Feedback on Ambien Side Effects and Usage, page 91

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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.

Prolong use of Ambien
Date: 1/8/2011
I’ve used Ambien a lot over the years. It is effective, but after prolong use of it, I would not “feel” the effects of Ambien coming on and would stay up instead of sleeping (which is embarrassing or dangerous). My doctor switched me to the fast-acting Ambien (Edluar) and that was MUCH BETTER because it came on within 10 minutes and I no longer had Ambien-episodes like emailing while not realizing I was under the influence of Ambien.

Word of caution: ALWAYS taper off Ambien or Edluar. I always experience nightmares and sometimes stomach issues the first 1-2 nights off it. But then I usually feel fine.


Waking up in handcuffs!
Date: 1/9/2011
This is a very serious drug. I bought a car on friday 12/31/10. I took a ambian cr that was prescribed to me for insomnia on tuesday night 1/4/11, I set my alarm because I had to get up early. The next thing I remember was waking up in the hospital in handcuffs! I apparently drove my car and totalled it. I was arrested for dui, I had no alcohol or other drugs in my systm. I have no recollection of the events that happen that night from the time I took it until the hospital and the police station is very foggy, I know a very good lawyer and we are taking this story to the media and then we will file a law suit and sue.


Is it safe to take a second pill?
Date: 1/9/2011
Sometimes when I take Ambien (I’ve been taking it about 8 months) it will take me 2 hours to fall asleep. Tonight it has been 5 hours and I’m still wide awake. Other times I wake up after a few hours and can’t go back to sleep for at least a couple of hours. Is it safe to take a second pill any of these times?


AskDocWeb: Taking more than one without your doctor’s approval is NOT recommended. You may find yourself pretty tired the whole day following taking two pills. Others taking two pills have reported experiencing hard core amnesia, double vision, difficulty focusing, and feeling dazed.

Dizziness and anxiety attacks
Date: 1/12/2011
Took for almost a year. At first was a lifesaver. After awhile started experiencing dizziness and anxiety attacks, something I have never experienced. Slowly discontinued. Cut pill in half and stopped. Sleep measurment instrument has never indicated I got more sleep apparantly just better. Weight gain after I stopped.


Elevated liver enzymes
Date: 1/12/2011
I saw a posting on your web discussion about Ambien, dated 9/8/2010 from “Roberta,” (page 87) asking about the possibility of Ambien being connected to elevated liver enzymes. Your answer said that “according to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Ambien may, infrequently, damage the liver.” I need to research this further, as my daughter is on Ambien, as well as Lithium, and it’s very tricky given her psychiatric situation. So far, the docs are not looking at Ambien as the possible culprit, cause they don’t see any literature documenting a liver side effect. I need to know more specifically the Lance Armstrong Foundation citation and evidence, so I can present this as a possibility. I’ve contacted the LAF, but it may take more time than we have to get an answer. Any information about this would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks,


AskDocWeb: Unfortunately the page with the LAF reference is no longer online. However, abnormal liver function is listed as one of the rare possible side effects of Ambien. According to, “Increased serum concentrations of ALT (SGPT) and abnormal liver function test results have been reported in 0.1-1% of patients,…”

Renal impairment or edema due to ambien?
Date: 1/12/2011
I am taking ambien for a delayed sleep phase syndrome. I have noticed that if I take it for several nights in a row I develop severe edema (2+ pitting). It can take several days to recede and causes discomfort due to tight skin. I cannot find any reports of renal impairment or edema due to ambien. Do you know of any information?


AskDocWeb: First note that swelling should be reported to your doctor. Edema or swelling is listed as an infrequent side effect of Ambien. The Urogenital affects listed in the patient information are as follows.

  • Frequent: urinary tract infection
  • Infrequent: cystitis, urinary incontinence
  • Rare: acute renal failure, dysuria, micturition frequency, nocturia, polyuria, pyelonephritis, renal pain, urinary retention

If you suspect any of the above contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Date: 1/14/2011
I have been taking Ambien for about 11 months, every night. I did not have too many side effects while on it, I knew that once I took it to get right in bed and stay there. There have been “Ambien calls” where I don’t remember inviting people to events things like that, and I did do a little “Ambien Christmas Wrapping” (made Christmas morning a little adventurous)

6 NIGHTS OFF OF AMBIEN…1st night wicked night terrors, Can’t sleep but 2 hours a night…any suggestions, I drank some sleeptime tea last night, but up at 2:00 am, I tried benadryl, no luck. I am reading that it could take up to 2 weeks to get my normal sleeping habits back, is that true.


AskDocWeb: One thing to keep in mind is that just discontinuing the sleeping pills does not address the cause of the problem you have with sleeping. There may be an underlying problem that caused the insomnia in the first place. In order to address that problem you may have to consult with a doctor that specializes in sleep disorders.

