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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.

The flip side of Ambien
Date: 9/8/2009
I used ambien nightly for approx. ten weeks. As for its effectiveness, great results. I fell asleep within 15 minutes, compared to 1 -2 hours normally. Six to seven hours later I would awake fully alert. The best sleep I had in years. But now the flip side. The side effects I experienced included double vision, some short term memory loss, and most concerning, depression. I stopped taking ambien 3-4 weeks ago, and am now back to not sleeping well. Bottom line, it's a trade off. Most if not all hypnotics have side effects. Sleep in general has amnestic qualities. Most people can recall times in their lives when they answered the phone in the middle of the night, only to have no recollection the following day. The fact that a strong hypnotic agent might magnify this amnesia should not be surprising.

For those who struggle with chronic insomnia as I do, I am aware of the huge toll it can take both personally and professionally. Many people have commented on how addicting ambien is. I disagree. The diabetic who is dependent on insulin every day for the rest of their life, is not considered addicted to insulin. Simmilarly, sufferers of chronic insomnia may become "dependent" on a sleep aid for life. Being dependent on a drug does not make one an addict. Lets not be so quick to demonize the drug.

Hallucinating and suicidal thoughts
Date: 9/8/2009
I have insomnia and was prescribed ambien over a year ago. Within a month after trying ambien I took the generic. I was hallucinating and had suicidal thoughts. I also became very paranoid and have never had any problems such as these. Now I still focus on things around me mainly in the sky such as planes, stars and such. I am not sure if I was watching programs half awake or under the influence of ambien during this time. I now take lunesta after family took me to the hospital. I also now have to take an anti depressant and my therapist wants me to take an anxiety drug. Even though I am no longer on the drug I have had continued problems with seeing things and becoming anxious. Does anyone else have these issues?

Ambien sleep driving
Date: 9/14/2009
I've been taking ambien for a couple of years now. I used it very carelessly at first. I used to take it after a job before driving home. I had it timed down so I was home and in bed before it hit. One time was all it took to change my behavior. I will not take it unless I'm ready for bed at home.

The night I'm talking about it was raining really hard. I'd had a few drinks and had a cold. Following a normal routine I dropped the Zolpidem (10mg) before I left to go home. The last thing I remember was walking to my car. Then (from putting the aftermath together) ... I went through a stop sign and rammed into a bench in front of a building. Backed up, continued driving, sideswiped a vehicle, crashed through a fence, and ended up in the side of a street, rear facing a building. It must have been stuck, and I must have gone home, because when I got up the next morning and noticed my car was gone I started walking back the way I normally would drive home. The vehicle was buried to the rear axle and two windows were broken on the building behind it. I have absolutely no recollection (except for a very faint "I know something happened" feeling.

This drug must be used wisely, and as for the side effects. I suffered from grogginess, short term memory lapses, occasional hallucinations ... When I switched to CR I experienced dizzy spells when standing up from sitting (to the point that I thought I might faint). I'm reevaluating my alternatives and have found that a good exercise program helps reduce to side effects. This drug is weird!
Holy Smokes

Very disturbing behavior
Date: 9/14/2009
I woke up this morning, I had apparently woke up in the middle of the night and thought frying salted peanuts in BBQ sauce sounded tasty. I threw an entire jar into a pan. There was BBQ sauce everywhere. I also turned on the oven to like 500 and left it on...yet I cant see that I ever put anything in it...I got up for a drink of H2O at 4am, and the kitchen was hotter than sh*t. I also got on the Internet and started typing insults into Google... I don't remember a *ucking thing...Oh, and the kitchen sink was flooded, and water all over the floor. And I had what I thought was a dream where I was driving around aimlessly, I REALLY hope that was just a dram...its very disturbing...I took the rest of the pills and chucked them in a trash bin at the gas station...

My memory is shot
Date: 9/14/2009
I have been taking Ambien daily for several years. It started to become less effective last year so my doctor upped my dosage to 20 mg per day. My memory is shot. I have no energy and no motivation. I have excellent memory for things that took place years ago, but have very limited recollection of more recent events. I am only 49 but feel much older.

Pill from hell
Date: 9/16/2009
I have never been in any trouble before I took this pill from hell. What a pleasure to come out of a blackout to being the driver of a motorcycle going in excess of 70mph. My last encounter was coming out of a blackout event, being handcuffed and taken from my home. I went through a detox hospital and requested my doctor to update my chart that I cannot be prescribed this RX in the future. I WILL NEVER TAKE AN RX WITHOUT CHECKING IT'S SIDE EFFECTS AGAIN!

Heart palpitations
Date: 9/16/2009
I stopped taking ambien, after 3 yrs. of daily use, 3 months ago and am finally feeling like my old self. I sleep much better. It's not perfect but most nights I get 6 to 7 hrs. of good quality sleep. I was only taking 5mg. for those 3 yrs. and with that minimal dose was having so many emotional problems; depression, low energy, severe anxiety that had to be treated with lorazipam, sore neck and shoulders that took me to a chiropractor about every 3 weeks (spent a fortune), aggressive behavior. There are too many side effects to list here and that was on 5 mg. a day! I went cold turkey and it was very difficult. I slept sitting up for two full nights because of the heart palpitations. While on ambien, the heart palpitations were so bad that I thought I had developed heart disease and after walking a block had chest pain. I walked 3 miles yesterday with energy and felt great. Life is good now. I'm enjoying every minute and realize that the majority of my problems - problems that made me wish I wouldn't wake up each morning, have disappeared.

