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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.

Completely forgetting
Date: 2/7/2009
Ambien: I was taking 10 mg ambien for 2 to 3 months nightly. As time went on I would be restless after taking it and would get up and do things around the house. I was staying up anywhere from 2:00 to 4:00 in the morning. When I did go to sleep I did still sleep for 6 to 8 hours. About 16 days before I discontinued using the medication I began to fall in the night, and as time wore on I started to forget some of the things that I had done during this time. The last three nights I took it I went from hardly remembering anything about the night to completely forgetting. On the last two nights I fell again the last night being very hard my husband said. The falling would not have been quite so bad, but I had fractured, completely destroyed the ball that went into my hip and dislocated. I did have to have a hip replacement. I was just 5-6 weeks out of this surgery. I don't know if this is a common effect when you take ambien for a long period of time or if a side effect might be sleep walking (as a layperson's description. I thank you so much for your information and your feedback from Ambien users.

I basically shut down
Date: 2/9/2009
My husband deployed Sept 3rd. I basically shut down without him here and couldn't sleep so the drs put me on ativan. I've been on ativan every night until this past month I was given Ambien cr. Now Doctor wants me to see a psych dr. Is this normal for insomia?... to have to see a psych? I have no other symptoms, I just cant sleep without it. At least until my hubby comes home in Sept.

AskDocWeb: Yes, it is normal for your doctor to do that when they see something in your behavior that indicates that you would benefit from seeing that kind of Dr. When a person shuts down they miss a lot of what is going on around them.

I still can't fall asleep
Date: 2/9/2009
I am 60, and have had trouble sleeping for many years, my doctor prescribed ambien, and unfortunately for me, I still can't fall asleep, I have ridiculous dreams that make no sense, I have experienced shortness of breath, and feelings of slow motion, and uncoordination, and confusion, I guess this product is not for me, but I am wondering what I can take, I very seldom ever get a good night sleep, and I am tired all the time, and feel my brain has a terrible chemistry unbalance, and no one knows what to do for me.

AskDocWeb: It sounds like you might benefit from a sleep clinic, they specialize in sleep disorders.

Worst nightmares in the world
Date: 2/10/2009
I took ambien and I had the worst nightmares in the world. I would not tell anyone to take ambien. I only took it for took weeks. Ambien cr is worst than plain ambien. The best thing to do is to get them out of your house. DON'T EVER TAKE AND TELL EVERY ONE YOU KNOW NOT TO TAKE IT. NO MATTER HOW MUCH THE DOCTOR WILL SAY IT WILL HELP YOU SLEEP.

Generic form of Ambien?
Date: 2/10/2009
This site is not helpful at all because the AskDocWeb is unaware that the generic form of Ambien (Distributed by Teva) is the one that causes these side effects. No sleep, sleep walking, etc. The real Ambien does not do this. Please have everyone writing to this site read their label & disclose all info.

AskDocWeb: Okay readers, do you agree with Julie or not? Are the side effects limited to the generic form of Ambien?

Ambien got me fired
Date: 2/12/2009
Used this before and after neck surgery. It worked great IF I took it and went straight to bed. If I waited until I got sleepy I "blacked out", then drove to work, then worked, and had NO memory of it. And, it got me fired. My company did not believe me that I had no memory of being at the office at midnight. Two years later it is a common warning heard on tv adds as well as Jay Leno jokes.

Getting to sleep
Date: 2/17/2009
One thing that was made clear to me, Ambien's main use is to help you fall asleep not stay asleep. I have no issue sleeping all night. Getting to sleep is my problem area. Maybe a different medication would be recommended for you if you cant stay asleep through out the night.

8 days of horrible detoxing
Date: 2/17/2009
Ambien is the worst thing to ever be invented. I just got out of the hospital after 8 days of horrible detoxing. Withdrawls felt like jet fuel running through my body and I was sure I was dying. Still have the shakes. I started taking the drug about five years ago and became too tolerant of the 10mg dose and eventually was taking up to 4 pills a night to achieve sleep. I became totally dependent on this drug. I am now entering a outpatient treatment program because when I cannot sleep I crave the drug and even dream about taking it. Night terrors are also common to me. It is frustrating that doctors perscribe the drug and then know nothing about the withdrawl symptoms that occur when stopping it. I suggest to anyone taking the drug to GET OFF and use a supervised detox if need be. All that is going to happen is that you will eventually be in the same boat I was in and believe me I would not wish what I have gone through with this med on my worst enemy!

Helping me sleep
Date: 2/17/2009
I've used it for about a year now its grate for helping me sleep.

Experiment with short-term memory
Date: 2/21/2009
I am seeking information regarding use of zolpidem in recovery from brain injury. I am a survivor of a closed head injury from over 20 years ago. Since starting ambien therapy for insomnia, I noticed a dramatic improvement in short term memory. I have been tapering from 5mg nightly to now 2.5 most nights, in an attempt to compare my memory between use and non use of the drug. Any suggestions on performing this experiment would be appreciated.

