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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.

Ambien for chronic insomnia
Date: 12/9/2007
I've been taking Ambien daily for over two years, to treat chronic insomnia. I have experienced the short term memory recall, sleep eating, sleep walking, sexual encounters w/ my husband that I do not remember until the next morning, after he reminds me, phone calls I made, that I vaguely remember. More than once have had to apologize to a friend for making strange late night phone calls.

Often I have daytime drowsiness. Reading that MANY others have these same issues is (sadly)validating. I thought it was all me. The few times I have gone a night or so w/o taking the Ambien, I've been plagued by horrible nightmares, and that was after hours waiting to fall asleep. I discussed this w/ my husband last night. He has long been troubled by my taking Ambien. He has NO TROUBLE falling asleep, and has little empathy or sympathy for my insomnia. Anyhow, we discussed setting aside a few days this month when he will be home, so that I can stop taking the Ambien and be better able to handle the lack of sleep that will come. Really my insomnia is bad, and I worry how I will ever sleep, but I worry too about the side affects of continued use. I'll post back to update on my success.

Odd complications
Date: 12/10/2007
I've been taken ambien for several weeks now and while at first it worked wonderfully, I'm now beginning to experience odd complications. There is evidence in the morning of late night activity that I have no memory. Items moved around, food eaten, and disturbingly, that I have opened the door and gone wandering through the neighborhood. Also, if I take the dose but don't get into bed right away and then am distracted by something, I sort of zone out in a fugue state where the appearance of things seem strange, distorted. Lots of disconcerting "did I see that move?" things going on in the periphery and strange tactile sensations as well. As far as side effects go, this beats hair loss and heart attacks so I think I can tolerate it.

Weird things
Date: 12/12/2007
My girlfriend just started taking ambien a couple days ago. I don't like the way it makes her act. She says weird things that don't make sense and we usually end up fighting due to some delusional paranoia brought on by the drug. On top of that, she never remembers anything. I just got rid of the bottle. She's going to stick with diphinhydramine and deal with the grogginess. Good riddance ambien.

Acting stupid
Date: 12/13/2007
I have been taking Ambien 10-mg for a long time now. I have trouble going to sleep and then sleeping through the night, partly due to chronic pain. On multiple occasions after going to bed, I have apparently gotten out of bed in the middle of the night. I walked around my house running into the stair railing, shaved my upper lip with hair mousse, gone through cabinets, ran water into a whirlpool tub, fell causing a huge bruise on the back of my leg, and not ever remembering any of this the next day. The only way I knew that these episodes happened is that my daughter was staying with me when they happened and I woke her up. She didn't know that I was not really awake! She only was able to tell me that I was acting stupid. I found my huge deep purple bruise the next day because my leg hurt so bad when I sat down against the edge of a chair. You can not remember anything you did at all!

Date: 12/15/2007
I have Hepatitis C and used ambien 10 mg generic for a week. I had not been eating regular meal and was snowbound. Suddenly I found myself having diarrhea in the morning. Can this be related to my ambien use? I was taking zolpidem or the generic form. I also started having very strange and usually delusional dreams. I am thinking of adjusting my diet back to normal, and taking less ambien. It seems to have more of side effects on me than other medicines.

AskDocWeb: Yes, diarrhea is one of the side effects that may accompany Ambien usage.

Recovery from head injury
Date: 12/16/2007
I had previously written regarding seizure potential with ambien and after further research, it seems that this is not a major concern. I have noticed an interesting improvement in memory while taking the ambien. I suffer short term memory deficits due to a past cerebral bleed. I see numerous reports of ambien being use to treat head injury patients and one of my neurologists has suggested that ambien may help to improve my memory. Do you have any information about the mechanism by which this drug assists in recovery from head injury?

AskDocWeb: Very little, according to Ralf Clauss (Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford, UK), Ambien activates receptors for the neurotransmitter gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain.

Quitting Ambien cold turkey
Date: 12/17/2007
Now that I have been using Ambien 5 mg a night, even tapering off has been somewhat difficult. I am unable to fall into a deep sleep once again. Will this ability ever return without the aide of this drug? I tried quitting Ambien cold turkey, prior to reading the warnings. Not a good idea. Hallucinations, vivid dreams, complete insomnia.
Mrs. Rose

AskDocWeb: Yes your sleep cycle will return as normal but it may take several days.

Ambien death
Date: 12/17/2007
My friend killed herself last week after taking ambien. She had no history of mental illness, was a very happy, bubbly person who loved life. I want the FDA to re-investigate this drug, it needs to be taken off the shelf.

Date: 12/17/2007
A dear friend and fellow ER nurse took Ambien for about 2 months. Last Thursday, she sat up in bed from a sound sleep at 2 a.m., put a pistol in her mouth, and blew her brains out - all over her horrified new husband of 4 months. She was 24 years old. She had NEVER had any sort of psychiatric troubles and had just enrolled in a Master's program at Clemson. THIS DRUG IS DANGEROUS AND MUST BE PULLED OFF THE MARKET!

Negative experience with Ambien
Date: 12/18/2007
I had a very negative experience with Ambien. It caused me severe anxiety and placed me in heightened emotional states. As soon as I stopped taking the medication, these side effects stopped. Please be very careful in your use of Ambien.

Unbelievable side effects
Date: 12/19/2007
Wow! My wife is on ambien. Does not take every day, thank goodness. Tonight was scary. While on ambien she has now woken in the middle of the night with a severe choking sensation and feels unable to breathe. Tonight will be her last time taking. Unbelievable side effects.
Concerned Husband

Side effects from long term use
Date: 12/19/2007
I have been on Ambien 10 mg for 6 weeks now, and I too believe there are side effects from long term use. For me, my migraines are worse, and I am noticing short term memory loss. I believe I will discontinue its use before I really get into trouble. Thanks to all for their input.
Mary Ann

Full feeling in head
Date: 12/20/2007
I've cut way back on Ambien...was up to 3-5 doses per week for a time. I now have this full feeling in my I'm plugged up. It's not really dizziness...just a constant full feeling. That's been going on for over 3 months. I just had a MRI...and that came back clear. I've also had more body cramps in my muscles. Anyone else have this full head feeling or side effects that last for long periods of time?

Ambien is helpful
Date: 12/21/2007
I started taking Ambien CR a few months ago after going on Cymbalta for my depression. I had been over sleepy before the Cymbalta and since then, I have a lot more energy and function better but I can't sleep. Even if I'm physically tired my mind won't shut off. I've found ambien cr to be very helpful. It gets me around 6 hours of sleep and no bad taste in my mouth. I've been going crazy with severely dry eyes, which aren't responding to treatment. I've tried cutting down the Cymbalta, which hasn't helped my eyes or my sleep so I'm stuck taking Ambien every night. Now I'm thinking that could be what's drying my eyes out. I haven't noticed any memory loss--except I'm sure I'm not too sharp when I have to stumble out of bed to walk the dog. Basically, I take Ambien when I want to sleep, and then I go to sleep.

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