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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.

Answer to Kelly's question
Date: 7/22/2009
In answer to Kelly's question of how to get off Ambien. I started taking Ambien for the exact same reasons - hot flashes, insomnia caused by menopause. I continued taking it every night for a number of years and started having problems with flushing/sweating. My neck would get blood red and I'd be dripping with perspiration (no longer menopause but caused by Ambien!) I suffered with extreme anxiety (doc put me on Lorazipam), memory loss (thought I was going into dementia), started having problems socializing (never before). I didn't attribute any of these things to Ambien and was happy that at least I could look forward to a good nights sleep. It occurred to me one day that all these things began when I went on Ambien. I was angry that something that worked for sleep was ruining my life. I decided to go cold turkey a month ago. It was very difficult. The heart palpitations were so bad I had to sit up; didn't sleep at all for two nights but each night it has gotten better and better.

I now sleep pretty much through the night. It is a different kind of sleep - I wake up now and again but have no problem falling back to sleep. Before I went cold turkey I talked with my husband and let him know I was going to be going through a rough time. He was very supportive. I watched DVD's, prayed, slept when I could and finally I am Ambien free. The good news is, I no longer have a bright red neck, I can tolerate warm temps much better, anxiety is gone, memory is much much better, and the heart palpitations I had everyday making me think I had heart disease is gone. I feel like a new woman and am loving life! One more thing - I took Ambien every night for 2 1/2 yrs. - only 5 mg. If you are taking more than 5 mg. I'd suggest talking with your dr. Good luck Kelly! I wish you well.
Nancy - sleeping in Balto!

Treatment for brain injury
Date: 7/22/2009
I am looking for current information regarding Ambien as a treatment for brain injury. I suffered a cerebral hemmorhage many years ago and suffer from short term memory loss and visual defects. I have been taking ambien nightly for about 2 years now (2.5-5mg) and have noticed a dramatic improvement in memory.

AskDocWeb: Readers are encouraged to share any information that may be helpful.

Long term use
Date: 7/23/2009
I have been taking ambien for 5 years. The only thing I have experienced is if I am watching a TV show after I take it I can't remember the show. I have horrible Fibromyalgia and also sleep apnea and without this medication I fear I would be so tired I would not be able to get out of bed. I read how it is for short term use only but, it seems thousands take it for years with little side effects. I think I will call the drug maker and ask them to study it for long term use. I have never had any weird things happen as a result of Ambien and neither has my two friends who also take it long term. I think it is a god send as I suffered many years with little or no sleep.

FDA and Ambien
Date: 7/23/2009
I generally don't take any medication whatever at any time because I don't trust that the FDA really does its job. This page validates my fears. How can something like this be so commonly prescribed when it's obviously dangerous? Blackouts, memory-loss, hallucinations, addiction. It's so sad what is being sold to the public these days. So sad. Even things most of us accept as common, like Aspartame in soft drinks, is need to be banned. No drug companies' profits are worth this!

Blur vision, Memory lapse, yup!
Date: 7/24/2009
Blur vision yup. Memory lapse yup. Last night I got lost in our gym and my husband told me he had to help find my way out and when I hit the bed I was out. So walking in your sleep yup! Last but not least do not take Ritalin and Ambien because it makes the sleep aid more potent. And addictive I don't think so.

Sleep-eat and wander around
Date: 7/27/2009
I have been using Ambien off and on for at least 7 years. In the beginning I would take 10 mgs to get to sleep as I was working a horrible shift job and was depressed. I have tried all the other sleep meds and Ambien is the only one that puts me to sleep. Unfortunately now I am up to 50-100 mgs/night to get to sleep, so my 30-day prescription only lasts 4-5 days and the rest of the month I use Tylenol PM and sleep poorly. I hate the ambien as it causes me to sleep-eat and wander around the house doing things. I usually have to try to piece together what I did while "under the influence" the night before. I have roommates and my behavior disturbs them. I feel trapped and know that I am hurting my body but the promise of good sleep is so alluring. I need to decide to quit once and for all.

Near panic -- significant memory loss
Date: 7/29/2009
I have been taking Ambien consistently for about a year and a half. My prescription ran out last week and my doctor would not refill it without a doctor's visit and consultation. I was very frustrated and in a near panic because I was about to go on a trip and feared I would not sleep at all. After 6 days of very little sleep I have finally been able to get at least 2 partial nights of rest. In the last six months I have been conscious of the reality that I have suffered significant memory loss. I am normally an exceptionally motivated individual in work, but my energy level, focus and concentration has also suffered greatly. As a life long troubled sleeper, I know all too well that a lack of sleep contributes negatively to my over all state of mind and in fact, propells me into periodic states of depression. I have justified my nightly Ambien habbit as a way to avoid that sleep deprived depression, however I think the mental state under which I have been operating over the last year is far worse.

