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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.


Dr. (PhD)
Date: 7/1/2007
I'm not an MD; I'm a PhD in English and American Literature, but thanks to the four doctors in my immediate family, I do a significant about of collaborating, revising and editing of articles and reports of student that MDs write BEFORE they are submitted for publication.

I have been taking Ambien and Lunesta since 2005. Lunesta didn't work as well. I almost immediately required a double dose (6mg) and, when I went back to Ambien, found that 20mg of Ambien work much better. I have a very high-stress job as a citywide school district administrator and, especially when I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes last April, found that I needed not only my sleep, but some psychopharmacological help in coping with me stress - for a while.

I haven't experienced any memory loss, but perhaps that's because I go to bed when I take sleeping medications. This time around, I've been on Ambien since the fall of 2004 with no adverse effects. I see a lot of unsubstantiated sensationalism in these posts - like of like The National Enquirer on Crystal Meth. Did it never occur to anyone that existing psychiatric problems could emerge because of the "dysinhibition" effect of drugs such as Ambien? Here's my own opinion - no sedative can "make" do you anything you weren't otherwise inclined to do. What a sedative/hypnotic or tranquilizer in a high enough dose CAN do - like alcohol - is dissolve your inhibitions sufficiently that you do it and really don't give a damn. THE MANUFACTURE'S INSTRUCTIONS IN THE OFFICIAL PACKAGE INSERT ARE VERY SPECIFIC AND THE SAME INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ON THE WEBSITE.

For the record, I have had NO ill effects from taking the sleep cocktail my colleague created for me, except when I had the flu and one night, I had taken the pills and forgotten. ... My feeling is that patients are at least as guilty as doctors when problems occur with Ambien. They need to get honest with themselves. "Enjoying beautiful hallucinations" is NO reason at all to take a sleeping pill! Given the number of doses of brand and generic Ambien prescribed to date v. the incidence of side effects, I'd call it a safe drug when used as directed. IF YOU APPEAR TO NEED AMBIEN FOR MORE THAN ONE OR TWO MONTHS, SEE A PSYCHIATRIST WITH A BACKGROUND IN PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY. Even if there's an initial investment, it's well worth it. Sincerely,
Dr. (PhD)


IF YOU NEED HELP GETTING OFF AMBIEN
Date: 7/3/2007
I unfortunately have taken it for years, and have suffered the side effects mentioned by most people in this forum. There was a couple of month period where I went off of it successfully. I took Lunesta instead. I was able to fall asleep with Lunesta. I don't like the side effect of the bad taste that Lunesta gives you, but it is better than not sleeping. For those addicted to Ambien, I suggest you try Lunesta to break the Ambien cycle. I believe Lunesta is approved for long term use and does not have the same bad side effects as Ambien. I hope that advice helps someone...
Jennifer


Ambian causes Dementia?
Date: 7/3/2007
I was told that Ambian causes Dementia. Or long term use can cause permanent dementia. Is this true?
Robin

AskDocWeb: We can't say it causes permanent dementia but if a reader has first hand experience, please share it here.


Ambien and heart arrhythmias
Date: 7/3/2007
I have been on Ambien 10mg for several years. I got to the point that 10mg was too much so I cut back to 5mg and this made me feel better and still sleep OK. I have been on the 5mg for about two years. About 8 months ago I started to have heart arrhythmias. I really think the Ambien is causing it. I have searched the web over and over and cannot find much on this. I have had the 24 hour holder monitor and it did show some arrhythmia problem but my doctor said that it was not bad enough to take medicine for. He does not think the Ambien is causing it. If anyone knows anything about this I would like to know. I am worried about the arrhythmia but I need the Ambien to sleep. I have taken it for about 8 years. What do you think?
John

AskDocWeb: According to the Physician's Desk Reference, in clinical trials 2% of Ambien users experienced heart palpitations.


Divided doses?
Date: 7/5/2007
Can one take two divided doses of Ambiem if the first sleep stage only lasts 5 hours?
Terry

AskDocWeb: No, that is not recommended. Please follow the directions.


