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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.

Long-term Ambien use
Date: 10/16/2011
This could turn out to be the most deadly, harmful pharmaceutical drug know to man, ranking right there next to ANY opiate derivative. While I realize that this product was NEVER intended for long term use, it is none the less used this way, 4 months, 5 years, 10 years, it is given by doctors to a patient for this purpose. My advice to you is RUN!!! RUN far and fast from this drug.

Once it is started it is one of the most difficult to justify stopping. "I need my sleep", "I have a job or family to care for", "I can't perform with no sleep". Sleep at first becomes the obsession, then after a few nights, Ambien becomes the obsession, after 10 years, your mind and body are so altered you may not come back, and IF YOU CAN, you may have already lost EVERYTHING you hold dear. I know I am a 10 year user of Ambien, the silent but deadly thief of life.

I am a mother of five, a beloved wife and the only reason I am sitting here to tell you this story is because my husband loves me still, after all I have put him thru the last ten years. Most people aren't that lucky, they take their own lives because they are so altered by use of ambien they "know not what they do". I began using ambien after a partial hysterectomy left me incapable of falling asleep on my own. I don't know what happened to my hormone levels but I just couldn't shut down. I took Ambien so I could keep functioning.

My life as a soccer mom kept me running and then when they all went to school, I went to work. I didn't have to, my husband provides well for us, but I was losing my sense of worth and thought work might help. Now I was in the real world, and they expect results. Can't quit taking Ambien now I have to keep going. Two years in to taking ambien I didn't connect it to my mood change. I am an optimist by nature and depression is a foreign concept to me. Not so anymore, now I am getting body aches like severe Avian flue symptoms. What the H*** is that??? What is wrong with me?

Year after, year after year, I continued taking ambien and the symptoms escalated. Body aches, headaches, lower back pain, joint and muscle pain. I thought I was going to die. I went to doctor after doctor after doctor, test after test after test!!! I begged God to let me die again and again. Had back surgery on my lower back fusing L5/S1. Healing was slow, I was on Tramadol by then in the handfuls. Being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, with failed back surgery syndrome on my chart along with severe depression (WHAT???).

Jump to ten years on ambien, I am now on Oxycodone 160 mg a day, my ambien dosage has crept up to 27.5 mg a night. I am fighting my insurance because I can only have 90 tablets in 90 days and I am running out in 30. Sound bad??? You have no idea. I am lethargic, major major depressed, I am a mere shadow of who I once was, my children have no idea who I am. I spout weird things to them, have sex with hubby I don't remember (he's smiling, may have been what saved us) eating things I don't like and many episodes I don't care to recall on this post. Anyone seeing themselves in this???

I keep blaming all my problems on the illnesses, NEVER once thinking that ALL the crap I am now taking is doing this. I am running out of Ambien first, so I dip into my oxycodone to compensate for the withdrawals (which I will get to later), then I get my oxy only to run out of ambien. The cycle is getting MORE and MORE vicious. Robbing Peter to pay Paul with two of the most lethal substances ever to be marketed by big pharmaceutical companies. (If I can spell pharmaceutical you know I am NOT taking this drug any more, it also steals your memory, your thoughts, your kindness, even your very soul which you sell to get more ambien)

You become so fixated on not having sleep deprivation that the very thought scares you to death, then you start adding something else to compensate for the times it doesn't work right or in time or at all, but you continue taking it anyway cuz you just know it will work next time and you HAVE to sleep. Ask Michael Jackson what this is like, oh wait you CAN'T because he is no longer with us, and neither will you be if you take this.

Suicide on this drug increases dramatically with prolonged use. Read the many posts here, many come on trying to find out why a loved one who is seemingly normal during waking hours, but becoming increasingly aggressive, defensive and just plain weird, up and commits suicide one day by doing something bizarre like "kissing his family goodnight, then went up and shot himself."

I can tell you that your body will build up an intolerance so that even taking 80 mg of Ambien or in my case 150 mg didn't kill me, but that was my aim. High school cheerleader, gymnast, eternal optimist, had been sunk by a prescription of pills. This medication is deadly and ruthless. It is no respecter of race, creed, gender, or beloved family member. IT WILL TAKE YOU DOWN TO THE VERY JAWS OF HELL IF IT DOESN'T KILL YOU FIRST.