I have two young children who have to remind me of things they have told me over and over because I have no memory of it. I have gotten up with them in the night and can't remember any part. I have awakened in the morning many nights without memory of having sex with my husband, with fear that if I ask him or admit no memory he will not only think I'm crazy, but GOD forbid take my Ambien away.

Once while staying on a house boat I woke early in the morning and took my coffee out on the deck to relax, I looked over the railing at the lake and saw my pajama bottoms dripping wet and draped across the railing. I looked down and saw that I was wearing dry pants that I knew I hadn't gone to sleep wearing...had I actually gone swimming in the lake alone in the middle of the dark night with absolutely no memory of it? Yes, I had, and I quickly hid the evidence for fear, again that my husband would think I was crazy or suggest I stop taking the drug. The fact that I have chosen to continue taking this drug after all the crazy stuff it does to me is a TRUE testament to how addictive it really is, and how detrimental it can be! Having survived 6 days without it, I think I should try to make it forever.

Abusing Ambien
Date: 7/30/2009
I have never taken this drug, but I have a co worker who has told me about some of her experiences with this stuff. It is being used (abused) by people for the high it produces. On Tuesday morning I recieved a phone call that an ex co worker and good friend shot herself!! I was shocked to find out she was using (abusing) Ambien. She was recently in a car accident and claimed to have "blacked out". Her husband said she would typically eat dinner and sometimes get it all over her and pass out. He said she would sleep like a rock and once he got her cleaned up and in bed, she would be up off and on all night long. I cannot believe she did this to herself, I know suicide is a choice and people who make this choice have different issues or problems that lead to this action but I am telling you, this is not something this woman would have done. I searched this site to help me understand how this drug affects people and what I have read only convinces me more so that this is a dangerous drug. Please, Please do not hurt yourselves or someone else while using this drug. My heart is broken over this recent tragedy and I am quite convinced she would still be here today if not for the abuse of this drug. Take care of yourselves and God bless all of you.

Sleepwalking through the days
Date: 7/31/2009
I took Ambien CR off and on for 7 months, and although it helped me sleep, it has caused huge holes in my memory, both long and short term, and has affected my ability to make connections between things I do at work. After I quit taking it, in about three days I "woke up", and realized I had been sleepwalking through the days. Had one DUI experience while driving after only 6 hours of sleep, luckily I got home safely. I also had several episodes of speaking gibberish without being aware of it until the person I was talking to asked me what I was trying to say! After 6 months of being off the Ambien, I still am having problems remembering things and making connections on projects at work. Most doctors don't want to believe that the Ambien has caused these problems, but there is no other explanation.

Serious side effects of Ambien
Date: 8/1/2009
Ambien is not for everybody. I believe it has very serious side effects if used more than 3-5 times a month. The problem is addiction. I know people that have been on it for years and are suffering heart and lung problems. Ambien is very addictive. Withdrawal from addiction is also severe. It seems doctors routinely abuse the use of Ambien. I used it for 2 years and I'm waiting for the consequences.

NO recall
Date: 8/1/2009
I take ambien at night, wellbutrin in the morning. Both for depression. I also take toprol xl at night. I function normally after taking the night time meds but I have NO recall of anything that happens after I take them. We've tried different meds to help me sleep but nothing else works (that isn't as bad or worse than what I take now.)

Ambien problems
Date: 8/1/2009
I took Lunesta for several years and loved it, had no problems with it at all. Then Workmans Comp settled with me and I had to start paying for my own meds. Lunesta doesn't have a generic, so doc gave me generic for ambien. I have been on it for about a month now and have noticed some things that I didn't realize may be related to the ambien until now. My chest has been hurting me a lot. I lose my breath easily and even have trouble finishing my sentences because I run out of air (this is scary). I have been having horrid headaches. I take aspirin and tylenol like crazy trying to get rid of them, but nothing helps. Feels like my head is being squeezed or something. I have also been seeing what I think is someone walking through the house in another room, but when I go to look, no one is there. If I wake up at night to go to bathroom, I walk all crooked like I'm drunk. I hate the way I feel lately. My stomach feels nauseous all the time and the things I used to love to eat, I hate the thought of them now, yet in the middle of the night, I find myself searching the kitchen for something, anything, to eat. I have also had these jerky feelings in my arms and shakiness of my hands. I can't stay calm at all, I just keep shaking. This is driving me insane. There should be a lawsuit for this drug and people who have had side effects. I didn't realize it was the ambien until I read this site, so now I want to quit taking it. I just hope I can. If you're not on it, I don't recommend you start.

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