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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.

Is this a problem?
Date: 6/3/2009
I have been taking 10mg of Ambien for 4 years recently was switched to 12.5mg of Ambien CR. Have trouble falling a sleep so I take a 1/2 of the regular Ambien. Is this a problem to mix them?

AskDocWeb: Yes, trying to be your own pharmacist can be very dangerous. Please talk to your doctor about an appropriate dosage for your situation.

Problems with memory
Date: 6/4/2009
I have been taking Ambien for about five years now about three nights a week approximately. I had tried everything else and this seems to work the best for me in fact it really changed my life for the better at nights. I have noticed though that in the last year or so, I've been having more problems with my memory like being unable to retain simple information and I do feel it's getting a little worse. I'm forty so not putting it down to dementia just yet. I don't know if this is just coincidence but a year or so ago I could no longer get the brand name drug and switched to generic. I definitely think there's a link there. In my case the time frame seems to fit.

Side effects are a nightmare
Date: 6/5/2009
Please stop taking ambien. The side effects are a nightmare. I know. I've been taking it for years and I just now started having severe side effects (tingling, lightheadeness, pins and needles in fingers, arms, legs, and feet, trouble swallowing, numbness in face and lips. Just stop!

Bad experiences
Date: 6/6/2009
Holy crap I'll just tell the readers this. If you take ambien and don't go to bed immediately after, bad things WILL happen. Bad experience number one: took 1 ambien didn't go to sleep, drug kicked in, lost my inhibitions, took another one, went for a walk at the cliffs behind my house. I remember this part, I jumped down over an 80ft bank because I thought I would land and be fine. Broke my ankle, knocked myself out. Bad experience number 2, took ambien, didn't go to bed, got in my car, wrecked car don't remember much but I was driving for 2 hours. There are a few more but I can't even talk about those. This drug WILL be the death of me if I don't throw them out. Very dangerous drug, be careful.

Date: 6/8/2009
I have had a prescription for ambien for about 4 months. I've only taken it about 15 times but only twice without hallucinating. My ceiling comes to life and everything starts moving. I've walked around the house twice with no memories of it but my brother has had to bring me to bed. Once asleep it works great though. I wake up the next morning feeling great. Today though I woke up after 6 hours of sleep and was still hallucinating. Went to sleep for another 3 hours. I'm not sure if the great sleep is worth the side effects.

Permanent damage?
Date: 6/8/2009
I have been taking Ambien 10 mg regularly for over 5 years and cannot go to sleep without it. The only side effects I have experienced is some short-term amnesia related to a conversation or activity occuring shortly after taking it and before falling asleep. I can recall such incidents if reminded the next day. I have not read of any really "long term" studies similar to my usage. I would like to know if there is any reports of permanent damage from such usage.

AskDocWeb: The has been only one report of what that person felt was permanent short term memory loss. That person was having trouble recalling and articulating basic words, ideas, and concepts when having a discussion with another person.

Date: 6/9/2009
What are the side effects of over dose on ambian - I took about 50 and now have some problems.

AskDocWeb: Taking five times the recommended dose is an overdose - get emergency medical attention as soon as possible. Symptoms of a Ambien overdose may include sleepiness, confusion, shallow breathing, feeling light-headed, fainting, or coma. Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much Ambien.

What works?
Date: 6/9/2009
My dr. prescribed Ambien for me about 6 years ago when I was having severe night-time hot flashes. I have tried numerous times to go cold turkey and break the habit (yes, it IS habit-forming!), only to lie awake for hours on end, and/or be in a constant state of half sleep all night long. Each time I try to kick it, I give in at about 1 AM...usually on the 2nd or 3rd night. I ruined one vacation because I was determined not to use it-didn't sleep the entire week. I have several friends in my age group who are experiencing life changes, and I tell each one of them---DO NOT LET YOUR DR. PUT YOU ON AMBIEN! My question to all of you is...what's the best way to get off of it? I've used Valerian Root, Melatonin, Sleepy Time tea, hot bath...what works other than not sleeping?

Heat-related symptoms
Date: 6/10/2009
My experience with this drug is stange. I can take it fine, as prescribed. But it makes me feel as if the sleep is forced and I always wake hard, like I am suddenly awake as if falling into conciousness by a drop. I also noticed that if I took it and am exposed to heat(weather), I get all the symptoms of heat-related symptoms. I have to drink water, my muscles ache, headache and my temperature raises. I have been prescribed it over a year now. But I don't think it's for me, esp. in the summer.

Throat locked up
Date: 6/10/2009
My throat locked up after taking this medication it scared the sh*t out of me. I woke up unable to breathe. I jumped out of bed bent over and pulled in as hard as I could. I was lucky and all alone. I didn't realize why until I heard about it on a TV commercial. This sh*t is dangerous!

