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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.

Severe reaction to Ambien
Date: 12/1/2010
I have been taking Ambien and now Zolpidem since it was in introduced in the 1990s. I tolerated it well. I used 5-10 mg frequently to go back to sleep after early awakening. Three years ago I started to have a severe reaction that took a long time to realize was a side effect. I had trouble swallowing, dry inflamed nasal passages rhinitis, hoarseness, and thick mucous. My ENT tested for and ruled out GERT, prescribed Nasonex, Singulair, Mucinsex, and they did not help. My GP prescribed Patanase nose spray which is very effective. I reduced from 10 mg to 5 mg and even 2-1/5 mg with a pill cutter. The symptoms were less but present. I have stopped and started many times due to stress. Now I have stopped and shall try to keep off. I also have a right branch bundle bundle heart block but show no symptoms. I wonger if Zolpedim affects that? I am 68 and 200 lb. Non-smoker. Excellent health otherwise. The problems also may have been related to switching to generic Zoldedim from a major drug chain. Perhaps the cheap pills contain an allergen.

No troubling side effects
Date: 12/8/2010
I have insomnia. Primary, Chronic... Can't fall asleep, can't stay asleep, don't even feel tired. I've been taking Ambien for the past 2 years-at first intermittently now very regularly. Aside from the initial slight interruption in my regular BMs and my being noticeably clutsy during the day after taking it, I have had no troubling side effects.

Nights I have included alcohol in my festivities and proceeded to take Ambien to help me sleep have usually resulted in a block of time during which I remember very little the next day. Nothing ridiculous like gluttony or driving while drugged. I really like Ambien and that it helps me get sleep I would otherwise NEVER get.

PS you can't sue someone Over Side effects they WARN you about. My prescriptions come with detailed info.

Ambien and memory lose
Date: 12/9/2010
I would like any information you have on Ambien and memory lose. If you have information you could seen by mail I would really like that. Thank you very much.

AskDocWeb: Sorry Sonja, we have no free mailing services. All the information we have on Ambien is published here and the 90 pages of feedback from Ambien users starts here.

Aggressive behavior
Date: 12/11/2010
My wife and I took ambien 10mg zolpidem 10 mg and seroquel 25mg with out prescription for 3 month my wife dont want to go to doctor my wife change her behavior she is very aggressive she and I need because the pill we took help please

AskDocWeb: This forum is limited to sharing information about the side effects of Ambien but maybe an online doctor could help you out.Ad

Ambien suicide
Date: 12/16/2010
My son as 46 years old. He took Ambien. He also took his own life in March, 2010.

Date: 12/22/2010
I would give anything to have my life back. Two hands or legs..anything. Sad it will not happen. I hate this drug.

Serious word and memory loss
Date: 12/26/2010
I am scheduled to go in for a bone marrow transplant on January 6, 2010. In preparation a month ago or so, I had a round of chemo. I started ambien to counter one of the steroids that was keeping me awake. I found that I could not sleep since then without ambien. I have been suffering serious word and memory loss. For example, I could not remember the name of our grocery store. I did cut the dosage to 5, but now I am wondering if I should switch to another sleeping aid. And I am 64 years old. Any advice?

AskDocWeb: Sorry Michael, we deal with questions about side effects. We leave the medical advice to these Doctors.

What's Ambien Again?
Date: 12/27/2010
From what I understand, Ambien is supposed to help you help you fall ASLEEP. After my mother took Ambien in October, she had enough energy to climb up a ladder, tie a rope, and hang herself... How does this drug work again??? I always wonder what things would be like now if she hadn't taken this drug. I hope more than anything that she is at peace and knows that I love her with everything that I have. I really just wish that if a drug came with the side effects of suicidal tendencies...that it wouldn't be on the market...her kids miss her a lot.
What's Ambien Again??

Natural herb for sleep?
Date: 12/29/2010
My Mom is on this and don't no how to get I am trying to help figure it out for her....she wants to use a natural herb for sleep but needs to get this monkey off her back first! How can we do this?

AskDocWeb: The safest way is probably with the help of a Sleep Disorder Center or Sleep Clinic. These clinics usually have a supervising doctor that specializes in sleep problems. They will diagnose exactly what the problem is, apnea, narcolepsy, etc., and recommend treatment. The sleep clinic may require an overnight stay, which can be expensive but insurance may also pay for it if you have a doctor referral.

Date: 12/30/2010
I have been taking Ambien for over a year as needed, usually 3 or 4 times a week. Now I am waking up every night with headaches. I am guessing this is ambien related.

AskDocWeb: It could be related, headaches are listed as one of the possible side effects of Ambien that should be reported to your doctor. Other side effects that should be reported include:
  • daytime drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • clumsiness
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation
  • depression
  • muscle aches or pains
  • vivid or abnormal dreams
  • amnesia (memory loss) after a dose, sometimes significant
Other side effects not listed may also occur.

I was astounded and horrified
Date: 1/3/2011
I was prescribed ambien for sleep when I was having great difficulty getting rest after an accident. It was a nuclear powered disaster, and my family has not been the same since. I was a complete monster, consumed by fury and rage, I violently shook my wife several times, screamed like an absolute psychotic into the faces of the people I love, broke dozens of things around the house, threw my wedding ring out into the street, and I am just scratching the surface.

