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About AmbienDiscussion 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.
3 nights of Hell
I decided to get off the Ambien cold turkey this past Friday. I have been taking the stuff for years, 5 and 10 mg. I have been having muscle cramps for months (never associated it with the drug) and just didn't like the idea of being dependent on a pill to sleep. Also, it's a hassle to have to call and hunt my doc down to get a script or have him phone in refills. I had 3 nights of Hell. I had the worst nightmare of my life and woke up gasping. Slept maybe 2 hours a night and generally felt lousy from exhaustion. I think it's out of my system now and I will only take it if I know I will be in a situation where sleep would be difficult (going out of town/hotel etc).
Is this affecting me permanently?
I have been taking Ambien on and off for a few years. At first, I took it the way my doctor recommended, 3 days on, 4 days off, or 4 days on, 3 days off. On the days I did not take it, it was impossible to sleep. I have never really been able to sleep for as long as I can remember. The stuff works, but now I am addicted. My doctor finally said that I could take it every night, and I do. I have terrible memory loss, and confusion, and if I do not lie down right after taking it, I have hallucinations and no idea what I have said or done. I am however, as I mentioned before, addicted, and can not sleep without it. I can go without taking it but the witdrawals are hell, and if I go without taking it, I will have headaches and be very sleepy the next day. If I do take it, I am well rested and have lots of energy the next day. The memory loss is really the only problem. The rest of it (not knowing what I am doing and stuff) I have learned to control by lying down right after I take it as recommended) I just wonder, is this affecting me permanently? Will I regain my ability to remember things after I discontinue use?
AskDocWeb: Sorry Heather, more research is needed before that question can be answered.
Escape from reality
I started taking ambien about two months ago and only take it two maybe three times a week. But here lately when I get upset I find myself turning to ambien as a way to "escape from reality." So I guess just a warning even if you don't take it a lot you may still become mildly addicted to it. I also have no recollection of the night before. And I have woken up in the morning completely undressed not remembering what happened, kinda scary.
Took Ambien, significant memory loss after a dose that then the memory reappeared as a dreamlike memory. Could not be awakened. Decrease of appetite and hungover feeling.
My wife has been taking anbien for over a year, at times she has even taken 2 pills 12.5mg each. She is now afraid of not taking it because she wont be able to sleep what can be done about this?
AskDocWeb: WARNING: Taking more than one pill will create problems. Please talk to her doctor about this.
Unsafe to drive
9/16/2007 I am a sixty-five year-old who took one 5 mg Ambien CR nightly for three weeks to help me sleep in spite of an irritated bladder lining (Interstitial Cystitis). After one week I started having enough dizziness and disorientation that I felt unsafe to drive. At least the label warned of this possibility. I also had all the symptoms that Lisa 8/4/2006 described and also Cherrie on 12/9/2006. Similarly I had a very bitter taste in my mouth, my stomach and intestines were very upset, my back hurt more than it had previously and I was very shaky. Also I was very constipated which may not have happened to them. I attributed these symptoms to overdoing antacids in order to help my bladder problem and discontinued them even though blood work showed no rise in Calcium levels. After two weeks I was if anything getting worse so I discontinued Ambien CR a week ago. After an initial ~3 day severe withdrawal period with a lot of diarrhea, I could drive again and the improvement became substantial after one week. Ambien CR was my first and last sleeping pill. Seeing the same symptoms described on your website made me discontinue the medication. Thank you very much for your valuable service.
Re: Francesca l6/18/07
She reported a pins and needles sensation in her hands and feet. I have had this sensation throughout my entire body for ten weeks now. I am not taking any other medication. I have been tested for EVERYTHING, and thus far, my docs have found nothing neuro related. I am now going through GI tests this week to determine if this might be Celiac's disease or a high fructose sugar intolerance/allergy. I have a nagging feeling, however, this may be from Ambien. Have other people reported this as a side effect?
AskDocWeb: Just that one report.
Taking Ambien for years
My mother has been taking Ambien for years now, and for some time, we've been upset about the way it alters her. Not only does she wander the house and eat compulsively, it also weakens her inhibitions, so she says confrontational or inappropriate things that she doesn't remember later. Sometimes she sounds like a person with Alzheimer's, getting into loops where she says the same thing over and over. She has COPD, and recently, her breathing has dramatically worsened. Reading the side-effects of Ambien, I wonder if it's hurting her breathing as well.
Thanks for all your work in getting info on products out there! I have had major problems with Ambien, and found that the FDA made the manufacturer of it and the similar sleep meds change their warning labels, their prescribing info, pharmacists' literature, doctors' literature etc. to reflect the serious problems reported with sleep-eating, sleep-driving and respiratory problems. Would you please consider adding these new very serious warnings to your product review page? Thanks!
Lower sex drive and ED
I have experienced a lower sex drive and ED when using ambien for two or more days. I am curious if this is common.
AskDocWeb: No, it does happen but it is rare.
I wander around
I have been taking Ambien 10 mg or half of that for over a year. I wander around after taking it and I eat - lots. This behavior is getting worse. The more tired I am, the more I wander. I have only the vaguest memory the next day. I am quitting, I hope.
I hate this!
I have been having chronic insomnia for about two years now! I've taken ambien for over one year. When I try to wean myself off of it I take herbs like (valerian, hops, melatonin, 5-HTP, and L-Trypotophan) separately or in a combination. But they only work for about one or night-two the most! Why don't they work all the time?
So then I think to myself...I can sleep without the ambien, but when 2:30, 3:30 AM rolls around and I'm still wide awake I get very depressed and then I cry because I can't fall asleep! So then I'm up all the next day and can't wait till bedtime when in desperation I take an ambien because I know there will be no sleep tonight without it! It's like my mind never shuts down for the sleep mode! I feel like I've forgotten how to fall asleep. Even after not taking ambien for several days (without a wink of sleep) I can't fall asleep! So once again I "need" the ambien! I hate this! Chronic insomnia is very depressing and the first time you take ambien you are so thankful for a good night's sleep, but I do believe it is highly addictive and extremely hard to just say "NO!" to it. Is there any "natural" supplement that really works for insomnia? Can you tell me a web site where I can find some? At one time I was 'awake' for 2 weeks!!! Does the body at one point get back into a normal mode of sleep after being awake for almost a week? 'Cause sometimes that happens to me still, and I'm in desperate need of sleep!
I understand when you are asleep you body heals! I had a heart attack 11 months ago at a young age of "62" and the stress of not sleeping causes "cortisol" and inflammation which in turn is causing my body to produce too much cholesterol, and the non sleeping causes more stress, and on and on it goes!
OK the only weird thing that happened to me was a few nights ago after taking ambien, I could have sworn that all my "stuffed" animals on the chair were moving! I stared at them in disbelief yet very freighted! Next morning my husband asked me if I remembered telling him my stuffed animals were moving and the fact that he told me to turn off the light and that he took my book off my lap and he turned out himself...I said no! But a day later I remembered the animals moving! Weird! Is there anything out there to help people get off ambien and to get a natural good night's sleep? Thanks for your reply!
AskDocWeb: Trazodone (Dyserel) is sometimes used to counteract the withdrawals and help with insomnia. Primarily it's used for the treatment of depression but it is also used in combination with other drugs for the treatment of panic attacks, aggressive behavior, agoraphobia, and cocaine withdrawal.
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