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Problems with Ambien, too.
Wow, this is a really interesting thread on Ambien. It seems most doctors do not understand how addictive this drug really is. I started taking this in 2000. It worked so well for me; I have had really bad insomnia for years and this was like a magic pill. I didn't notice any bad side effects and at some point decided to stop taking it. I was back on it by 2003. It was at this point that one night I took it and got into a conversation with my son before bed, so I ended up staying up quite a bit longer, and it hit me. I really liked how I felt and that's when I started abusing it. I am an alcoholic, also.
I worked my way up to around 10 a day, was taking them at work and everything. I did tell the nurse practiotioner at my dr's office and she just called me in more.
I am now on them again, only they are Ambien CR, I had awful insomnia while I was pregnant, (I just had my fourth baby) and my ob-gyn suggested Ambien. The first time I told him "no, I had a problem with that drug, I can't take it." However, the insomnia continued and I was so miserable. Again, he suggested it and so I started taking it. I was told it was safe to take while pregnant. My baby is almost 5 months old now and I'm still taking it, and also I take my husband's prescription as well. I take 10-12/day. Then I go through awful withdrawels every month, but I keep re-filling them, even though I keep promising myself I won't. (My dr. writes out 5 re-fills for both of us each time he calls it in) I actually seem to have more energy when I take them, yet I do sleep better, though not always that great. I have to be up, too, in the middle of the night with my son and I always get up, it's never a problem. I cook and do housework, but I forget everything.
My doctor does know I take more than I'm supposed to, but he just tells me I'm going to have re-bound insomnia if I keep doing that. He doesn't know exactly how many I take, I have tried to tell him but I just haven't been able to, though last time I was there I told him I do take them during the day to relax. I did tell his NP, who no longer works there, though. I know this is bad but it is supposed to be such a safe drug, only a Category B, right?
But, my husband says he things it's as bad or worse than alcohol. I just find it very, very hard to get away from, especially when it is so easy to get, and I do have an impossible time sleeping, I have tried everything.
10-12 a day??? Holy Cow!!! I take 2 and im out cold! LOL and I tend to have a HUGE tolerance to medications.
Using Ambien on occasion for over a year. Just this week I used a Breath Right strip the same night i took an Ambien. Awoke the next morning to severe nausea and lightheadedness. I don't know if the condition was caused by the combination, can't find any evidence of possible interaction. No apparent food poisoning, checked with others attending dinner who ate the same food items. 24 Hour virus??????
My doctor recently prescribed me Ambien, and while I sleep beautifully, it often takes three or four hours to take effect. I often find that I have to take two, three, or four to actually get to sleep. Unfortunately, one of the side effects for me is bad amnesia the next day (I literally don't remember what I did the night before); and hallucinations... Very vivid hallucinations.
I've tried Benadryl for sleep aid, and it just makes me irritable and grumpy. I can take Ambien and literally sit in the same spot for two hours, staring into space, and that is very scary for me. I have a high tolerance level for most medicine (by the time I was 14 I had a tolerance to Vicodin for an injury/oral surgery); and Ambien concerns me because by the fourth or fifth night I was taking three (not at a time, but in the course of three/four hours.)
I was originally prescribed Rozerem, and that didn't touch me at all, even after continued prescribed use. I was also prescribed Lunesta but I hated the way it made me feel the next day. Ambien makes me so drained the next day, and I find that I can't stay asleep on it. I'll fall asleep, then wake up 3-4 hours later with a splitting migraine (even on the first night, when I just took one.)
So it's either sleep on Ambien or don't sleep on anything else. Insomnia is horrible, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
It's unfortunate to see so many people with all the problems sleeping, but what's more unfortunate is that most of the people's insomnia is due to drugs themselves in one form or another.
I would like for anyone here that are taking sleeping pills or considering taking sleeping pills to take a look at this website http://www.vcu-cme.org/gaba2/overview.html . Don't be put off that the site is about alcohol withdrawal as you read on you will understand that it's the withdrawal from any drug that causes insomnia. Even the drugs to treat insomnia themselves.
Until you quit drugs entirely for a prolonged amount of time so the receptors in your brain can repair themselves and start acting normally you will never know if you truly have, or still have insomnia or not.
The doctors keep flip-flopping you on drugs, the pharmaceutical companies keep putting out pills by the millions every day, and you don't stand a chance.