Tingling, burning, and numbness in feet
Date: 9/19/2009
I have been taking Ambien CR nightly for 3 months. Has anyone experienced significant tingling, burning and numbness in there feet while taking Ambien CR? These symptoms have been very difficult to deal with....difficulty walking, all shoes hurt. Due to these symptoms & other side-effects, I am weaning off with use of Ambien (non-extended). Weaning slowly. I pray these symptoms are not some other problem. Time will tell. Will not use Ambien again, ever!

Talking in his sleep
Date: 9/19/2009
My husband has been using Ambien for 2 1/2 years. It does make him sleep, and it has its side affects. He will talk in his sleep VERY coherently. He will talk about the fights he is having, the girls he is going to get, the places he is going to live, and the things he is going to do. Sometimes it's great because he laughs alot while he is talking to the people he loves and is talking to in his dreams.

Ambien Free
Date: 9/20/2009
I got off of Ambien "cold turkey" after taking 10mg daily for about a three months (I've been Ambien free for weeks). I feel so much better, and I'm sleeping on my own again! Please do not get it "twisted" I would love to take an Ambien and sleep throughout the night, and wake refreshed the next morning (ah those were the days). Now I feel complete FREEDOM! However, Doc I find that my memory is getting better (Is there any study pertaining to memory loss during the day? While taking Ambien I found that my memory was getting really bad, and I'm not talking about the memory loss from when the drug takes over, I'm talking about when I'm awake and aware). Ambien is a great drug (I think) but please use it in moderation and for "short term use". I feel that I used Ambien to cope with stress and to cope with depression and got caught up in this cycle. The detoxing the first week was not that bad, and over time I was sleeping on my own (I was only taking the drug for 3 months straight, and I see some post were people take the drug nightly for years, and I'm sure your detox will be different than what I experienced, just hang in there). I'm just glad to be sleeping on my own now. Ambien Free!

AskDocWeb: The results of clinical trials lump all memory problems, short-term and long-term, under the term "memory disorders" which includes memory impairment, amnesia, and anterograde amnesia. One study says 3% of users report some kind of memory disorder ( Another memory problems is listed for Ambien by the Physician's Desk Reference (2008, page 2803), called traveler's amnesia. This type of memory loss involves amnesia for events that occur during the several hours after taking the drug.

Unmotivated state
Date: 9/22/2009
I'm 29 and started taking this about 4 years ago. The first year I took one pill a night and ended up talking to people on the phone just for no reason and ended up becoming more depressed and unmotivated. When I went back to my doctor she said well your supposed to use it periodically, but never emphasized that till after the fact. So I cut the pill in 3, one 10mg pill will last 3 days. my side effects lessened and my motivation increased. So I end up camping with a friend that also has insomnia we both take half the pill and end up waking with really vivid dream sequences, each time. I frequently encounter nightmares accompanied by night sweats, I'm wondering if this has been the work of the ambien all along. I plan on going the herbal route soon to see if the nightmares stop. Also if I have the day off I end up taking like two naps and having a bunch of vivid dreams to. So the effects don't just wear off for me. It just puts me in this unmotivated state ready to fall into sleep at the slightest hint of being tired.

Monitoring system
Date: 9/26/2009
My husband has used Ambien for 7 or 8 years. He has a tolerance build to the drug and abuse the perscription by taking more than prescribed because the tolerance built up to the drug. The last week of the month when he is out or running low, he is agitated, irritable, and aggressive. Has the FDA researched the addictiveness of your drug? Have you done long term studies on your drug? What does it do to the sleep receptors in your brain. My husband wakes up every morning as if he is hung over, very groggy. What monitoring system do you have so doctors don't continue to prescribe ambien to the same patient year after year?

AskDocWeb: The FDA has set up a program called MedWatch, which is a voluntary reporting system for the public to report problems with FDA regulated drugs, biologics, medical devices, special nutritional products, and cosmetics. Here is the link to Report a Problem

Can not stop taking Ambien
Date: 9/28/2009
Hi! I was prescribed Ambien by my family physician in 2004 and since then I can not stop taking it. After my sudden husbands death I just completely lost my sleep. Was trying not to take Ambien several times but sleep just does not come at all. After not sleeping for 2-3 nights I usualy loose my courage and strength to go to sleep naturaly and take my pill again. Side effects are bad too: depression, anxioty, heart palpitations, back pains, feeling of being not yourself anymore, feeling extremely tired sometimes, upset stomach, swelling of the face. If anybody can help with natural remedies or anything else please write online.
Sincerely Erna from Colorado, USA

Memory loss
Date: 9/29/2009
I have used ambien and it has worked well for me, however, I have noticed an extreme sideffect of the memory loss.

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