It took days to convince my wife to tell me what was wrong, I was astounded and horrified. I had no memory, and have no memory of the event. I fear that there was a sexual component as my wife won't come near me any longer. She tells me that the last night of taking it I began to yell again and she threw me out, apparently I drove and bought beer in my underwear, drank all of it and slept in the truck. It was waking up in the truck with an empty twelve pack of beer that alerted me to this problem. I stopped taking the sleep meds, and after speaking to my doc, threw all of it away. He prescribed another sleep med but I am taking no chances, and did not fill the script. I also awaken violently from anesthesia, related?

No noticeable side effects
Date: 1/3/2011
I am a long term Ambien user. I have used it for more than 5 years continuously, except for a few times that I ran out before my Rx was renewed. I also have diabetes. I have had no noticeable side effects. I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and a problem akin to RLS, only in my shoulders. Ambien relieves all these symptoms for me. I have read articles where ambien is used for treatment of sleep apnea, but someone from the sleep lab, near the lab where my wife works told her several things about how dangerous it is. I sleep very well with ambien use and do not sleep without it. What are your thoughts?

AskDocWeb: If it works well for you and you have no adverse side effect then you are getting your money's worth.

I woke up midway through the night
Date: 1/4/2011
I took Ambien for the first time last night around 10, and at first it felt like it was working hard, with an expectable difficulty standing and a heavy limb feeling that I might get from enough Clonazepam, but I later felt it may be working a little too hard. I got in bed and tossed around for a while but I started feeling just awful, nauseated and dizzy, a general uncomfortable feeling all over. I did fall asleep though, only after wishing I hadn't taken the medicine. Then I woke up midway through the night, around 1AM, which is something I never do. Once I finally GET to sleep, I'm out and that's that, so it was definitely Ambien's work, and I still felt uncomfortable until I fell asleep again.

It's the only thing that works
Date: 1/5/2011
Ive been taking 20mgs ambien since 1987, I'm 63, I'm a 100% insomniac, have been since a young child. I've experienced all the horrible things that can happen to you while taking ambien. I've been up now for three weeks, waiting for my prescription to come up again, its no picnic, you all know that. And yet, it's the only damned thing that works. I've never did it before, but I'm going to try to only take it 2 to 3 times a week. What the hell, if I can stay up for two to three weeks, I can hopefully seperate the usage by 24 to 48 hours. We will see. Good luck to you all, god bless, and take care of yourselves.

Patterns with Ambien
Date: 1/7/2011
I'm 21 now and I've been taking ambien for about 3 years. From the time I was 12 until I was 18, doctor after doctor would prescribe me sleeping pill after sleeping pill. Trazodone, Sonata, Lunesta, temazepam, you name it. Many of them weren't strong enough to put me to sleep, and the ones that were strong enough to put me to sleep gave me what has been termed the "hangover effect" the next morning. Ambien is the only sleep aid that has worked for me. It helps me fall asleep, and I don't feel like a zombie in the morning.

I know that ambien is supposed to be used for the short-term treatment of insomnia, but because I have narcolepsy, my insomnia isn't going anywhere. Sleep patterns cannot exist for me in the same way that they can for people who don't have narcolepsy. Thus, I continue to take it.

Over the years I've noticed patterns with ambien. First of all, although it is a sedative, it is only a sleep AID. After I do all that I can, ambien can help me. But I still have to do what I can to practice good sleep hygiene. One thing that makes a big difference for me is whether or not I take it on an empty stomach. It doesn't seem like something that would make THAT big of a difference, but for me, it does.

There are some guidelines that I've developed for myself when taking ambien. First, I don't take more than I need. Because tolerance builds so easily with this drug, less is more. Taking less ambien leaves more space for increasing the dosage later on if it is necessary. The more I take, the more I need to take.

Second, I don't hangout with anyone after I take it. It's similar to being drunk. If a friend calls me or texts me after I've taken it, IF I even choose to answer at all, I warn my friend that I've taken it. I've also developed a system to avoid the frightening hallucinations that can often follow taking ambien. I take it, and read a (non-scary) book until I start falling asleep, at which point I lean over to turn my lamp off and turn so I'm facing my wall, and I close my eyes and fall asleep. Before I learned to close my eyes when the lights were off, I would get really scared sometimes. I mean...even when you KNOW that's it's just a hallucination, it's still discomforting to see your closet coming toward you, ya know?

Sometimes while I'm reading before I fall asleep, I hear voices. But they're not distinct voices, and I don't hear distinct words, it's just...the overall sound of a crowded room. It's like the roar of walking down a busy street. Just the general noise of people talking around me, not to me. Sometimes I barely even realize that I hear anything. I think, "Oh wait, wait. I forgot I'm alone right now." It sounds funny but I'm really not schizophrenic.

I also learned quickly not to walk around after taking ambien. Walking even just across the room when I feel disoriented makes me dizzy, and can easily lead to nausea. If I forgot to do something, and I HAVE to get up, I make sure to walk slowly, so the dizziness isn't as bad. I think it's useful to understand that, because before I learned how to handle ambien, I got so nauseous that I threw up (and didn't remember until I saw a little splatter of it on the wall by my toilet the next day.)

Ambien can really help with sleeping problems, and can improve the quality of life, but it is extremely important that it is used wisely and cautiously. I think a lot of people experience problems with it because they aren't aware of what they're getting themselves into when they swallow the pill. Hopefully this will give someone a better idea of how to prevent or deal with some of those problems.

Read more Ambien Feedback.

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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright 2008-2012 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on Ambien and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.
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