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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.

Took Ambien by mistake
Date: 12/21/2007
I took an ambien at work by mistake last Friday at 3:30. I thought I was taking an aleve for a headache. Approx. 10 minutes later, I knew something was wrong. I called my husband who said I should go home right away. I didn't. 30 minutes later, I drove home (approx. 6 miles) and don't remember anything that happened that night or actually anything that happened earlier Friday morning. I almost caught my oven on fire. This drug has GOT TO HAVE A SERIOUS WARNING SAYING YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST BE IN BED WHEN YOU TAKE THIS PILL! I'm so thankful nothing tragic happened because I wouldn't have remembered it. It can be EXTREMELY dangerous, not only to the patient but to the public as well. I bet we will start seeing lawsuits in the future about this drug. I will start walking as exercise, hopefully this will help with my sleep.

Insomnia and mild sleep apnea
Date: 12/22/2007
My history for the use of Ambien has spanned over many years off and on. I will take 5 mg religiously for months at a time, and then wean myself off of it, for a few weeks to several months. I have insomnia, and mild sleep apnea. I am seeing a doctor, and am using a CPAP machine, without much success. When I take the ambien I am able to fall asleep with the machine, and with much more sleep, however, I am still struggling to get sleep without having to take any medicine. I am thankful for my Ambien, as I was not getting more than a few hours of sleep a night. I do not have any problems with drowsiness, unless I take 10 mg.

No side effects
Date: 12/22/2007
I have been taking Ambien for about 4 nights and then tylenol PM for 4 nights at the suggestions of my Dr. It has worked to get me good nights sleep every night. I sleep more sound with the Ambien but a little longer with the Tylenol PM. I have no side effects from either.

Metallic taste
Date: 12/27/2007
I have been taking Ambien 10 mg for 2 months. It helps me sleep, but the terrible metallic taste it leaves in my mouth all day and night is almost unbearable. Does anyone have any tips on how to get rid of or mask the taste?

AskDocWeb: One solution is to rinse your mouth with a spoonful of baking soda in a glass water. If you find other ways to get rid of the taste please post them here.

Driving under the influence of Ambien
Date: 12/27/2007
I am facing DUI charges for driving under the influence of Ambien. On October 31, 2007, I accidentally took my night medications, which included 1 Ambien CR 12.5 mgs and 300 mgs of Seroquel. Next thing I know I wake up in the county jail charged with running into a school bus. I remember nothing of the event. The police report read that my eyes were glazed over and was slurring my words. I also told the policeman an outrageous story that included things that I didn't even know I knew. Like, taking my kids (which I have none!) to school and named a school I never even heard of. I will never take Ambien again!

Shortness of breath
Date: 12/28/2007
Does alcohol make shortness of breath worse with ambien?

AskDocWeb: You should never have shortness of breath with any medication. That is a warning sign that indicates that you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.

I LOVE the stuff
Date: 12/28/2007
Wow! I never thought people would have so many problems with Ambien! I LOVE the stuff. Gave me back my life. I can now just GO to bed and actually sleep, instead of toss and turn till past 2AM. Now I can go to bed by 11 and sleep- I wake up feeling refreshed for the first time in YEARS. Why people do NOT follow directions and take their Ambien and then GO RIGHT TO BED? I've been taking it, 5mg, for over a year now, on and off. No problems. I do not take it all the time, just when bouts of insomnia hit me.

Ambien and Ambien CR
Date: 12/28/2007
Have taken Ambien nightly for more than 5 years and now switched to Zolpidem without significant side effects. Is there a perceivable difference between Ambien and ambienCR?

AskDocWeb: CR releases slower than Ambien regular.

Date: 12/30/2007
Can Ambien taken over 5 years make you crazy?

AskDocWeb: No one has reported anything like that happening.

This makes me very mad
Date: 12/31/2007
I started ambien cr 12.5 at the end of Aug of this year because I was having trouble staying asleep. I did not want to take anything so I only took it sometimes. Then there was a death in my family and sleeping was even harder so I was taking it every night. Side effects at first were headaches and some dizziness and very tired the next day. Then one night Oct.5th, I was just sitting watching TV when I felt a pain behind my eye in addition to the headache, then my vision got weird and then the pain spread to my left arm and neck, back and then my chest. My arms and legs felt like pins and needles. My blood pressure was high and my heart was racing. I was sure I was having a stroke or heart attack. That was my 1st trip to emergency room. They said I was ok and soon felt better. But that was just the beginning.

One week later I was back in the emergency room with same symptoms. Still they could find nothing wrong. I asked if the ambien cr could be causing this and they said no. I went through stress tests and heart tests until finally my doctor said that it was just stress so she gave me samples of lexapro. I did not agree with that but took the lexapro for 2 days and only 2 days because after taking that my symptoms were worse and I was very shaky and could not function. Then I was only taking the ambien cr every night because I could not sleep because I did not know what was the matter with me and I was so worried. My symptoms got worse to the point where I could not function and my breathing was a struggle. Bad headaches, dizziness, pain in arms, neck, back and chest, heart palpitations, loss of coordination, ringing in my ears, extreme anxiety, pins and needle feelings in arms and legs, nervousness, lightheadedness and vision problems were a daily occurrence. I felt I had no where to turn because the doctors were not helping me. I told my husband I thought it was the ambien cr and he thought so too but every doctor said it was perfectly safe.

I finally reached my breaking point on Dec 9 and I just had enough and was afraid if I did not get off this drug I was going to die. I quit that day and have been off since. I have no more of those symptoms just some withdrawal symptoms. Still have trouble sleeping but I don't care ---it is nothing in comparison to what I went through.

One day when I was feeling better I decided to go online and type in "people who have had bad side effects after taking ambien cr" It was where I found the Mayo Clinic web-site that went into great detail of all the effects of this drug not just the ones that we are given by the drug makers. When I read the list everyone of my symptoms were listed under rare or less common. This makes me very mad because no one helped me and I believe it's because the doctors only know what the drug company tells them. That is why it is so important to know yourself very well and to not always settle for what you are being told. Do whatever you can to help yourself and you can only do that if you pay attention to what is happening to you and question everything you are told. Only you and your family know how you are normally and when something like what happened to me can not be explained, then you have to started ruling things out in order to help yourself.

Remember the drug company makes the drugs then sells them to the doctors who in turn give them to us. We can only trust ourselves to know whether something is helping us or hurting us. Please be careful.

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