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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.

Weird oral side effects
Date: 5/2/2011
I had been using Ambien daily for the last 4 months, nothing else worked for me, however I started having problems with the feeling that something was stuck in my throat, my tastebuds were off and my lips, gums and teeth would feel very cold(weird feeling), I decided on my own to stop Ambien and it took about 3 days but I no longer have these problems now!!!

A recipe for disaster!
Date: 5/9/2011
the the poster who wrote "ambien still can't sleep". BE CAREFUL! I highly recommend you call your dr and get something else. If you take ambien and cant' sleep, it's a recipe for disaster!! I am not a stupid person, as suggested by another poster, but have had bad side effects because I STILL couldn't sleep after taking it. You think, I'll just go down and get some water, and next thing you know you are hallucinating. My mind knew what I was seeing couldn't be true, so I took my camera out. I was so freaked out I woke my husband up begging him to look out the window at "the shadow" (my imaginary figures were trying to get in our door). Next morning, realizing what had happened, I threw the pills in the trash. I use benadryl at times, or flexiril when needed now. Ambien is wicked stuff. It's great if you are able to go straight to sleep, but if you truly suffer from insomnia and it doesn't knock you out.. your are in trouble.

Ambien long term health risk?
Date: 5/8/2011
what are the term healthrisk potentiol of longer term Ambien use? My doctor has me on 20 mg 1 to sleep another 1 four hours later to go back to sleep and I may be on it for a long time, so I am interested in any known affects it could have on me.

AskDocWeb: Long-term use of the drug may lead to dependency. A 25-week study published by the National Institute of Health ( concluded that Ambien provided sustained and significant improvements in sleep for up to 6 months. However, that study left us scratching our heads. For example in one place it describes a run-out period where patients received no medication for 7 days (plus or minus 3 days) to find out what happens when the drug is discontinued. Under Measurements and Results it says that "No rebound effect was observed during the first 3 nights of discontinuation." Does anyone wonder what happened from day 4 to day 7?

Chronic lower back and leg pain and blood in urine
Date: 5/13/2011
I have been taking Ambien for at least 5 years. In that time I have developed chronic lower back and leg pain and there is blood in my urine. I think it has affected my kidney function. I have a eGFR or 65 and a BUN of 19, but I feel it is important to cease taking the Ambien because the damage is progressive.

Long term use of Ambien
Date: 5/14/2011
Can long term use of Ambien have an effect on your kidneys or creatinine level?

AskDocWeb: It appears that all the studies so far involve taking Ambien for 12 months or less. So far no effects on kidneys or creatinine levels have been noted. If you have ever had kidney disease then Ambien may not be a good choice for you.

Concerned about memory loss
Date: 5/19/2011
I was wondering if a person experiences side effects from Ambien, or it's generic form, if discontinuing use all the side effects will sustain and leave no permanent damage. As I have been looking into the side effects I realize I have many that I was experiencing. Memory loss, this one really bothers me, my family has mentioned to me about things they may have said to me, and I don't recall it. Also I was having a terrible sore throat, it's been on and off since last summer and looking back that is when I began to use Ambien on a nightly basis. Also sore joints, my knee joints in general really were aching. I also would get up during the night, I seem to remember everything I did when I got up, it usually was to get something to eat and went back to bed. But it also bothers me that many people have gotten up and called people, or went out in the vehicles, and don't remember it.

I must say I for the most part was getting a good nights sleep, although I did feel I wasn't getting the full effect of the medication as much lately I was on the generic 12.5 mg cr version. And after reading some of the other feedback I wonder if it would just be a matter or time before my dosage would have to be increased, as I have started waking up during the night more frequently. Used to be I would sleep straight thru, now it was I would awaken and eat something and then sleep lighter the rest of the night, the best sleep for me was the first couple hrs. But if we were ever to have a house fire, or bad weather I don't think I would awaken during those first few hrs, very easily if at all.

After reading the feedback from so many others, I stopped cold turkey a week ago, and haven't taken one since, I've been using other the counter p.m. meds instead. I must say within the past week, my knee joints have stopped aching, no sore throat pain, my memory seems a bit sharper, but I am still concerned about that, and no withdrawal symptoms so far. Wondering if after discontinuing for a week all ready if that is something I won't have to worry about.

AskDocWeb: If there are no problems a week after discontinuing then it is highly unlikely that any will show up.

Ambien suicide
Date: 5/26/2011
My sister killed herself wile taking this sleep aid my best friend's father shot himself on Thanksgiven day two years ago my sister in law shot and killed herself and her six year old veary beautiful daughter two weeks ago wat really going on is there anyone trying to researce this drug????? you can reach us on face book under amy cosenza :( feel free to help us understand.

