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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.
Can't sleep without Ambien
I have been taking ambien for a couple of years everyday and can't sleep without it. Sometimes I have to take a pill and a half to get it to work. I work nights and 12 hour shifts and half to get my sleep during the day to survive throughout the night. I have noticed my memory is getting very bad and I also have an increased appetite. I really don't know what to do to get off of this medication now without problems. I am afraid not to take it because I fear I will not get enough sleep and have an accident driving home from work so tired. Do I need to go to rehab?
AskDocWeb: It sounds like you need to have a talk with your doctor about your sleep problems, there are other remedies for this.
What's so dangerous
I have been taking Ambien on and off for 3 years. I have experienced memory loss on a day to day bases. The worst thing that happened was one morning I woke up to find a bump on my head, a sore and bruised collarbone and a bruised ear. I reached up to scratch my forehead, and felt a sharp pain. I then walked into the bathroom where I found blood on the floor. I had somehow gotten up in the night, fell, hit my head and collarbone!!! What's so dangerous about this is that I CRACKED MY SKULL!!! I literally broke the skull bones in my forehead. Fortunately I didn't die! I had no memory of what had happened!
Extreme dizziness and exhaustion
I have been on ambien for over 4 years, started with 5 mg, then for about the last 3 years 10 mg. every nite for over 4 years have taken them. In the last year have really noticed short term memory loss, muscle pains in the top of my leg from the knee up, not everyday just some days. A really noticeable exhaustion and tiredness on most days. I've recently been diagnosed with diabetes and I thought maybe it was this that caused the symptoms I had bee experiencing, but have reduced it dramatically, and now having read these notes am convinced it must be the side effects of ambien. I also in the last year between 5-6 PM if I'm not busy just have trouble keeping my eyes open. I need to lie down and close my eyes I never go to sleep but after about an hour it passes. But the most debilitating effect on me has got to be the extreme dizziness and exhaustion on most days. But my insomnia is so crippling am not sure what to do. I have been to a sleep clinic and they said I had mild sleep apnea and that this could be part of my problem. I tried the simpac machine for about 2 weeks but just could not wear the mask. Thanks for the input,
AskDocWeb: When you have trouble keeping your eyes open at 5 PM, that sounds like a blood sugar problem. And of course if you do take a nap that will make you wide awake later when it's time to go to sleep.
Negative reactions from Ambien
After reading some of the reviews of Ambien, I don't feel so alone. I have had some very negative reactions from Ambien, and I've been considering giving it up. However, now I am alarmed to see what others have said about what has happened when they tried to stop taking it. I've been taking it almost every night for maybe 8 months now. I've tried a few times to not take it because it was too late in the evening to take it and I was afraid it wouldn't be worn off yet when I woke up, but I felt almost forced to take it because I just laid in bed, suffering w/out sleep. Unless I've been very active during the day and am extremely exhausted by the end of the day, I have to take an Ambien, or I simply don't sleep. I've experienced minor hallucinations, like shadows moving or things blending in together and warping, I've felt dizzy when I stand up to go to the bathroom, my memory seems to be getting worse, and now I have been experiencing severe depression, which has been affecting my job. I've been taking too many days off, and I just want to lay in bed and sleep. I want to get off of this, because I feel it's responsible for these problems. Hopefully I can get off of it and try something else. My friend said Sonata is much better. I don't know if it is or not, but I too have experienced where some nights Ambien doesn't kick in until hours and hours later after I have taken it, which totally defeats the purpose of taking it, and then other nights it kicks in within 45 minutes. I've never had it work as fast as they claim it does though. So would I recommend this? Definitely not, if you can get by w/ something else.
I would like to know if Ambien can show up as Liquor in a Breathalyzer? My friend said she got a DWI for it.
AskDocWeb: No, it won't show up as liquor but that's not the only test they use. All you have to do is act like you are drunk to get arrested.
Do you have any info on trazodone as a sleep aid? The search engine on your site just gave places to buy it, no reviews. Thanks, mom is on Ambien, tried it twice, first couple of hours couldn't sleep at all, was dizzy and uncoordinated and had stomach pain relieved by eating, then able to sleep a few hours. Second time, same thing plus a panic attack, then slept several hours. It says to take it on an empty stomach but my mom has to eat at bedtime. Would this make it not work for 2 or 3 hours with this sort of side effects? She only weighs 90 lbs. and has to eat 6 times a day. Thanks,
AskDocWeb: Trazodone is an anti-depressant. If your mom's insomnia is caused by anxiety then it's possible it could help her sleep. Nothing makes a person more wide-awake than a panic attack.
