The 'Sleeping?' Pill -- Ambien

zoezoeDecember 30, 2006

Is anyone here taking or has taken the drug Ambien to fall asleep, only to awaken 3-4 times a night? And that's not even the worst side effect that this drug has -- for me at least. I would go on several nightly raids of the refrigerator, and not even remember it half of the time. I must have gained at least 10 lbs. being on Ambien, and I only took it for less than 2 months.

Anyone have similar experiences with this drug?

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Lindsey_CA

I've had Ambien prescribed twice (a year or so apart), and really liked it both times. It helped me to fall asleep quickly and easily; and to stay asleep all night long. I had no side effects at all.

As I recall, though, I was only given enough pills for 10 days each time, and the literature that came with it said that it shouldn't be taken for more than 10 days. It's been quite a while since I've taken it, so maybe that's changed.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 3:47PM
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littleonefb

There have been many news reports in the last year describing your symptoms of side affects using ambien. I'm sure if you google side affects of ambien you will find many articles to read about it.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 12:47AM
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shaun

On the times I took it and it didn't make me hallucinate, it worked like a charm. But after that one episode, I quit taking them. Same thing happened to my father, it made him hallucinate too.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 5:45PM
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michelle_s_phxaz

Do you take it on an empty stomach? I am an Ambien "eater" too. My husband has to lock the pantry because I will raid it if it hasn't been long enough between when I last ate and when I take the pill. You have to take it on an empty stomach, so this doesn't help that problem, but if you do take it on an empty stomach you should sleep through the night without getting up and eating.

I am also an Ambien online shopper. I will get on eBay or other online sites and buy all kinds of crap I don't need if I take the Ambien before getting into bed. I have to take the pill while I am under the covers, otherwise I wander to the pantry and computer. It is a great drug for those of us who can't sleep, but the side effects are odd.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 7:03PM
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joann23456

I only used it once, for 10 days, and it was *so* helpful, with no side effects.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 11:54PM
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midwestjeff

ambien can cause problems in the elderly. Dad took it after my mother passed away. It affected him to the point I thought he`d be in a nursing home forever. Once he got off of it he has remarried and recovered completely. That may be rare I don`t know

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 2:08PM
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lee676

I almost never awaken after taking Ambien until the next morning, typically after 8 hours or so of (usually dreamless) sleep. I do sometimes forget what I did the first few hours *before* I took the pill (not afterwards, which would seem to make more sense), an odd side effect. The first few months I used it, I found it intensely intoxicating, inducing a feeling about halfway between drunkenness and vertigo about 15-20 minutes after taking it. That has subsided some with continued use. So has its effectiveness - it doesn't knock me out quite as well as it did when I first started using it, but it still works. If you try to stop taking Ambien cold turkey, you'll probably find it almost impossible to fall asleep the next couple of nights, making it a difficult medication to quit. Tapering off helps. Although indicated for only short-term use, that reflects mainly that the manufacturer didn't want to pay for the studies needed to verify long-term effectiveness.

Despite it being very addictive for some people, I think this drug all but saved my life. I was a serious insomniac before I began using it. I've tried Lunesta a few times recently; although it worked as a sleeping pill, it also caused an awful metallic taste in my mouth that lasted about 24 hours afterward. I went back to Ambien.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 10:42AM
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zoezoe

Re: Lee676 "I was a serious insomniac before I began using it."

You can not possibly tell me that this pill has cured your insomnia, or even drastically helped it.

As I said earlier in my post, all it did for me was make me sleep walk to the refrigerator 3/4 times a night (a bad habit that I still can't break).

I now take massive (4/5 OTC sleeping pills) habitually every night. Sure I know that I shouldn't. And absoutely I know that it is doing more harm than good, but when you lay there for 4 or 5 hours just thinking about falling asleep, you do crazy/absurd/harmfull things in order to accomplish this task. (I swear to God, that it takes my husband approximately 10 seconds to fall asleep, once his eyes are closed.) I hate him.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I would gladly go to a sleep clinic to assess what my problem is. In fact, I would welcome it.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 1:54AM
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lee676

Different people react differently to medications, and few drugs seem to lead to as many divergent reactions as Ambien. Many people get hallucinations from it, although I never have. If it doesn't work for you, try something else. There are a couple of new sleep meds on the market, and a few in development that could hit the market soon. As for OTC sleep aids, they are mainly antihistimines that make you groggy, most often diphenhydramine HCl - marketed for both allergy relief (Benedryl) and insomnia (Sominex, Tylenol PM, the latter in combination with a painkiller). These are a poor long-term solution, since most people develop tolerance very quickly after repeated use, sometimes after only a week or two, after which it has little effect. I find they work as intended when used occasionally, but their effect lasts too long - I'm still groggy and lethargic the next day. I don't get that with Ambien - not surprisingly, since it is pretty much out of your system 8 hours after you take it, at least for the original non-CR version.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 2:53AM
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michelle_s_phxaz

Zoezoe, I agree with Lee, I was an insomniac too before taking Ambien. Now I sleep like a baby, so for me also it was a help. It doesn't "cure" the insomnia, I can't sleep without it, but it puts me to sleep. Is this what you are arguing?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 1:47PM
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zoezoe

Michelle, let me get this right. You're "addicted" to Ambien. You take one little pill at bedtime and fall asleep and stay asleep untill morning? Incredible!!!