AskDocWeb: The University of Washington has a couple of short-term memory testers, one using letters, and another using pictures. Just keep track of your scores over time to find changes in your ability.

Bad dreams?
Date: 2/22/2009
How about bad dreams where you don't remember what happened.

AskDocWeb: That does happen, but then how do you know you had a bad dream?

Ambien hallucinations
Date: 2/23/2009
Have taken ambien for about 8 months now and as of now am no longer taking it. I AM QUITTING COLD TURKEY! I HAD TO BE ADMITTED TO THE HOSPITAL BECAUASE OF SIDE EFFECTS! My husband found me after I had been outside in freezing temperatures, I was having hallucinations of people talking to me and no one was there, I seen bugs on the walls and on the floor. I tied to go out in to the street to retrieve boxes that was not even there. I ACTUALLY THOUGHT I WAS ABLE TO SHOOT SPIDER WEBS I know it is amusing and funny but as this was taking place my 16 year old daughter had to witness this. I think the company that has made this medicine should be sued for all the problems it has caused innocent people and their families.

Bottom line
Date: 2/24/2009
I took 10 mg of Ambien last night so I could sleep early and get up for an early appointment. I ended up video chatting with an ex girlfriend, and having a few drinks. A few drinks lead to a lot more (which I don't remember taking) and I completely blacked out, without even setting the alarm. I woke up at 1 PM, having completely missed my appointment, and noticed vomit next to my bed, and two empty bottles of alcohol that would equate to maybe 7 or 8 shots of booze. I'm pretty shaken up from the ordeal. The amnesia is the most severe I've ever experienced (and I've had some crazy alcohol black outs in my time). I have literally no recollection of going to bed. Bottom line: don't mix ambien and alcohol.

Bad Juju
Date: 2/27/2009
I was given Rozerem by my doctor and it worked great but my insurance would not cover it without first showing I had tried Ambien or Lunesta. My doctor called in ambien for me and I took it for 1 night. It made me very dizzy and it felt like being drunk, only more drunk than I have ever been. Evidently I also become a psychic nympho on it. I think the nympho part is self explanatory but I was also telling my husband the color of his aura and asking what mine was. And to top it all off I don't remember any of it. I find this very disturbing and will never take ambien again. I also find it disturbing that all this happened because the insurance company wouldn't let me take the medication my doctor really wanted me to have.

No drowsiness aftereffects
Date: 2/27/2009
I rarely have trouble falling asleep. My problem was waking up after just a few hours and not being able to get back to sleep, often for several hours. Ambien works best for me when taken after one of these wake ups. I am then able to get back to sleep fairly quickly, but I only sleep another 3-4 hours, with no drowsiness aftereffects.

Sleep driving
Date: 3/1/2009
I used Ambien in 2004. My doctor told me that some people take it early in the evening. He said that I could do that. He did not tell me not to drive. So I did. I never did remember going to rent a movie with my daughter, driving there, driving home or what happened during the rest of the night. It did not, however help me to sleep for more than a few months.

Battle with ambien
Date: 3/2/2009
I have been taking ambien for 7 years. I have severve abdominal pain right side naseaua. I would love to hear other people and their battle with ambien.

Has anyone else experienced these side effects?
Date: 3/5/2009
I recently had a hip replacement and was told I had to sleep on my back, which has been impossible, getting only 1-2 hrs sleep a night. I recently tried Ambien which was of very little help. The problem is I started to get a sharp shooting pain in my good thigh, which would go numb and feel like my muscles were about to tear if I moved. My good thigh went numb on me and the pain was very bad, Has anyone else experienced these side effects, or could they be unrelated to my Ambien use, which I now only take 2-3 times a week when absolutely necessary.

Ambien overdose
Date: 3/5/2009
I started taking Ambien 3 years ago after the death of my daughter and I was having difficulty sleeping. Over time, I got to the point that I cannot go to sleep without it. Within the past year, I have noticed that I cannot remember anything and my nightmares are horrible. They are so real that I am shaking when I wake up. Last Friday night I took an Ambien as usual before going to bed and that is the last thing I remember. 24 hours later I woke up in an emergency room and they determined that I had taken the remainder of the prescription - 14 pills - sometime during the night. I have no idea why I am still alive today. Of course, now everyone thinks I tried to commit suicide which is so far from the truth but it is really hard to convince anyone of the amnesia that Ambien produces. I have had some events in the past with no memory but not to this extent. How can you take a drug without any memory? My husband told me that we made love that night and I have no memory of this either.

I have quit taking it, obviously, but I have been shaking ever since. I haven't had a good night's sleep since that time and I am still having some of the same hallucinations that I was experiencing in the emergency room. How long does this take to get out of your system and do I need to worry about liver damage?

AskDocWeb: It will take about 48 hours for the drug to leave your system but there is no way to tell how long the withdrawal symptoms will last as everyone is different. There are no reports of Ambien causing liver damage.

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