I think the product should be taken off the market. It may be helpful for some people to take, but it seems like it has been more harmful. Alot the side effects are to common to alot of people and it is not proven to be so safe I'm scared some one is going to die or really harm some one else.
Walked outside in my underwear
It's true Ambien can cause strange hallucinations and amnesia. However I have been taking Ambien CR for a couple of months now, and it almost always guarantees me a full nights sleep. I have had insomnia problems for years and years, but not anymore. Also you can NEVER drink anything before or after taking Ambien, I suspect that's what's behind most of these crazy sleep driving and eating stories. The two times I had a drink or two before taking an Ambien, not thinking it would do anything, I woke up at a neighbor's house, and also walked outside in my underwear, crazy. I remedied those crazy occurrences by not mixing booze and Ambien.
I took Ambien for about 5 months and generally found it helpful. Then, I had an alarming problem that was much like an anxiety attack, but did not attribute it to Ambien. I had a very strong pressure feeling in my sinus behind my nose, pain in the roof of my mouth, a continuous "buzzing" sensation in my head and upper body, and heart palpitations (no pulse increase, just the sensation). I continued to function normally, but was crazed with worry. I saw three doctors: My family MD who ordered a brain MRI, after initially treating me for a sinus problem, a dentist to rule out tooth and sinus problems, and an ear, nose and throat doctor as well. Nothing was wrong, but I continued to have these symptoms. In the meantime, I weaned from the Ambien because my doctor refused my further requests for Ambien. I was very mad initially, but grateful eventually. I went sleepless for numerous nights (eating less food, increased fluids and heavy exercise all helped). The symptoms gradually lessened in severity and frequency, but still came on periodically at various times. Recently (after not taking Ambien for over a year) I went on vacation and begged my family doctor for a week's worth of 10mg Ambien to have a "vacation" from lack of sleep in the hotel. I was fine the first couple of nights. Now after taking the Ambien for 7 nights, these same symptoms are back, especially the nose pressure and the "buzzy" feeling in my head. Is it possible that these are allergy symptoms due to Ambien?
AskDocWeb: These are side effects but we wouldn't call it an allergic reaction.
Ambien has helped
I have to say with all honesty that Ambien has helped me a great deal. I see various horror stories, but before I started taking it I spend more than three years where I would sleep as little as 45 minutes to an hour a night, and sometimes not at all, then spend the entire day feeling like a zombie. 5 mg of Ambien at night for the past two years has "stabilized" me and now I sleep 4-5 hours.
Lots of problems
I used to take ambien for a little over a year, just recently stopped. Began having vivid dreams, waking up early and walking around the house, not remembering events of the previous day, I began displaying irritability with my parents, friends and co-workers things really got weird, so I stopped taking ambien, it's been 5 months now and have not had an episode since. However, my father 72 years old takes an ambien every night for about year and a half now, I got him started, (big mistake). His erratic behavior I know is a cause of long term ambien use, but he doesn't think so. He has gotten paranoid, locks himself in the basement and in his bedroom; he misplaces or loses his belongings and then thinks I'm stealing from him. I remember when I took ambien I misplaced items all the time, only to find them in unusual places and I couldn't remember putting them there. So when I tell him that the ambien is causing him to do these weird things, that I'm not the culprit here, it's the pills and he should stop using them, he thinks I'm lying and want to steal his pills and all his belongings.
It has gotten so bad that we recently fist fought about his accusations and paranoia, and I was told to leave the house and never come back. I don't know what to do. I fear for him and my mother who if I left she would be alone with him and I don't trust that he is in a right state of mind. He thinks everybody is out to get him, his friends don't come around him anymore, he's gotten paranoid with them and called them thieves, my mom is scared, she can't say anything to him, or he gets irritated. What can I do, I will be moving out soon, I can not live under these accusations and circumstances anymore, but I fear for them both. My father does not believe me, but if there is some type of official medical study/report that I could print out and give to him to read, maybe he'll believe that and stop taking the ambien, before our relationship is beyond repair or worse someone gets hurt. Help!
AskDocWeb: At the very least your father's doctor needs to be informed about his side effects.
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