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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.
This drug is ruining my life. I have hallucinatory dreams that are so real they interfere with my real life. I NEED TO SLEEP. Help?
AskDocWeb: It may be that you need the help of a sleep clinic. There are sleep specialists there who can help you deal with the underlying problem rather than just treating the symptom with sleeping pills.
Worried about Mom
My mom takes ambien and has for a few years. I'm becoming extremely worried about her lately because she has no memory of pretty much anything and always seems out of it. 2 nights ago, she called me at 7:00PM and told me she was going to bed (which is not out of the ordinary). At 11:00PM, she called me and had a whole conversation with me and seemed alert. When I talked to her the next morning, I became really frightened. She told me she got into a fight with herself in the bathroom and she was pretty banged up. I didn't quite understand what she was trying to tell me and asked her to explain what she meant. She said she didn't know. As she kept talking to me, I realized she was probably under the influence of ambien because she also said she had things in her home that she didn't have before she went to bed i.e. chocolate syrup and her car was in a different spot than where she left it. She also has no recollection of calling me the night before. Now today, she tells me she thinks someone is playing a cruel joke on her because she had 12 ambien when she went to bed that night and now there are none left and she had 2 bottles of alcohol in the freezer and they now are in the fridge. I've told her before the dangers of ambien because I was on it years ago and had severe hallucinations that had me hospitalized. She doesn't know what happened and lives alone. I'm frightened for her life. If she did take all 12 pills, could it have had this affect on her? Would that much of a drug kill her?
AskDocWeb: That much Ambien could account for her experience but it is not likely to kill her. There are an insufficient number of fatalities to determine what a lethal dose of Ambien might be. When lab mice were dosed to the equivalent of 10 times the recommended daily adult dose they all survived just fine. An Ambien overdose may produce very negative and intense hallucinations, seizures, loss of consciousness, inability to speak clearly, loss of coordination, loss of bowel movement and bladder control, and possibly cardiac arrest.
Addicted to this drug
I first took Ambien back in 97, it has been nothing but a disaster for me. I got addicted to this drug because right before I would fall asleep, it gave me a Euphoric feeling so good that I wanted to feel that all the time. Over some time, I found myself taking ambien more and more, even during the day. It seemed that the more I took, the more it became a speeder to me. It eventually triggered alcohol consumption to the point that it made my life unmanageable.
I just got out of the Psych Ward part of the hospital because I had taken a few to sleep with, then I entered this amnesia state and woke up the next morning having taken over 20 ambiens. I also realized that I had cooked some food, and also went for a drive and never remembered it. The biggest thing that happened which I do not remember, I lost or left my wallet somewhere with more then 600 bucks that I was going to deposit the next day. I still have no clue as to where it is. I hate this medicine because it has controlled my life and I have lost so much since taking it. I have contacted my doctors and also my local pharmacy and have told them to never ever let me take this drug again. Oh and the withdrawls are worse then anything I have ever experienced before. They last anywhere from 3 to 5 days. It's like a huge weight of depression and suicidal thoughts enter your mind without you being able to control it.
Best way to get it out of your system?
If you have ambien in your system, what is the best way to get it out of your system? Flush with liquids? Intake of any other vitamins or minerals that may be depleted. BTW, over the years I have reduced my insomnia by making sure I was taking adequate B complex and calcium during the day.
AskDocWeb: Other than just giving it time, drinking plenty of liquids is about the only thing you can do. Moat of it will be out of your system within a couple of days.
Occasional use is very helpful
It's really heartbreaking to read all this Ambien horror stories. I have used it occasionally over the past 5 or 6 years and have found it very helpful, especially when traveling. I generally do not have problems falling asleep. Even when I travel to Europe (8 time zones away) I can generally fall asleep but can't stay asleep. Typically I'll wake up at 3am, totally awake, starving, and can't get back to sleep. Classic jet-lag. Now when I travel, I suffer through the first day, and then at bedtime, whenever that is, I'll take an Ambien (now generic zolpidem). Generally I take it for the first week upon arrival, and then I start taking it again for about a week when I get home. I hardly experience jetlag at all anymore. My doctor did once prescribe Ambien CR for me and I did not like it at all - I felt like a zombie in the morning.
Side effects nearly killed me
I have taken Ambien 10mg nightly for 1 year. 3 weeks ago I vomited in the middle of the night on 3 different occasions. I remember the first episode, not the other 2. I aspirated and went back to bed. Woke up wheezing the next 2 mornings, then I coughed up a food particle on day 4 and became very sick very fast. Aspiration Pneumonia. In hospital for 6 days on IV antibiotics and then 10 days of oral antibiotics. I have a long road of recovery ahead of me. I am trying to wean off of the Ambien now, since I feel it's memory side effects nearly killed me.
