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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.


Verbally combative and paranoid
Date: 9/15/2008
My husband has been taking Ambien for well over six months. Recently, after a glass or two of beer or wine (he is not a drinker; perhaps what was mentioned once per week) he was very verbally combative and paranoid. Could this be an effect of the drug in his system? He does not drink after taking the pill, but as I said, he has been on it for months. I guess a visit to his doctor is in order.
Madeleine

AskDocWeb: Paranoid and aggressive behavior are not listed as side effects although several people have reported them here.


This is a blessing
Date: 9/17/2008
37 years of insomnia and this is a blessing. Going to bed around 11:30pm and still looking at the clock at 1:30 is not relaxing. If your still tired in the morning then work on your cardio!
Works For Me


Dependence
Date: 9/17/2008
Five years ago I started having difficulty sleeping, wakefulness and difficulty falling asleep. I have been taking 5 mg of ambien now almost every night for the last five years--without it, I sleep fitfully; with it, I sleep well and function well during the day. Is this dependence potentially detrimental to my health?
Jane

AskDocWeb: The manufacturer defines long-term use as 28 to 35 nights. The potential risk from using it beyond that has yet to be established.


Any problems with eyes?
Date: 9/18/2008
I have only been taking Ambien about 4 weeks. I always can go to sleep without meds, but never stayed asleep. So I took the 10 mg pill and slept all night and went to a family gathering the next day completely wiped out. I was out of it and kept walking off to lay to sleep. I've cut the pill into 1/4 pcs to take during the week when I only get 7-9 hours sleep and on weekends I'll take 1/2 to get a little more sleep. Has anyone had any problems with their eyes and focus? I don't know if it is the Ambien or time to get glasses.
Lily

AskDocWeb: Yes, Abnormal vision is listed as a frequent side effect. Eye pain and eye irritation are listed as infrequent and corneal ulceration is listed as rare. Users have reported blurred vision, double vision, quadruple vision, distorted vision, sensitivity to light, changes in depth perception, and in one post, some loss of vision.


Long-term use?
Date: 9/21/2008
Is there a serious study on LT use? I would consider myself a serious long term additc ... has to about 5 years now at about 10 x10mg a month. I break in to 2 or 3 pieces so I can every night. Without the pill I can't get into a deep sleep and my short memory has become VERRY BAD. I'M WORRIED.
Nick

AskDocWeb: Just so you know, the drug company considers long-term use to be 28 to 35 nights. As far as we know, there are no long-term studies involving use beyond 12 months.


Ambien
Date: 9/21/2008
I am prescribed 20 mg of Ambien at night. I terrible insomnia. Although most of the time I get little relief what I would like to know is it a Narcotic and/or Habit Forming? I have been in treatment centers with other women who were addicted to Ambien. Thank you for your time. Sincerely,
Amanda

AskDocWeb: Ambien is non-narcotic but it may be habit forming. It's classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act. This puts it in the same category as benzodiazepines such as alprazolam and diazepam. Abuse of this drug may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence.


Withdrawal
Date: 9/24/2008
Day 3 of withdrawal. Someone help me please!
Evelyn

AskDocWeb: The worst of it should be over within a week. If you need help, please contact your doctor.


Sleep driving
Date: 9/26/2008
I was prescribed 10mg ambien and after a few weeks woke one night drove to the store at 2 am hit a gas pump-got a ticket-they drove me home-and again I left in my vehicle without knowing-to the store and hit a car. I had no recollection of the events and the scary thing is when you live alone-it is a dangerous drug to take. Never again.
Norah


Can get a little scary; but
Date: 10/1/2008
I have been taking ambien for 2 years (lately zolpiderm, which is the generic version, less costly & works just as well for me.) I can truly say that it's the best thing that ever happened to me. I could not sleep at all before, and would stay up for days at a time sometimes. It was really really awful, and my life felt out of control because I couldn't get any proper rest. I hesitated for a long time to take it as I don't like the idea of medications in general. I was so wired all the time before ambien. Now I feel great.

I read some of the side effects that people are talking about here, and yes, I have experienced some, as a couple of close friends told me.. and also makes you act out on subconscious thoughts - in my case, I discovered that sometimes I wrote e-mails or letters that you have no memory of the next day; or acting in a way that is not typical of your normal self. That can get a little scary; but I find that the benefits of the medication for me have much more greatly been a benefit, and that these other side effects can be kept at a minimum once you are aware. The key is to take the medication ONLY when you are about to go to sleep - lie down, read a book. Let it do the job that it's meant to do - put you to sleep.
SV


Ambien XR
Date: 10/1/2008
Can ambien xr cause a false positive for a benzo on a drug screen?
LisaJ

AskDocWeb: Ambien has not been reported to cause any problems on a drug screen.


Gradually stop taking ambien?
Date: 10/2/2008
I wan to stop taking ambien. How do I gradually stop taking ambien? I have been taking it every night. Can I alternate nights? I don't want to just stop taking it.
Tony

AskDocWeb: According to the Physician's Desk Reference: "If you have been taking Ambien CR or any other sleep medication for more than 1 or 2 weeks, do not stop taking it on your own." Talk to your doctor if you need to stop treatment with Ambien.


