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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.


Started sleepwalking
Date: 7/5/2009
My baby sister who is 38 yrs old has been taking Ambien to sleep. She has had several strange sleepwalking episodes since taking it. Not too long ago, she had taken the Ambien and went to sleep, she woke up in the middle of the night to find herself in the middle of her street in her pajamas. Unfortunately, she continued to take the Ambien and on Friday night July 3, 2009, she took the Ambien and started sleepwalking again, she went into her medicine cabinet and took a whole bottle of Tramadol, a whole bottle of Tylenol and a bottle of Excidrin. She is now in the hospital under observation and possible liver failure. This medication needs to be taken off the market. What happened to my sister is bad enough, but God forbid if something much worse happens again to her or someone else.
Lynette


Ambien suicide
Date: 7/5/2009
My 25 year old son committed suicide after taking Ambien. Can you connect me with other people that have had this happen to a family member? Thank You,
Keith

AskDocWeb: Sorry Keith, we lack the time to manage such a project. You might try Google Groups or Yahoo Groups.


Poor memory during the day
Date: 7/7/2009
I've been taking Ambien, 10 mg, for several years. I've had sleep issues ever since I was a teenager, so I'm happy to get a good night's sleep. When you first start taking Ambien, you can really get loopy, but as your body adjusts (read as gets addicted) it just produces a good, deep night's sleep. My only wonder is if the memory loss/amnesia factor can cause poor memory during the day. As in forgetting things and conversations even when you feel alert and rested. I'm 55 so maybe it's just aging, but I'll tell you my memory ain't what it used to be...
Maggie


Chronic insomnia
Date: 7/7/2009
I have bad insomnia. I take up to 40 miligrams a night. Doctor allows 30. I sleep great bt it ike a crazy women. Ambein is addicting but is the only drug that seems to work for chronic insomnia.
Karin


Arrested for DWI
Date: 7/11/2009
Took ambien cr on second dose was sleeping got a call from 16 year old daughter to pick her up from friends house got about 5 miles from home and flipped car in a ditch was brought to the hospital and then arrested for DWI, dont remember any of it took me about 2 days to realize it was the ambien went to look for the pills discovered all 30 pills gone also tried cooking and caught a loaf of bread on fire about 4am. I was on the meds for 2 days only.
Brandi


Awakened in the back of a police car
Date: 7/15/2009
I am a 33 year-old RN and married mother of 4. Prior to taking Ambien, the biggest legal issue I have ever had was a speeding ticket! I live in a small town where everybody knows everybody and the biggest thing we have here is our Walmart supercenter. A few weeks ago, I took an ambien to go to sleep as I work night shifts, and awakened in the back of a police car on my way to jail! According to the officer, I was caught trying to leave Walmart with about $400 worth of items I had not paid for. Nearly $300 of it was a swimming pool. According to him, I had actually bagged all the smaller items myself. The best part is that I have absolutely NO recollection of ANY of it! I cannot imagine what I must have looked like to everyone there, and what in the world I must have been thinking; However, I KNOW I am NOT a thief, and resent the fact that no-one seems to believe that I really had NO IDEA what I was doing. I actually found this web-site at the recommendation of an attorney friend who has agreed to help me convince the court that this REALLY does happen to normal, law-abiding citizens, who are NOT overdosing or drinking while on Ambien, and that something should be done about it. I can honestly say that the possibility of this happening to me was never discussed and the potential side effects are greatly down-played by the manufacturers of Ambien and those prescribing it.
Jennifer


Suicide while on Ambien
Date: 7/15/2009
My husband just recently committed suicide while on Ambien. We are all so devastated. No warning signs, nothing. It is almost as if he did it unconsciously while dreaming. His doctor had been prescribing him Celexa, Klonopin, and Ambien even though after reading his medical records I discovered she thought he had a drinking problem. Everything I have read seems that she acted very neglegant in prescribing this.
Erin


Ambien
Date: 7/16/2009
I have been taking ambien on and off for years, however, recently I have taken ambien for two and a half months daily. I have experienced memory loss (texting and emailing under the influence of this drug) however, the key is to take the ambien and GO TO BED! I have never driven a car while on ambien or raided the fridge. I'm currently detoxing from ambien due to not liking the fact that I have allowed a drug to control my sleep patterns (day 3). I do think ambien's long term side effects have not been explored, and I can't imagine a doctor prescribing ambien for years (I see several post that indicate that people are using ambien for years!) I read a post somewhere else, and this guy Charles is on to something, he said that the reason people don't sleep is because of our "FEAR" and indicated that once we lose that "FEAR" we regain our self and we regain our sleep! (he was much more profound, but I hope you get the message). I realize my fear at work and my fear of personal issues have robbed me of my sleep, and now it is time for me to regain it back, and to use it for "short term" use only when needed. Proceed with caution fellow ambien lovers!
MJ


