ambien and depression

flowersnowDecember 31, 2008

I take Ambien every now and then (maybe 1-2 a month). My prescription ran out so I haven't taken it in a few months. Well, prescription was renewed, and I've taken it twice this past week and have noticed a very odd thing. I've been incredibly "down", "blah", "depressed", "low affect"... take your pick.

Has anyone every had this with ambien or any other OTC sleeping aide?

Just wondering if there is a connection.



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It is meant to help your energy level to go down so you can sleep, and that will leave you groggy and "blah" sometimes. I think that SAD might be the real reason though, especially if it is starting now.

I get SAD (seasonal affective disorder) every winter, although it is better since we moved to Phoenix. It is caused by your being cooped up inside without sunlight for weeks at a time, and your vitamin D level is low.

A good way to help this is to spend more time outside, even a cloudy day is better than nothing, but if you never see sunshine where you live, consider going to a tanning salon a couple times a week. I used to manage one, I always thought SAD was a load of crap, but in the winter my mood was SO much happier than it had ever been once I started tanning. I am not saying crispy-fry yourself, just go for 10 minutes or so a few times a week, use a lot of SPF on your face if you don't want the color, but I guarantee your mood will pick up.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 12:11AM
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I take ambien every night due to chronic insomnia and I have no reaction. Check the side effects. Just GOOGLE it.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 12:36AM
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The only thing Ambien did for me was to help me gain about 10 lbs. I would fall asleep OK, however, after a few hours, I would wake up about 3 or 4 times a night, go downstairs and EAT. Sometimes I would remember; sometimes I wouldn't; until I started seeing empty yogurt containers on my nightstand and peanuts in the bed.
No More Ambien For ME.
Only problem is: I did it so often, it became a habit, and. . . it's one that I am still finding hard to break.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 3:11PM
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I have been taking anti-depressants for about 15 yrs, currently Zoloft. I have taken Ambien nightly for close to 2 yrs. No extra depressive problems. I take mostly for chronic pain. I usually wake up and am alert and ready for the day. It has been godsend to me. However, I too have recently developed the eating problems. It took me a while to realize that it was due to the Ambien. It happens to me before I go to sleep, I seldom wake up except occasionally to go to bathroom. I am working on controlling the urge to get up and eat. I always think I know what I am doing, but the next day when I see evidence and I do remember,,it is hard for me to realize that I intentionally did that!! I NEVER ate in bed before-against house rules..but I'm doing it now. But otherwise I think it is a wonder drug. I feel that I can control not getting up to eat. We'll see!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 9:23PM
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Ambien has a number of significant side effects, not the least of which is somnambulism - sleepwalking and in some cases sleep driving. While I think you are using the medication as it was designed to be used, you may be reacting to it in some way. Is there an alternative that might work better for you? Also, I would advise googling "sleep hygiene" to see if you can improve your sleep environment and sleep process.

In general, hypnotics are not designed to be taken long term, that is more than two to three weeks. Once a person goes over this threshold, you begin moving into the area of "active placebo," increase chance of psychological addiction, and unpleasant side effects. There was a good article about this in the NY Times called "Sleep Drugs Found Only Mildly Effective, but Wildly Popular" Here is an excerpt:
"Not the stuff most dreams are made of. But if the unusual pitch makes you want to try Rozerem, consider that it costs about $3.50 a pill; gets you to sleep 7 to 16 minutes faster than a placebo, or fake pill; and increases total sleep time 11 to 19 minutes, according to an analysis last year. If those numbers send you out to buy another brand, consider this, as well: Sleeping pills in general do not greatly improve sleep for the average person."

According to Consumer Reports (see their website for more information):

· Drug side effects occurred in 63% of people who took sleep medications. 25% said that the became dependent on their sleep meds and 21% said repeated use reduced the effectiveness of the drug.

· In a survey of 1093 people with insomnia, 7% stated that taking a sleeping medication resulted in bizarre and dangerous behavior (beyond the dangerous behavior of taking the drug in the first place) including sleepwalking and sleep driving.

· Even though sleep medications are not recommended for more than two weeks, 14% of Consumer Reports respondents took some sort of sleep medication at least 8 of the past 30 days and 5% took such medications every night.

Consumer Reports analyzed the experiences of 2,021 problem sleepers and discovered that 75% of them found prescription medications helpful. In a finding that is not surprising to me, 70% of this same population found the use of a sound machine just as helpful.

Concerning SAD - I strongly urge you NOT to use tanning to treat this disorder, which is like saying you should take up smoking to bring up phlegm from your lungs. Instead, use an approved light box that has been created for this purpose. The dose is generally 10,000 lux at a distance of 20-24" for 20 to 30 min. Apollo (which is now owned by Phillips) is a good place to start your research.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 7:28PM
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I saw something on TV a while back about a person on Ambien who woke up one morning and had eatten everything in her fridge.

I used to take ambien but stopped beacuse I didn't like the "blacked out" feeling the next day. It wasn't like I'd slept - it was like I'd passed out for 8 or 9 hours. I started getting afraind one of the kids would get sick at night, or the house would catch fire, and I wouldn't be able to wake up. DH also said I snored a lot when I took it - which makes me think it was more like passing out. I didn't feel depressed the next day, just out of touch.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 10:07PM
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