Headaches with nausea
Date: 1/18/2011
One of the first times I had tried it, I feel asleep nice & fast & thru-out the night. The second time, I was falling asleep while watching TV. That’s when the hallucinations came in. I continue to take it because it does help me sleep. I also take Tylenol PM if there are things I want to do before falling asleep. I know now that if I stay up after taking my 10mg ambien, weird things will happen. I have found myself crying for no reason.

The scariest of it all is that the next day I don’t remember a thing from the moment i took the pill & it kicks in to the next morning. I feel embarrassed for what i could have possibly said to my boyfriend or friends. Boyfriend has banned me from Facebook and my phone after I take one pill. Sometimes I feel like I am going crazy. It scares me. I also have been getting headaches everyday along with nausea. Is that common? The nausea leaves around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. I haven’t found anything else that works this good though. I just don’t want my boyfriend to think he might need to take me to the mental hospital one day.


AskDocWeb: Both headaches and nausea are listed as side effects of Ambien that should be reported to your doctor.

Complaint about big drug companies
Date: 1/18/2011
Once my mother started taking Ambien I watched her health steadily decline over a two year period from looking healthy to completely charging her physical traits and bone structure. I am convinced this drug killed my mother at the age of 51. The medical and pharmaceutical industries are a joke. Its like they are killing off our population one prescription at a time. I was also prescribed lexapro at a young age and not even told what I was taking. I was just prescriped this from my doctor with no reason. Then I finally did some research and found out why I gained so much weight and felt like I couldn’t even get out of bed. Went from feeling pretty healthy to feeling like death in like 2 months. Thanks big drug companies now my mom won’t be able to be a grandmother to my children.


Negatively affect an unborn child?
Date: 1/19/2011
A pregnant relative of ours has taken ambien medication during her 9th month of pregnancy and did have some negative effects such as hallucinations after the first(1st) and only dose. We need to know if this medication can negatively affect an unborn child that is about to be delivered???


AskDocWeb: Studies to assess the effects of Ambien on human reproduction and development have not been conducted however, Ambien is not expected to harm an unborn child.

Nausea and runny bowel movements
Date: 1/19/2011
Ambien 10mg. I believe that I have gotten out of bed nemerous times, smoked cigarettes. I left my 33rd floor hotel room to go to NYC in the middle of the night. Scary. My question is does ambien cause nausea? My refill ran out & I wasn’t taking any for a week, until last night when I got my refill again. I took a 10mg & today I am so nauseas. Is this normal? I’ve had countless runny BOwel movements and the nausea is killing me. Could the nausea be from Ambien? Will it go away after taking it for a period of time? Last night was the 1st time I took in a week or so. Today is rough thanks!


AskDocWeb: The nausea could be from the Ambien as that is one of the possible side effects. Diarrhea is also listed as a side effect and both should be reported to your doctor.

Not recommended
Date: 1/23/2011
I have been taking ambien ( 5 mg ) for years because without it I only sleep minutes at a time, with hours in between. I found that zolperderm consistantly makes me very fuzzy brained until about noon the next day. I am really disfunctional. After taking the Ambien brand I feel terrific. I have been using it daily for 3 months now, and I am afraid that I may have become addicted. Last night I went to bed without it, and woke 20 times in 3 hours! I then took 1/2 tab ( not recommended ) but it worked. There is obviously and underlining cause which I need to find what it is and fix it.


Restless leg syndrome
Date: 1/26/2011
I am a 47 year old female who just had a baby (yes, you read that part correctly). I developed severe RLS during my pregnancy and took 10 – 15 mg. Ambien pretty much every night during the second and third trimester. All of that time, I assumed my RLS was being helped by the Ambien but it never completely went away until after I delivered my baby.

Fast forward to last night: I have not taken Ambien since the birth (3 months ago) but my sleep patterns have been erratic and my insomnia has been off the charts. So my doctor gave me a script for more Ambien, which I started taking again last evening. I took one 10 mg. pill before bed and about 2 hours into my sleep, my husband woke me up because I was twitching and moving so much, HE couldn’t sleep. I was, in fact, having a very bad case of RLS, which I have not had since I was pregnant.

I cannot help but attribute this to the Ambien, which I had assumed all this time was helping me during my RLS episodes. So my short-term solution was to take a .05 mg tablet of Klonopin, which I had in my drug cabinet from before the pregnancy. I think it helped alleviate the restless leg/body symptoms but I am not 100% about that.

My strategy tonight will be to take 1/2 of the Ambien dosage along with 1/2 of the Klonopin dosage to see if that will, hopefully, give me a sound night’ s sleep and keep the RLS at bay. I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced an INCREASE in their RLS symptoms as a result of taking Ambien alone? It really was a sad revelation to me since I thought it was used to treat RLS and would not have that effect.


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