Respiratory side-effect
Date: 7/17/2009
I am concerned each time I see advertising for Ambien, as it seems the side-effects are highlighted more clearly, and the respiratory side-effect is the one that concerns me, but for others. I've never taken Ambien, but my late husband did. He had the problems with grogginess and with getting up and eating during the night. I wanted him to ask his doc for a different prescription but when he tried to wean himself from Ambien, he would have terrible nights with no sleep. He hadn't smoked for 25 years and when we traveled last May to Arizona, he was affected by the elevation, and then hospitalized for what the docs called COPD, but his family physician said there was no indication of this in his physical (with x-rays and other tests) 5 months prior. He was hospitalized for 25 days before he died. The growth of fibrosis was unstoppable and the docs in AZ were unable to find a cause. I really am concerned that others with minor lung scarring from prior years smoking will have fibrosis triggered into a crisis by the use of Ambien. I would advise anyone who has smoked or is having any respiratory effect to immediately stop using the product.
Mary


Panic attacks?
Date: 7/18/2009
I was prescribed Ambien CR because of sleep issues, not being able to stay asleep. In the fourth week of taking it daily I had a panic attack. The doctor then prescribed Restoril for 14 days, saying it was to wean me off of the Ambien. The panic attacks are coming on daily. I would like to just stop takin the Restoril. Could these sleeping pills be causing the panic attacks and can I just stop?
Cindy

AskDocWeb: Restoril (temazepam) is a benzodiazepine used for the short-term treatment of insomnia. One of the off label uses of Restoril is in the treatment panic attacks. On the other hand panic attacks are listed as one of the withdrawal symptoms if either drug (Ambien or Restoril) is discontinued after long term use. Panic attacks are also listed as one of the rare side effects of Ambien.


Several years of experience with Ambien
Date: 7/21/2009
I have been on and off Ambien for several years to combat insomnia. Ambien alters the REM patterns of healthy sleep, causing the lmemory problems that REM sleep helps with. REM is restorative sleep, Ambien sleep is far less restorative, but physically you feel well-slept. USE ONLY once in BED, and begin with 5mg for a week. Insomnia is often caused by: Psychiatric patterns, Sleep Apnea, Restless Leg Syndrome, Hormone imbalances, Menopause, Poor sleep hygiene (like computer use or TV late at night), Shift work schedules, Lack of natural light at daytime (Pineal gland issues).

I will tell you all that it is an accumulated FACT that Ambien is habit-forming over the recommended short-term use of 30 days or less. Used occasionally, it is fine over time. It WILL cause short-term memory impairment if used constantly, and behavior issues include emotion swings, lack of mental focus (even with great sleep), and mild hearing distortions such as tinnitus. The lack of focus and attention are the major issue, and those in turn can lead to feelings of depression and worthlessness. The vicious cycle continues.

The first time I tried to get off my 5mg/night dose and it lead to really bad nights followed by anxiety and sloth-like days.... but if you razor the pills (generic elliptical ones ONLY) into sub-doses tapered for two weeks, you will soon be off it with no long-term problems. My success with tapering the second time I was on Ambien (after the death of a family member made me sleepless), was to take the supplement GABA as directed by a naturopath. It worked VERY well and felt like Ambien but without the dreamless zombie sleep and bad memory. Be careful if you use Ambien, never divide the CR pills, and for everyone's sake, don't try cold-turkey quitting. Thanks,
Dan


Problems staying asleep
Date: 7/21/2009
I've been using Zolpidem Tartrate off and on for about a year. This past week I've used half a tab every night. Last night after meditating and stretching, took a half tab read a little and fell asleep only to wake up four hours later. Took another half tab and woke up again three hours after that. (an hour and half before my alarm) Today I feel groggy and tired but don't know what the alternative is to taking sleep aids. I don't function well on 4 to 5 hours of sleep per night. Do other people have problems staying asleep and feeling unrested?
Peg

AskDocWeb: Oh yes, in fact that problem is so common that in many cities there are sleep clinics that specialize in dealing with it.


Can I just stop?
Date: 7/21/2009
I have taken ambien for 1 year, and have tapered from 5 mg to 2.5mg over the past month, with a lot of twitches and severe nightmares. Can I just stop? How long will the withdrawal, including nightmares, last? I just hate it.
Lisa

AskDocWeb: As a general precautionary measure, rather than abruptly stopping, a gradual tapering off of the sleeping medication is suggested. This should help minimize the potential for withdrawal reactions. 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. If withdrawal symptoms last beyond 14 days, talk to your doctor.

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