What do i do now?
Date: 5/29/2011
I have been on ambIan for only 5 days, and feel that it is not for me. i didn't even get any sleep yet again. the strength is 10 mg. what do i do now?

AskDocWeb: If you are looking for a medical solution then check back with your doctor. Are you taking any other medications that might prevent you from sleeping? For example, allergy meds made with decongestants such as pseudoephedrine can heighten alertness, Another example is antidepressants such as Wellbutrin (bupropion, Zyban) and Effexor (venlafaxine) make it hard to sleep through the night. If your meds are a problem talk to your doctor about switching to something that doesn't have side effects that affect your sleep.

Have you tried all the home remedies to get good sound sleep? Although they are simple some of them are surprisingly effective.
  • Aromatherapy - Filling the air with floral scents practically guarantees pleasant dreams. Simply place of bowl of rose or lavender (Note Caution 5) potpourri on the bedside table a half hour before retiring.
  • Stop trying - If you can't sleep, the worst thing you can do is trying too hard. You can't force it. Rather than thinking about how bad you want to sleep, think about something relaxing or boring. Just let everything go and you will fall asleep sooner or later.
  • Meditation - This is a great way to calm your mind and puts you in a state where it will be very easy to fall asleep. Many people, especially beginners, tend to fall asleep when trying to meditate. Of course that isn't the goal of meditation but it's a useful side effect if you have a problem falling asleep.
  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol and other drugs. Stimulants disrupt your body's natural sleep rhythm.
  • Walking - Going for a 20 to 30 minute walk 3 to 4 times a week gets your body rhythms back on track, helping you to get the sleep you need.
  • Exercise - One of the health benefits of exercise is that it can help you to fall asleep if applied properly. Make sure to exercise or walk 3 to 4 hours before bedtime. If you exercise within 2 hours of bedtime, may cause you to feel more alert and revved up, making getting to sleep difficult.
  • Listen to Soft Music - Insomniacs who listen to soft music for 45 minutes before bed enjoy a 35% improvement in sleep quality.
  • Herbal supplement - Valerian has a chemical makeup similar to Valium, but much safer and non-addictive. Valerian is available at health-food stores. The typical dose of valerian used for sleep is 60-mg. an hour or two before bed. Be sure to read the Cautions about Valerian and check with your doctor before taking any type of supplement.
  • Escape your troubles - If there are things that worry you and keep you from falling asleep, engage in some escapism. Read a fantasy or romantic novel or watch TV. Reading a book or watching a TV show or movie is a great way to relax and forget the troubles of your daily life. This is most effective when what you watch is something that fascinates you or takes you to another world and lets you forget your own worries.
  • Avoid distractions - Things that draw your attention, especially light and sounds can be very counter-productive if you want to fall asleep. If there is no way to keep lights and sounds out, consider using earplugs and/or a sleeping mask.
  • Try a warm drink an hour before bed - For some it's warm milk, but that doesn't agree with everyone. Tea works well but make sure it doesn't contain stimulants. One good alternative is Chamomile tea. The extract of Chamomile is sometimes given to animals instead of tranquilizers.
  • Yoga - Like meditation, yoga boosts the quality of your sleep by training your mind and body to be receptive to and actually achieve, peacefulness. Practicing yoga for 15 minutes a day may make a significant difference in your ability to sleep.
If you haven't determined the cause of the sleep problem then you might ask for a referral to a local sleep disorders center or clinic.

Extreme Sleep paralysis
Date: 6/1/2011
I've suffered from extreme Sleep paralysis since i was a teenager and Now that I'm 31, my doctor prescribed me ambien 10 mg tablets before bed and my sleep paralysis has went away. Most people have light symptoms where they may be paralyised before or after going asleep for a few minutes but my episodes left me paralysed as long as an hour up to 5 to 10 episodes a night. I got so terrified that i wouldn't sleep but after taking ambien, my sleep paralysis episodes went away. Thank You Ambien for changing my life.

Judgement is seriously impaired
Date: 6/2/2011
I have been using Ambien for at least 7 years due sleeplessness initially caused by steroid use to control chronic disease. I have gotten so used to it that I'm moderately functional after taking it. I clean, read, watch TV, but only have foggy memories of what I've done. Something I've been doing lately, which is frightening as well as embarrassing, is emailing on Ambien. I have never drunk dialed, but I imagine this is similar, if not worse. I urge others to be very careful. Similar to alcohol, judgement is seriously impaired when using Ambien.

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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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