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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 and anxiety
Date: 5/8/2009
My mother is taking Ambien and is have anxiety. Can you give me any feedback on this?

AskDocWeb: Anxiety is on of the possible side effects that should be reported to her doctor. Taking any kind of stimulants such as caffeine can increase anxiety so she may want to avoid coffee, colas and tea.

Suicidal tendencies?
Date: 5/10/2009
Is anyone aware of the suicidal tendencies of a patient that uses ambien if they are depressed? Is this a normal reaction?

AskDocWeb: No, that is not a normal reaction. Depression is listed as a possible side effect of Ambien. If depression does occur, that should be reported to the health care provider.

No memory problems that I can recall
Date: 5/10/2009
I have used Ambien, as needed, for years. I cut the 10mg pills in half and only take 5mg. I take it when I am already in bed with the lights out. I have learned not to take it for more than 2 or 3 nights in a row or I get a "withdrawal" from the drug and can't sleep for about two days after I stop taking it. I haven't had any memory problems (that I can recall) Some daytime drowsiness. I recommend that you start with 5 mg- it should help you fall sleep in about 15 minutes. Remember to be in bed and ready for sleep. Good luck! Oh- it also has been helpful to me NOT to take Ambien every single night. Alternating with Benadrly for two nights, melatonin for two and abstaining from any sleep drugs for a night or two really helps.

Amnesia problem and sleep eating
Date: 5/12/2009
I am a long term user of ambien and I love this medication the only thing that works for me consistently. I have had the amnesia problem and the sleep eating thing too but still will continue to use ambien regularly.

I'm not addicted
Date: 5/15/2009
I'm a 38 yr old insomniac man taking generic Ambien 5mg for about 1 year. I enjoy the effects. Its very relaxing. I don't hallucinate, raid the fridge, or have memory loss (that I know of). A nice side effect is it raises my libido as well. Its not entirely different than smoking a joint and going to bed. If I'm in bed, Ambien works. I will go to sleep and not even realize it. However if you take it every night you will need to add more to get the same effect.

There are times when I will just subconsciously fight the effects and its not a big deal. I will still feel relaxed, focused, and productive. When I wake up, there may be initial drowsiness, but its not a hangover. I also tried Lunesta and was not happy with that at all. It was basically the opposite for me. So I went back to Ambien. I'm not addicted. I enjoy taking one when I really need to get up in the morning. Which equates to probably 4 doses/wk. I will not drink and take a pill... that can be bad news. But taken responsibly and for the intended purpose, its the best sleep meds I've found... and I've tried a bunch.

Anxiety, depression, and panic attacks
Date: 5/15/2009
I started taking ambien in November and at first it worked like a charm. I had never had better sleep and woke up refreshed and ready to go. But in a very short time, I started noticing increased anxiety and increased mood swings throughout the day. I've always been an emotive person, but I was thoroughly out of control. The anxiety and depression has grown so great that I have major panic attacks, wake up with terror, and even have given up major things in my life like driving. I have been off the ambien for 3 days now and seem to be doing much better already. Please let me know if anyone has had similar experiences. And can these side effects be longterm?

AskDocWeb: Mood swings and anxiety are not listed as side effects of Ambien but depression is, and should be reported to your doctor. Another possible side effect is abnormal behavior, which is a general term that could include many different things and should also be reported to your health care provider.

Ghosts did it
Date: 5/17/2009
I jut got back from a visit with an 87 year old woman whom I visit 2 or 3 times a month. She was cleaning up all kinds of paper that was strewn across the living room. She told me that ghosts had done it and were doing it almost every night. The night before my visit she said she got up in the middle of the night and there were two teenage boys in the living room and when she yelled at them they just "disappeared." Turns out she's been taking 2 5mg tablets of Zolpidem(Ambien) a night for a few weeks. I'm calling her doctor first thing in the morning!

How do I get off of it?
Date: 5/17/2009
I feel really exhausted on ambien. I can't sleep without it. I remember anything. If I don't have it, I don't get any sleep. How do I get off of it?

AskDocWeb: The safest way is with the help of a sleep specialist at a sleep clinic or sleep disorder center. They can help you solve your sleep problem rather than just taking pills to cover up the symptom.

Very strange stories
Date: 5/19/2009
I have been taking 2 ambien 10 mg for the last month, and I must say, it is the most peasefull sleep I have ever had! I wake up feeling rested even though I have to get up at 4 am. I don't wake up with a hangover and I am able to carry out my daily routine, however, if I am not remotely close to the bed within 15 min of taking my ambien, family members have told me very strange stories. I have been told that I had sex with my husband while on ambien, and he told me I was better than id ever been, a tiger if u will!!! But I honestly do not remember the encounter, I have also been told that I sat on the couch quacking like a duck. I don't remember any of this, so my suggestion for a successful dosage is to take your ambien and lie down.
Angie in Mississippi

It makes me weird
Date: 5/26/2009
Basically, I don't sleep. I have so much energy throughout the day and it carries on into the night! There is a point in my day where I am just so exhausted that I want to nap but I can't [school, homework, softball, workout etc] so I push thru and am no longer tired...till the next afternoon. So I tried muscle relaxers 1st and I didn't like how they made me really groggy so I asked my doc for something else and I was given ambien, 10 mg and have been taking it for about 8 months now. I used to only take it when I knew I wasn't going to sleep well, but now I take it all the time. And it seems like now I am merely just taking it to actually force myself to sleep...but sometimes I will stay up for hours, doing weird things, saying weird things, that I never remember until I rehear them the next day several times from teammates and roommates. It makes me weird and it freaks me out that I can't remember what I did. I, just like a lady above, texted my [now "ex"] boyfriend things that I didn't need to tell him, things that made the relationship different for him than me, that I don't even remember was awful...I am kind of nervous now about this med, even though it worked well for a while, I just hope I can figure out how to use it best and not become dependant!