I am now one month clean from ambien, and Lorazapam and by default oxycodone (I ran out early). I have walked the tightrope over HELL with withdrawals that range from acute anxiety, heavy sweating, nausea, heart squeezing maniac dreams that go on and on and on and surprise!!!! SLEEPLESSNESS, and that's just the ambien side effects. Have you ever seen a Heroin addict rapid detox????? It is NOT something you ever want to experience. I have lost 20 lbs in one month a method of weightloss I do NOT condone. I still am not sleeping much yet after one month off ambien, I could probably be sleeping by now if not for the oxycodone that I am discovering I really don't need anymore, I don't have the flu sypmtoms, the mind numbing pain in all my extremities that I attributed to Fibro/CFIDS, the lower back pain.

The sleeplessness remains because of the oxy but otherwise I was sleeping on my own after about 7-10 days but then the oxycodone started in earnest dumping me back to no sleep. However, I am not stressing about falling asleep, if I am not sleeping I get up and post here or watch 80's music videos and relive what used to be and who I was while I wait for myself to come back from the dead. I can do this now because I have lost everything that used to be me except for my beloved husband who has stood by me and held me while I rant and cry, sweat and cry some more. He stayed away when I couldn't cope with light, sound or being touched, read post after post after post on how to help me but never pushing me to do it but patiently waiting for me to see the light as God held my heels to the fire and showed me what I had become. NOTHING. IT STEALS YOUR SOUL.

I can promise you this is not an exaggeration and that truly it was so much very worse than portrayed here, if that is possible. THINK, THINK, WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE WORSE THAN A FEW MISSED HOURS OF SLEEP????? OH YEAH, A DECADE OR TWO OF YOUR LIFE, IF YOU SURVIVE.

Blacked out
Date: 10/25/2011
We were given 2 Ambien with no other instruction than to take them before I get on the plane to sleep. Since this was my first time taking Ambien I took them both. I think they were 5mg. I had taken my 20 mg prozac only a couple hrs prior. I completely blacked out very shortly after and have no recollection of going to the bus and getting on the plane. I woke up several hrs later in Ireland with no idea how I had gotten there or where any of my belongings were. Could it have been taking the prozac so close to taking the Ambien?

AskDocWeb: That is possible because there is a moderately severe drug interaction listed for Prozac (fluoxetine) and Ambien (zolpidem). Concomitant use of these medications may produce excessive or prolonged central nervous system (CNS) and respiratory depression. There are many reports from people who have taken Ambien about engaging in activity for which they have no memory later. We encourage you to discuss this effect with your doctor to avoid future problems.

Slow brain?
Date: 10/27/2011
Ok does anyone have this issue with ambien? I took it when I was stressed out and literally manic. I passed out and woke up the next day and had to write a paper. I could not make sentences up it took me four hours to write a five page paper. My brain was so slow. I still feel like it stunted a part of my brain I have never fully recovered from ambien. It shocked my brain or something.

If you have to take Ambien
Date: 11/3/2011
After reading about the lady who was taking 80-100 10 mg of Ambien every night I am just completely shocked! How it is possible for your body to survive after without a major heart attack?! Even 10 mg of Ambien very often cause heart palpitations.

My advice if you have to take Ambien just try to stay on 5 mg per night. I am European and people there are using Valerian tinctura for sleeping disorders and as they say: you can not die from insomnia but from drugs abuse for sure. With kind regards for all readers,
Erna from Colorado, USA.

AskDocWeb: Thanks Erna. If you are taking any prescription medication be sure to check for drug/herb interactions before using Valerian.

My quality of life has been seriously affected
Date: 11/16/2011
I was given ambien to help me sleep during my shift (working 3 AM to 1:30 PM). This was upon a physical with a new primary doctor which I went to great lengths to wait for this certain doctor. Anyways I had some sleep walking episodes and before I knew what was going on I ended up with a messed up tailbone. I've sufferd almost 9 months now, stopped going to the gym in which I was in the best physical shape of my life before this happened. I am angry that I wasn't asked about sleepwalking (as I did as a kid) my quality of life has been seriously affected because of this drug. I got rid of this poison! Kids are getting hooked too... I'm not happy with ambien and doctors who prescribe it without the serious side effects. Maybe it should only be used for the brain injuries.

Date: 11/22/2011
I have been on Ambien for the last 4 months and while I have problems with concentration it has helped me sleep. I tried seroquel, lunesta, and doxepine before starting Ambien and had problems with all of them. But, I now know what my real problem is. I have a hormonal imbalance. I hope that by taking prometrium at night I can stop taking the Ambien.

AskDocWeb: Prometrium typically make patients feel tired so it is likely to help. However, that is not true for everyone. Insomnia is a side effect for a small percentage of patients.

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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