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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.

Not worth it
Date: 8/2/2009
I find that this drug has only helped marginally with falling asleep. Last night I took 10 mg., and slept for 3 hours despite the fact that I had only slept about 4 hours the previous night. For the price, this drug is not worth it to me. I'd say this drug is comparable to dramimine in terms of effectiveness. Reading some of other peoples experiences with forgetfulness and doing things they later do not remember is scary.

Trying to recover from this addiction
Date: 8/3/2009
I took Ambien for the past 3 years and decided to stop after losing my health insurance due to a job loss. It has been absolutely terrible trying to recover from this addiction to a very strong drug I am only now realizing. I have been trying for more than 3 weeks with pretty poor results and mostly sleepless nights or sleeping for only an hour or two and not until daybreak. This drug rewires your brain I'm afraid.

I am angry that Ambien is even prescribed and so easily available from your friendly physician. It is even advertised in the Reader's Digest! I did fine on my 10 mg although it took much longer to work and I eventually had to take it 2 hours before bedtime. The side effects were not as bad as some described here but I have at times had nightmares and vision problems before falling asleep and amnesia if talking to another person after taking it but before sleeping. While it did it's job for a good night's sleep I am very worried I will never sleep normally again without some type of sleep aid. I am going to see my physician soon to demand something for help. I have some Valium, 5 mg tabs that I have been force to take in order to get to sleep. The Valium was prescribed for anxiety but I never needed it until this came up. Unisom and others like that haven't helped nor has SleepyTime. We should sue the makers of this horribly addictive and destructive drug. I pray I will be able to break free of its grip.

Are these problems from Ambiem or not?
Date: 8/3/2009
I have been taking 10mg (sometimes 15)per night for about 7 years unless I run out then its over the counter stuff and klonopin. There has been a lot of stress in my life so it is hard to separate what is causing what. I have been having severe muscle pain and many symptoms of fibromyalgia and severe depression and episodes often of tacycardia (heart racing). My 20 year marriage is coming to an end partially because of my raging fits and drinking to pass out. My whole personality has changed. I have become anti-social and although the klonopin was prescribed for restless legs and works great for that I take it pretty much every night now. So I want to wean myself off this crap and see what I am left with to determine what is causing this muscle and joint pain. Any feedback is much appreciated, I am desperate. My life doesn't really seem worth living anymore.

AskDocWeb: Everyone needs the help and support of others occasionally. Please talk this over with your doctor and explain what you want to accomplish. Your doctor may have suggestions about how you can cope with this situation.

Ambien sucks
Date: 8/3/2009
Ambien sucks! I have been on it for four years. Can anyone recommend a one month plan to taper off this horrible drug so I can sleep guilt free?

Hallucinations, memory loss, and eating
Date: 8/4/2009
I just recently started taking ambien and it has worked very well up until tonight. I have also expierenced hallucinations, memory loss while talking to friends and thinking people are around me when they are not. But I have learned right after I take it to go straight to bed. But tonight has been different I am wide a awake and researching ambien feedback rather than sleeping. I am perscribed to 10mg of the generic version but am suppose to take 2 every night. After my weird hallucinating experience I have only taken 1 a night. They also cause me to eat very odd mixtures of food right before bed this is why I now take it and go straight to bed. I think you need to learn how ambien effects you and adjust your nighttime routine to it.

Date: 8/4/2009
I have experienced the sleepwalking. If I dont lay down right away I am out the door. All hours of the night. My main concern was the throat problem.

Vision blurring
Date: 8/4/2009
I have been taking Ambien for at least 8 + years, every night. I have no problems with it at all and have no trouble waking up. I do concur with those who notice a little vision blurring and also eating very bad bedtime snacks if you don't go to bed within 20 minutes or so of taking it. There have been some nights when I was very ill with a virus or URI and slept pretty much around the clock without the Ambien. I do take the generic form as that's all my insurance company will allow. Great drug. Probably addictive, but with no bad side effects for me personally. I am over 60, work full time (with plenty of unpaid overtime) as an RN. It continues to work as well now as when I began over 8 years ago. When I retire, I won't need it anymore as I won't have to worry about getting a good night's sleep in order to function at work. My advice to others is to FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS, which tell you to take the Ambien and go to bed very shortly thereafter. You also need to take it ON AN EMPTY STOMACH or it just doesn't work. The only other drugs I take are for blood pressure and glucose control.