As intense pain began developing in my hands, arms, and legs, I suspected the onset of arthritis, MS, or Lupus. After a thorough round of tests eliminated those possibilities, I stopped using Ambien. In a matter of days, the pain ceased. Thinking the relationship might be coincidental, I stopped and started Ambien several times. Each time I began taking the drug, the pain re-developed. Each time I stopped, the pain disappeared over a matter of three or four days. Again, I experience an intense pain that was hard to describe, because it felt both bone deep, and in the muscle. For instance, when the nurse took my pulse, I winced. Walking was becoming difficult. The sleep Ambien produced was wonderful, BUT, not worth the painful price.
Ambien with Rozerem?
Can you combine ambien and rozerem with no problems?
AskDocWeb: We didn't find any drug interactions between the two but to find out if you personally can safely take both you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist.
Problems with sleep eating
This is not a question but a comment about Ambien. Since I started taking it I have had huge problems with sleep eating. I take my medications at 8 o'clock every night. The reason I'm on it is because my head won't stop thinking. It prevents me from getting a solid nights sleep. I wake up after about 3-4 hrs of sleep. With Ambien I sleep through the night....well except for sleep eating which I have no memory of. I've been told by my family. I have also gotten up and fallen to the ground. No tripping, no miss step, just keeling over and laying flat on the floor. My husband and daughter have to carry me back to bed. Because of the ambien I am tired all the time, I have a hard time getting anything done and I depressed even though I'm on antidepressants.
Last week it was the ultimate Ambien trip. I have morning pills and evening pills. I put them in a split pill box. I had an early appointment with my Psychiatrist. As I was driving to the appointment I felt sleepy so I called my daughter to talk to her so I would stay awake. I saw the Dr. (which I vaguely remember) went to the desk to make another appointment but I don't remember the conversation. I got in my van and left the parking lot and realized I had taken my night time meds instead of my daytime meds. I knew I was in trouble and decided to go to my daughters work instead of driving the 30 miles to home. If I were in my right mind I would of known to pull over and not drive but Ambien makes you think almost anything is OK.
The next info is from an eye witness. I turned onto the street, (two lanes), going to my daughters work, but I was going the wrong way, north instead of south. I evidently was swerving, bouncing off the curb, ran through 2 red lights and ran the third red light and hit a car. I don't remember anything before the accident and very little after. It was like I was seriously drunk and blacked out but I have never black out when I drank. Everyone thought I was drunk. I called my daughter and she came and explained about the medication. I COULD OF KILLED SOMEONE!!! When I called my insurance company to report the accident the agent I talked to said ambien should be taken off the market! Evidently they have had problems with people who took ambien. I would like to go off it but I have never found anything that works as well. Like someone else said...I am also worried about driving. They did not take my drivers license away but I do have to have a phch evaluation before court date. I was only ticketed for running the red light. Some one was looking after me. I have thanked God over and over and over again. Ambien helps you sleep but is it worth the side effects?
I get up while sleeping
Ambien will help sleep, but I have found, I get up while sleeping and eat. Last night I got and cut my hair.
I become my own Mr. Hyde
I have taken Ambien for about 7 years. I have never had a hallucination. I have never "come to" in the middle of or during a bizarre moment. I don't eat or drive. But unless I am very careful to be in bed at the time I take it, and alone or with someone who's almost asleep, I become my own Mr. Hyde character, saying and doing things that have some nugget of truth in them but that I would NEVER say out loud. And I never remember anything about it the next day. But I will see the emails -- unbelievable stuff -- or wonder why Mr. X hasn't called or Mr. Y hasn't come to pick me up for our date or why Ms. Z isn't talking to me. THEN I will find out exactly what transpired. It is humiliating, embarrassing and frustrating. Because I simply cannot get to sleep unless I take the stuff. It is either take the chance or . . . expect a fatiguing and dragging day at the office the next day. Several men have refused to talk to me after an episode. I have hurt my mother's and sister's feelings with my "bluntness" (this is quite the understatement). I'm also different during sex, one boyfriend said wilder, more uninhibited (unfortunately, I had absolutely no memory of these supposedly great encounters!) For what it's worth to someone. I wish I could find a better alternative. Please don't tell me to run or do yoga. I'm thin, otherwise healthy and pretty active. But I need some good sleep to be highly functioning the next day. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
AskDocWeb: In our opinion, if you are taking sleeping pills on a regular basis then you are treating a symptom rather than the cause of your insomnia. This may be appropriate for a short-term problem but if the insomnia persists, you may need the help of a Sleep Clinic or Sleep Disorders Center.
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