How long can I take it
Date: 5/26/2009
Been taking Ambien 10mg for 5 years now with no long can I take it...thanks,

AskDocWeb: The drug company defines Ambien as a short-term treatment (35 days) for insomnia. How long it can safely be taken beyond 35 days is unknown.

The downfall
Date: 5/28/2009
I have always had a problem sleeping when I am worried. Worst of all is when I would wake up in the middle of the night it would be over for me. This past year, I had several tragedies and sleep was over for me. The more tired I got the worse I got. My Dr. prescribed Ambien CR. I know that I see lots of bad comments. Yes I have had conversations that seem very very fuzzy. But I can't believe the difference it made for me. I sleep sound and I wake up feeling comfortable not as if I had a rough night. Now the downfall, I don't want to be without it. I have not ever needed it increased since CR works for the whole night. I make sure I am already in bed, if I fall asleep on my own great. But I want to know it is there if I do need it.

Date: 5/28/2009
I have been taking Ambien for about 3 years, but I only use it occasionally - maybe 3 times a month with no problems. Lately I have been suffering with sever nightmares the night after I have taken ambien and can not understand why. My medications have not changed and I am certainly not abusing the drug. Has anyone else had this problem?

Really bad stomach problems
Date: 5/31/2009
Have been on Ambien for 2 years now. Have been off 15mg Ambien for 7 days now, cold turkey...For the past 3 months have been having really bad stomach problems, pain that never ends... been scoped up and down and they can find nothing wrong. Does anyone have any idea how long it will take to have my stomach recover from this?? This pain is just killing me, comes and goes nothing else seems to effect pain. Hope it goes away soon...

Withdrawal symptoms
Date: 6/1/2009
I've been on ambien for about 2 or 3 months. I started having problems with it and decided to discontinue on Friday. I've really had no problem sleeping, but I've had palpitations, extreme agitation and wake up with aches and pains. I do hope these withdrawal symptoms subside soon. Oh and I went off cold turkey. (I didn't know you weren't supposed to) I do not recommend this drug to anyone for any reason.

Harm minimization strategies
Date: 6/2/2009
My wife is about to start taking ambien, but I'm very scared of the possibility of her being prone to the regularly reported side-effects (I can totally see her emailing or phoning people while on it because she loves being on the phone and facebook). I don't even want to imagine what harm she could do if she got in the car off her face on ambien! I figure if I disconnect the phone and internet without telling her the cables are pulled, deadlock the house doors, hide her car keys and mobile phone, that should keep her safe from killing herself or saying something she'll later regret in an email or phone call. But then again, what if she goes nuts when she tries getting out of the house and finds she is locked in? Has anyone reading this had experience with their partners or housemates using these harm minimization strategies? - did they work, or just make the person go all psycho/paranoid because they're locked in, the phone is disconnected, and their mobile is missing?

AskDocWeb: We would caution you about the phone, make sure you can call emergency services if needed.

Ambien car accident
Date: 6/3/2009
I started taking ambien by getting it online overseas for cheap, without a prescription, and it helped when I traveled and stayed in a motel located RIGHT next to a railroad track. That was in 2006. By 2008 I was still taking it every night. Then one evening, June 1, 2008, I took one, and seeing that I now only had one left, called the pharmacy which was closing in five minutes, and drove there quickly to pick up my next month's dose (now prescribed.)

I knew there was a "window" of opportunity before which it takes effect and starts working, and the pharmacy, a drive-through was so close-by. After that, I said, "well it still hasn't kicked in yet so I will go through McDonalds." I did so and then when I turned to go back to my apt (again REALLY close by) I APPARENTLY slammed into FIVE parked cars!! I say "apparently," because I don't feel I blocked out, but I remember thinking I had not hit anything so I drove off to my apartment's garage around the corner. I opened the car door and a cop handcuffed me, asked me to recite something, walk a line, then threw me in his car and drove me to take a blood test at a hospital. Then he threw me in jail until 4 am and I overheard him say "she hit five cars!!" I was thinking "but I am on something prescribed - why a DUI?" and it was awful and of course now I was on ambien in a jail cell which is cold with bright light for the first (and last) time in my life! I didn't even realize I had a flat tire!! I ended up in REHAB for two months (my own decision) with people that were there for heroin and crack, etc, and was told "ambien is the freeze-dried version of alcohol" and "you are an addict" etc etc etc...

For the last year, I have been on seroquel, which the rehab and then a doc said was right for me, but it made me groggy the next day. I was treated like a common criminal by the cop who didn't care that I was neither on an illegal drug nor on any alcohol. Now I have a dilemma. I have been off the Seroquel for a week and have not been able to sleep all week. What is next? Lunesta is also supposed to be addictive. Benadryl does nothing for me. Valerian/kava kava do nothing for me as well. I read online that cognitive behavioral therapy is best. Ok. I am willing to try that. I think I once tried Melatonin but don't recall it working.

AskDocWeb: Just a note of caution here about using herbal remedies. Many herbs have drug-herb interactions that may be cause for concern if you are on medication.

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