Sudden explained death after Zolpidem (Ambien) ingestion
Date: 10/3/2008
I have not used Ambien, but my brother was given this drug by his wife who did have a prescription. He did not have a prescription. Twice he was taken to emergency room with seizures in a deep coma, which lasted less than 12 hours. I don't know all of the facts, but my thoughts are that the hospital was never told he had taken Ambien. The cause for these seizures were never found since the Dr's were not aware of the Ambien use. In July of 2007, he was found on the floor, dead. The medical examiners ruling was "Sudden explained death after Zolpidem (Ambien) ingestion." I wonder if our family has any recourse against the maker of Ambien? If so, how would we go about this? Please do not use this drug and risk the chance of death from it. My brother's senseless death was so unnecessary and he will be missed terribly forever.
Melissa

AskDocWeb: You have our condolences Melissa. Loosing a family member is always a tragic experience. Unfortunately, since he didn't have a prescription, it is likely that there is no liability on the part of the drug maker. Using someone else's prescription drug is against the law.


Plants waving around
Date: 10/4/2008
Ambien has been God sent. I've been taking them for four years. Every so often though is see my plants waving around as if alive. Can certain plants do that?
Brenda

AskDocWeb: Most plants do that when the wind blows. If the wind isn't blowing on them then it is most likely a hallucination.


I'd like to go off, but
Date: 10/6/2008
I've been on Ambien since August. I am taking 10mg/night. If I take it at 10pm, I normally wake up at 5ish--and earlier if I take less, but never later. I don't wake up, and I wake fairly refreshed. However, if I miss a night, I sleep very fitfully. I wake every couple of hours from being startled. I don't have any memory of dreams. After the 1st night without, I go back to my "normal" insomnia of sleeping 2-4 hours, then being wide awake 2-4 hours. I think I'd like to go off, but then I don't know what I'd do to sleep.
MI


Sleep driving
Date: 10/6/2008
I woke up in the hospital. Apperently I got up after taking 10mg Ambien and began driving. The police were called because I was standing in the middle of the road and didn't know who, what or where I was. I was 30 miles from my home and have absolutly no memory of anything that happend. I don't think I hurt anybody. My van was scratched up. This is a dangerous drug!
R.


Teeth and gums are ruined
Date: 10/7/2008
I have been on ambien for almost 10 years. My advice to a newcomer, don't. My teeth and gums are ruined, I have vision problems, I can't sleep anymore, even taking 2 some nights in desperation to fall asleep. All the side effects on the drug listed are so true. Please think about any drug and do your research. Thank-you,
Susie


Impossible to obtain an erection
Date: 10/7/2008
After taking Ambien for several weeks, I have found it basically impossible to obtain an erection that has the rigidness and hardness that is typical when sexually stimulated. Since then, I have discontinued the product, but have had only marginal improvement. Have you heard of this before? Will I eventually regain the ability to achieve long lasting, firm erections? Also, I am a young, healthy adult male. Thank you...
Peter

AskDocWeb: There is no mention of erectile dysfunction in the side effects listed for Ambien.


After 10 years on Ambien
Date: 10/12/2008
I've been taking Ambien for ten years (5 or 10 mg every single night). I started during a terrible period in my life. My son was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and my marriage came apart under the stress and disagreements over how to help him. At first Ambien was a great gift. It made it possible for me to get a good night's sleep while in a hospital armchair, and I could always wake up clear headed, even in the middle of the night, to talk to the doctors. By the time my son's condition stabilized, I found myself using Ambien every night, no matter where I was or what was going on in my life.

Ten years later I have decided I have to stop using it. I've found myself doing a lot of what others report: eating huge amounts of food or emailing in the middle of the night and not remembering doing so. Counting the remaining tablets in the container. Drinking too much alcohol to try to augment the effects of Ambien or because I've gotten up in the middle of the night and not realized I'm doing it. Having trouble waking in the morning. Feeling depressed, anxious, disappointed in myself.

A friend of mine who had been using Ambien the way I have told me that last year he was on a foreign trip in his hotel room and woke up covered in blood and gashes, with shattered lamps in the bedroom, broken drinking glasses in the bathroom, unable to remember anything. He stopped taking Ambien.

I decided that I should cut back gradually but found I couldn't (I'd end up taking the next quarter tablet and the next and the next every night). I stopped cold-turkey three nights ago. It's been hard mentally, but I haven't had physical symptoms other than trouble sleeping. I've been up most of the time since then, poking around the internet, hoping to find a good way to manage the transition, hoping to find stories like mine, with good endings. Mostly I came across crazy discussion boards with over-the-top or rigid positions putting Ambien dependence/addition identical to narcotic addiction. I think it is similar but different. Finally found this board. Thank you all. I appreciate the advice, learning the context of your experiences, learning your thoughts about the problems and the many solutions to them. It's good to have AskDocWeb's perspective too. Particularly good that this perspective is open and non-judgmental, not advocating one position. I know I will need to teach myself how to go to sleep again, the way I used to ten years ago. I know that I will be tired and worn out and worried for a while more. And I intend stay off Ambien for good. Wish me luck.
Jaye

AskDocWeb: After 10 years it may take more than just a few nights to get back to your normal sleep pattern. Give yourself time Jaye, and good luck.

Read more Ambien Feedback.

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This website is protected by copyright 2008-2012 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on Ambien and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.
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