Swollen lips
Date: 7/5/2007
I have been taking ambien for about a month. It is really great. The only thing I have noticed about this medication is that my lips are hurting and swollen. I am not sure if this is a side effect, or if it is something to do with the weather.
Marti


On Ambien for 2 years
Date: 7/5/2007
Have taken 5mg/day for about 2 years now. I am starting my 3rd night without tonight. I have had a huge problem falling asleep, and last night there was a good deal of sweating. No bad dreams though as others have suggested. I do have a prescription at CVS, but I did not pick it up today, and I fully intend for it to rot there. This thing is very beatable, it just requires the willingness to tough it out. Yes, you will not sleep much, but last night was better than night 1 and I know tonight will be some small improvement too. Let's face it, we have caused this problem to ourselves over a long period, and its going to take some time to detox, but the human body does heal itself. Hang in there, I am. More in a day or two on my progress. About to drink a cup of sleepytime day and watch TV and let nature take its course. Good luck all.
Sal


97 year old
Date: 7/7/2007
My mother is now taking ambien 10mg. She has been taking this white pill for a very, very long time. She is having problems with her sleeping I mean very severe. I will give it to her around 6, 7, 8, or 9pm, and she will not go to sleep until the very next day. She sleeps all day until late evenings. She is now having hallucinations. Is she addictive? Or does she need something stronger to make her rest at night. My mother is 97 years old. What can I do to get her to rest better? Thank you
Lonnie

AskDocWeb: It sounds like her sleep cycle has been turned around, a sleep clinic might be able to help with that. With her age, the recommended dosage is 5mg. At higher doses there is a concern about possible impairment of her motor skills and/or cognitive performance. Please see to it that a physician closely monitors her condition.


Difficulty staying asleep
Date: 7/8/2007
I have long had difficulty staying asleep. I've taken a 5 mg. Ambien Sunday thru Thursday (work nights) for the past couple of years. I don't always sleep through the night, but I quickly return to sleep when I do wake up. I am having some short-term memory problems, but I think it's a reasonable exchange for the quality sleep I'm getting. I never, ever take Ambien on Friday or Saturday, or any night I don't have to wake to an alarm the next morning (holidays and vacations), even if I do have difficulty sleeping. I think that's why I haven't had to increase the dosage.
Ronster


Note: If you have secrets
Date: 7/8/2007
I have been taking Ambien for 4 years. It works like clockwork. Strangely, in the last two years my memory has become less clear and more importantly, I often microwave popcorn after taking it. I have o recollection of cooking or eating it but have often found a trail and empty bowl next to my bed. A couple of my friends said I called them at odd hours and had perfectly clear conversations. I have no recollection of making the calls or the conversation. That was very embarrassing. I will likely continue to take ambien because nothing else works for me, but if you have secrets, you may want to use something else.
YK


Unpleasant metallic taste
Date: 7/13/2007
I've developed an unpleasant metallic like taste in my mouth. Could this be from long term use of ambien? Dentist told me that nothing was wrong with teeth or gums.
Christopher

AskDocWeb: Yes, the metallic taste could be a number of things but it is a side effect of Ambien.


Ambien calms my nerves
Date: 7/15/2007
I am 84 and take Ambien every night to sleep. It works great. Now I find that if I take a pill during the day I have no pain from other problems. It calms my nerves. Is this possible? It does not make me droozy in the daytime.
Fred

AskDocWeb: You are to go straight to bed after taking a sleeping pill. Please discuss this with your doctor because we think you are headed for trouble.


Horrific nightmares
Date: 7/16/2007
I've been taking Ambien for almost a year now and I will say that it does help me fall asleep, but I have grogginess and fatigue the next day. The downside is that I have horrific nightmares and terrors on occasion and I have done and said some crazy things after taking it. But for me personally I know that I'm worth more to myself and others if I get a good nights sleep than be tired and agitated the next day. I'll share something that might sound funny, but it wasn't that fun for me when I had alot of explaining to do. My husband called me one night the conversation or that he even called me, but he remembered me telling him that I wanted a divorce and wanted him out! Please let your loved ones know the side effects of this medication.
Kristin

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