I've only had 2 blackout periods but one was right after coming off of a kidney procedure where I was put under, so that may have played into that...thus far the best sleeping pill I've taken has been Ambien CR which the government does not carry through the VA
AskDocWeb: Sneezing has not been reported by others but I can see the connection.
Here is what I did
Been on Ambien (Zolpidem) for a year now, the very first time I used Ambien it as directed 10mg and right at bed time and I actually loved the results, being an insomniac for the better part of 10 years was killing me slowly. And I got the best sleep I had had since Grade school. The second night I just happened by circumstance to take it then get out of bed and being someone who only had done alcohol I was actually standing there and thinking this is why people do drugs! Shortly after I started using everyday more for the euphoria and calmness it gave me. Other thing I actually loved about Ambien was being a skinny guy 135 pounds I gained weight for the first time in my life (went to 155) because I always got intense munchies about 30 minutes into the trip, I guess that could suck for almost everyone else though.
Then about three months into this I started feeling the effects of dependency, I was moody, doing stupid things like; calling people late at night, eating weird things like peanut butter and mustard burritos, drinking a lot more alcohol while on Ambien, thankfully I never got the urge to drive or anything like that so thankfully I wasn't going to take someone out or anything like that. Eventually the bad things like loss of general drive and anxiety started to wear on me so I decided I absolutely get off this crap. Here is what I did, note this is only telling you what I did, not telling anyone to do this.
Week 1, Started with my normal 20mg (2 pills) and did not stay up I started actually using it as intended minus the dosage.
Week 2, Reduced the 15mg, used Xanax during the day for the massive anxiety this game me, I cleared this with the pharmacist first, she told me that if I space the Xanax and Ambien by a few hours I should be okay to do this. It only got better from here. Week 3, Cut to 5mg, I made this jump because I was feeling pretty good and felt I need to push it faster so I didn't have to refill ever again.
One might suggest going to 10mg to slow the weeding off process but I just did it this way. At this point I also stopped all Xanax and started taking Melatonin. Week 4, No Ambien but took melatonin supplements and started using Rozerem, the first night was hard but I actually fell asleep after a few hours in bed. After 4 days I actually was fine and started having a somewhat "normal" sleep cycle. I am still using Rozerem and I am not sure if it's actually effective at all, since I still have my nights where I can't sleep but at least I am off Ambien for good .
Jeff in Phoenix
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