Stop taking Ambien
Date: 6/14/2009
I've been taking Ambien off and on for a few years. The last two months, I've taken it every night. I'd like to stop taking it completely to see if my anxiety and shortness of breath symptoms get better. I took a lung function test which was normal. The asthma doctor thought my shortness of breath may be anxiety or a muscle dysfunction in my throat. I believe he called it VCD (vocal cord dysfunction.) I don't know if it's the Ambein that's causing this, but I'd like to stop taking it to see if there's any difference in my breathing. Is it okay to completely stop taking Ambien or is it better to taper off it?

AskDocWeb: If insomnia persists beyond the 7 to 10 days this may indicate the presence of a primary psychiatric and/or medical illness that should be evaluated. The best way to taper off Ambien or any other sleep medication is to have a plan. Work with a sleep doctor to evaluate your situation and set up a schedule for getting off the drug. You don't always have to be "on track" and one bad night is not a reason to give up the plan. Don't increase or decrease the dosage depending on how "tired" you feel. Just stick to the plan and don't think too much about it. Remember that this is mostly a psychological dependence that you want to get over so too much analyzing is not good. You want to build up your confidence over time that you can sleep with less ambien and eventually none at all.

It was wonderful at first
Date: 6/14/2009
I have taken ambien for over a year. I take it every day. It seems that I have built up a tolerance and needed to take more to get the same amount of sleep. Now I run out before the month is up, witch causes me to go several days with no sleep. It was wonderful at first, it helped me with sleep apnea decreasing my pauses in breathing. I have never been able to use acpap successfully.

Ambien worked at first
Date: 6/19/2009
I was prescribed Ambien after several rounds of Amitriptylne & related medications didn't work well for my insomnia. Lunesta & Rozeram didn't work, either. I have severe osteoarthritis & the pain keeps me awake. I can't take pain pills at night because THEY keep me awake. When I'm finally so exhausted after days of not sleeping that I finally pass out, I wake up in pain every 2 hours and then can't go back to sleep for hours. The interrupted sleep was decreasing my pain tolerance, & making me more than a little grumpy. So we finally tried Ambien, & it worked great. I slept like a log & woke up refreshed, not groggy. AT FIRST.

It wasn't long before one pill didn't help me sleep. I either couldn't fall asleep, or if I did, I'd wake up in four hours & being in pain, not be able to go back to sleep. We tried Ambien CR. That didn't work at all ... if the 10 mg wasn't putting me to sleep, I had concerns that the initial 6 mg the CR gives you wasn't going to magically work. I was right, so was switched back to 10 mg. Some nights when I had a heavy day the next day, if I couldn't fall asleep an hour after one Ambien, I'd take another. That worked, but then I'd run out early. Once your body gets used to falling asleep with Ambien, if you run out early, you have a minimum of five days of total insomnia before your body adjusts. Then I'd go back to being able to fall asleep, but not stay asleep because of pain. After 5 days of no sleep, a few hours of sleep feels like heaven!

I'm back to my interrupted sleep pattern, and I'm going to stick with it until something better comes along. At 53, aside from having to suffer from my bones melting all over my body, I now feel the way I felt when I had a newborn nursing baby - foggy, sandy eyed, tired all the time. Still, it's better than what I see looming ahead on the Ambien Trail - ordering online to supplement my doctor's script. Not a path I want to take! Ambien is great if you take it on an empty stomach, don't take more than one a day, and don't take it for more than a week or two.

Overdosed on Unisom?
Date: 6/19/2009
If you overdosed on unisom and then had no use of your left leg is that a side effect of the overdose?

AskDocWeb: If you think you have used too much Unisom then seek emergency medical attention. The symptoms of overdose may include extreme drowsiness, loss of coordination, dry mouth, or seizure (convulsions).

Unisom Doxylamine) is an antihistamine that reduces the natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose.

Doxylamine as a single drug (not combined with another drug) is used as a short-term treatment for sleep problems (insomnia). It may also be used for other purposes. Doxylamine is sometimes combined with other drugs to treat sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and the runny nose caused by allergies or the common cold.

Night sweats, vivid dreams, and nightmares
Date: 6/20/2009
I was prescribed Ambien off and on over the last 7-8 years. I find it causes night sweats and such vivid dreams/nightmares that upon waking I am not sure if I dreamed certain things or they happened in real life. After several years of this I started experiencing a queasy "high"...which progressed to a seriously nauseating "high" I stopped. Then recently after weeks of terrible sleep or insomnia I tried it again...yes there was the "high"...but additionally...I did not fall asleep and turned to my pc for something to do. Was horrified to realize that what was on my pc screen appeared to be moving and "melting" and running into each other, and the keys on the keyboard seemed to be moving...I tried to get up to use bathroom...and the walls and doors also seemed to be moving /melting...frightening to say the least. I would never recommend it to anyone after that....hope this helps even one person avoid this experience...

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