Short AND long term memory loss
Date: 8/4/2009
Would switching from Ambien to, say, Lunesta for a couple months, then back to Ambien, negate some of the memory loss side effects? Kind of like using a field to plant corn one year, beans the next - you know, crop rotation. Would this be more appropriate than just taking the ambien nightly for years? I do have some short AND long term memory loss, but I attribute these episodes to 3 major surgeries during the years I've been on Ambien. I believe anesthesia had a great deal to do with that. Also, going through menopause and a divorce and traumatic family events and having cancer and a host of other untoward events, I suspect have contributed significantly to these short and the occasional long term memory disappearances as well. Everybody's experience is quite different, I fear. The number of comments about fatigue being a side effect worry me. Is it because I am old at 65 and still working 50-60 hours a week or is it the ambien. I doubt we'll ever know. I function well in my job and on that evening when I remember something I was supposed to do, even though it's a few hours past the end of the work day, I will call the patient in question or perform the forgotten task in the evening. Also, If I don't go to bed when my head tells me to, I may have a little conversation with my husband which I don't remember 0 it's just there somewhere in my periphery somewhere. I also type like a drunk when this happens. Take on an empty stomach, but before you notice any hunger pangs, and climb into that bed with a view towards staying there until morning light!

Hallucinations and kidney problems
Date: 8/5/2009
When I was a teenager they slapped me on ambien. I took it for years even after complaining of horrible hallucinations they never would take me off of it. I have kidney problems now that a 80 years would have. I don't know if it's from that or another medication but I do know ambien is horrible, it will make you do horrible things. It warps your brain fuction to a lucid dream you cant control people and things around you arent safe when you take this drug.

Ambien review
Date: 8/5/2009
I have taken Ambien since before it went generic due to my poor sleep experience and still take it nightly. I have had virtually no side effects and feel fortunate to be able to use it nightly. I did not like the Ambien CR.

Hallucinating and memory problems
Date: 8/5/2009
Be very careful with Ambien. My husband was taking Ambien CR for a couple of months and his memory progressively became worse as time went on. He could not remember who he talked to, what was said, what he ate and many other things. He became disorientated and could not become fully awake for about 3 days. When he started hallucinating 2 days after his last dose I took him into the emergency room. I am really hopeful that he will be ok, he is slowly regaining his alertness 3 days post dose, but is still having some hallucinations. At least now he is aware he is hallucinating and that his memory is shot. He says he remembers nothing of those 3 days. No, he did not take an overdose.

Ambien made me a sick woman
Date: 8/10/2009
I have been taking 10 mg Ambien for almost 6 months. It has made me a sick woman, and yet when I try to get off it I cannot sleep. Any suggestions?

AskDocWeb: You might check your local Yellow Pages under "Sleep Disorders" for a sleep center or sleep clinic. They can help you deal with the cause of the problem rather than just treating the symptom.

Getting off Ambien
Date: 8/17/2009
I also am taking ambien due to relationship problems divorce/separation, I also have a five year old. I never had problems falling asleep in the past and will maybe will take a little benadryl once in a while, which has a very good effect with no side effects at all. Even helps with a little seasonal allergies which is also a good benefit. When I began taking the ambien since it is so effective the benadryl is basically like a sugar pill now. I am moving out to my own house in 2 weeks to escape the fighting and put my daughter in a state of peace with no fighting and discord. I have made plans already to attend an outpatient detox center near where I will be living and will taper off the ambien. I have heard it is very difficult to taper off ambien but I will do it with a doctor's help because I never had sleeping problems before, no chronic insomnia.

This is just situational stress right now. Once the stress is relieved I believe I can make it safely through the detox. I will not go into a residential program although my insurance covers 100% of it anywhere you want to go but I cannot be away from my baby and she needs me. The day therapy and detox while she is in school now is the best way and I am not working now (not my choice, was laid off after 11 years at a job I loved because of budget cuts, more stress and anxiety on top of everything else.

I am also taking some xanax that was prescribed but it doesn't have the "chill affect" that many people report, it seems to have a paradoxical affect on me on which I get more aggresssive and impatient with everything. It makes me hyper...weird. I think it because I am so calm and mild-mannered that a part of me needs to get out those normal human emotions and I've been keeping them covered for so long that the xanax is bringing them out of me. Well, at least I have a plan in place and if I ever can get off the ambien I can just go back to the benadryl, which is a little bit of help with no side effects.

Good luck to you all (I also cannot take any of those anti-depressants, I have tried many forms( especially seraquel, what a nightmare!) and they just make me feel worse. I had post-partum depression with my daughter and the meds my OB gave me (effexor) just made me feel suidical and depressed so I threw the bottle away and just toughed it out on my own. In about 3 weeks the symptoms went away on their own and everything was fine. There is a way out of this tunnel and if you are especially susceptible to stress like me and have trouble managing it am it just makes it more of a hard road I just don't have the brain chemistry for their ssri effectiveness) only the controlled substances seem to work for me. must be genetic or something. by the way, I take wheatgrass juice and green mixed drinks nearly every day and they are natural mood-lifters. It may seem kooky but some of us may need that extra nutrition in our brains to balance correctly.

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