Just wondering how long you have been taking it? and if you have tried any of the other brands of prescription meds?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 7:03PM
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michelle_s_phxaz

Zoe, I take one regular Ambien (not the CR) and I sleep soundly for 7-8 hours and wake up fine. I have been on it for about a year. I haven't tried any other brands, this works for me so I don't have a need to try any other brand. Yes, I guess you could say I am "addicted", but I work the graveyard shift so trying to fall asleep at 3pm is impossible for me without the pill.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 3:12PM
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jane__ny

I also, have been using it for about a year. 5mg at bedtime. It sits in my night-table and I take it when I'm in bed. I fall asleep, and except for the bathroom, I sleep through the night. I've never had any side affects.
It also was a life-saver for me. I spent over 6 months wide awake all night long. Got so bad, I'd finally get in the car and drive around with the radio on until the sun came up.
I tried antihistamines,Lunesta and something else (don't remember the name). Nothing worked as well as Ambien.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 11:57PM
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zoezoe

Jane,
Have you ever figured out what causes your insomnia? Also, what do you think would happen if you suddenly stopped taking Ambien now?

After 6 months of very little sleep, I would probably contemplate suicide. Your mind does strange things from lack of sleep. However, driving around in the middle of the night has never occurred to me. I can only imagine how much your Chevron/Shell? gas bill amounted to during those 6 months!!!

I am really glad that you finally have found some relief from the "madness and insanity" that you endured.

For myself however, I have pretty much given up that I will ever be normal again. I would do almost anything for just a week of normal nightime/daytime/anytime sleep.

This whole insomnia thing is never going to end, and it scares me to death.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 5:11AM
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coolmama

I too suffer from insomnia. It is really a terrible thing.I was often critisized by family for being "lazy" during the day,but they didnt realize it was because I was up ALL night every night.
You'd think you'd eventually fall asleep from sheer exsaustion,but that is not the case.Then you go into being over-tired and feel like you are on speed.
I used to be on xanax for anxiety and that helped me sleep. I have been off those for about 8 months and insomnia has reared it's ugly head again.
I have heard having a thyroid problem can cause insomnia,but mine has been checked and that doesnt appear to be my problem.
My mom says I have been like this since birth.That I have always had my days and nights confused.
My husband is also asleep and snoring in 10 minutes. So unfair...
I have an appointment to go talk to my doctor about a sleep aid soon.Maybe you could try LUNESTA?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2007 at 12:54AM
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zoezoe

I talked to my Dr. about Lunesta, and he said that it really didn't work very well. I said "o.k., find something that does". So "we" tried Restoril and that worked better then Ambien -- for sure -- but, not good enough.

Makes me want to scream!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2007 at 9:03PM
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coolmama

maybe he should up the dose. Know what works great? Cloanzepam, I once told my therapist i was having trouble sleeping and he prescribed those. Those suckers knock you out!
Except,I think they can addicting,so I dont think many doctors prescribe them freely.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2007 at 10:55PM
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zoezoe

What a coincidence. I was prescribed Clonopin for my anxiety attacks, and you're right, in the beginning they really did knock me out. I am supposed to take 1 three times a day. I don't. I would rather be able to fall asleep, so I save them up during the day and take 2/3 before I try sleeping. Sometimes they work, but most often they don't. Also, I do not want to become addicted to any benzodiazepine, so quit taking them every once in a while.

I am seriously considering a sleep lab. Anybody here have any experience with this?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 2:40AM
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marys1000

I've thought about asking for Ambien. My Dr. gave me a couple of Lunestra samples but I never took them. Rozerm, tried twice didn't do a thing.

I've had the same sleep pattern for over 20 years. I fall asleep and sleep well for about 3 hours. I wake up, check my watch, yep 3 hours, and send the the next couple of hours between lightly dozing and waking. The last 3 hours are pretty much awake with me checking the time frequently. I think getting up is bs, you are still getting rest while you lay there.

While I wish I knew why and I wish I slept all night - I'm alive and functional though I wonder if the lack of sleep is affecting me a bit more as I age.

People who don't sleep through the night are pretty common which makes me wonder how bad for you it really is. I sometimes think that people get a little too wrapped up in that they don't get "what everyone else does" and the medical community doesn't help with its musts and shoulds and see your Dr messages.
Don't worry about it so much. If you don't exercise and are overweight (like me) this is probably much worse for you than missing some sleep.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 8:33AM
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randy12

well i just got my ambien a couple of days ago, i ordered it from www.nationpharma.com they have COD so i pay when i recieve my medication and they ship by Fedex overnight with tracking number, also privacy guaranteed

hope this helps anyone

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 10:15PM
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shaebrown

before Ambien i was taking trika 5mg but when it got banned i used ambien and getting proper rest of 6 hours daily.i take 1 tab. daily

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 7:40AM
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sarahcoles28

Long Term Effects
During longer-term treatment (28 to 35 nights) in controlled clinical trials at doses less than 10 mg, the most commonly observed adverse events associated with the use of Ambien and seen at statistically significant differences from placebo-treated patients were dizziness (5%) and drugged feelings (3%).
Does Ambien increase total sleep time?
Yes it does. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center study, subjective measurements showed Ambien significantly increased total sleep time compared to a placebo for all 4 weeks.

Switching to Ambien?
There are no definitive clinical trials that address switching from other sleep medications to Ambien. Therefore, it is advisable to allow for an adequate washout period when switching from other sleeping pills, particularly long half-life products like benzodiazepines.

Discontinuing Ambien
As a general precautionary measure, gradual tapering off of the sleeping medication rather than abrupt discontinuation may be needed. This helps to minimize the potential for withdrawal reactions.

Storing Ambien
Store Ambien at room temperature away from moisture, heat and children, but not in the bathroom.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 1:55AM
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