Only after reading all of these horror stories do I realize how bad this drug really is. My boyfriend has severe insomnia and has been on Ambien for a while now. At least for all of the 4 months we've been together. Not taking this medication exactly how it is prescribed is disastrous. Periodically, he will actually go to sleep. Other times, after only taking one, he will become severely disoriented after not going immediately to sleep. Sometimes he takes more than one pill, and will become very unbalanced, stumbling and falling, becoming excessively emotional and crying. If he takes his pill after we have been out to a party (we are in college) something really hits the fan. In addition to all of the previous symptoms he will become severely delusional and hallucinate, including one time seeing I don't know what and insisting to me that "they" were out to get him, and crying and hiding under the sheets. This really scared me. I highly recommend not taking this unless you feel you absolutely have to and getting help ASAP if you notice that you are becoming addicted. I just wish I could help him more. He also has an very easily addicted personality (g.ambling, pills, alcohol) so that may be another factor.
Last edited by ddcmod; 03-08-2010 at 07:23 PM.
melatonin - the very chemical responsible for sleep. unless you smoke alot of pot, or do something else to mess up your melatonin levels, take one pill of these and you will be OUT in an hour with no thoughts.
valerian root - natural GABA spammer. i like to think of it as nature's xanax :3
:| people have been missing sleep way before pharm companies have been pushing ambien and lunesta, among other benzos/hypnotics/GABA warping substances.
Ambien and depression?
I googled "ambien" and "depression" because I am wondering if taking Ambien has caused me to become more depressed. I have a history of depression, and have been on 20mg. Prozac, 300mg. Lithium, and 1mg. Clonazepam (at night, every night) for about 4 years. The Prozac has helped with my depression more than anything I have ever tried (various meds, 'ways of thinking', 'ways of doing things', etc.)
I have been periodiocally taking 10 mg. Ambien for the past 8 or so years. (I travel for a living and have a lot of sleep issues). I LOVE the forgetfulness and creativity I experience while I'm "on" Ambien. That is scary. I sometimes mix it with alcohol too. Luckily I have not been found naked in a dumpster somewhere.
The past 2 nights, I've taken Ambien, and I am really depressed today. It occurred to me that the Ambien could maybe be interfering with my other meds? Or something else? I don't know.
Does anyone have a similar experience?
Ambien is a strange drug and addicting. It is considered a hypnotic/sedative.
Yes it does help you sleep, but it also has many side effects. Amnesia, tiredness, nausea, numbness in the extremity. And that what I felt after using it for a week.
If it works for you great.
Why are you taking ambien if you already take Valium? That does not help you sleep? Just a question. Also introducing a new medication to your psychotropic cocktail may be reeking havoc on your biochemistry. Hope this helps.
I actually took Ambien CR for a WHILE... However, one night, I had a get-together and offered to let friends stay at my house (after they drank)... I didn't have a single alcoholic beverage during the party. I took my Ambien (just as I did every night). Instead of going straight to bed, I stayed up and talked until I felt sleepy. Turns out, I was dozing off on the couch, a friend woke me up, and told me to go to bed. At some point during that, another friend mentioned that he was hungry--so I proceeded to go into the kitchen, get out pots & pans, utensils, etc. and was standing at the stove cooking... Even though there was NO FOOD in the pans. I don't remember ANY of this AT ALL...I thought they were all lying to me at first... Then, it happened on a separate occassion... It's like if someone says something it triggers something and you try to do [that].
It's really scary because not too long after I did that, I read a story where a woman got in her car and DROVE because of the Ambien. She had no idea she was driving, how/when she got in the car, etc. That was terrifying enough for me to stop taking it.
The newer, Lunesta, has been approved for long-term use. I haven't tried it, as I have numerous other meds at this time I'm having to take....
Anyway, just a little insight...
Ambien is used for short term. I took it for a few nights and slept, then I couldn't sleep. I have Bipolar disorder and I take a few meds, one of which is Seroquel for insomnia. 25mg's x 2 at bedtime and your out cold within an hour at least. just don't drive anywhere or cook. my roomate has insomnia and she has to take it also. it's amazing. the only thing that works for me to sleep.
Ambien is not for me
I took ambien 10mg for 5 nights, and never had any bad side effects besides being a little groggy in the morning. It did help me sleep and on the 6th night when I didn't take one, I slept even better (goes to show you, everyone reacts differently). I had occasional insomnia when I was younger but for the past 5 years I have not missed 1 nights sleep. I get a good work-out in during the day and smoke some good marijuana before going to bed, it's not addicting at all and puts you right to sleep.
Someone here said your melatonin levels are what determines your sleep, and they get messed up by "smoking alot of pot" Well, nowadays I smoke almost every night, trust me, when I missed a night of toking I still got a good nights sleep.
So many people out there are quicker to praise an addicting pill that your doctor is making money off of, than a natural herb.
Let me ask you something sfc. Who are you to tell people what they NEED to do? Do you think it is appropriate to make people feel uncomfortable with taking a medication that they need? What if it was an antipsychotic because they were bipolar or schitzo? Would it still be wrong because the body "needs" it to function normally? I am just trying to understand your judgement. There is a difference between addictive and habit forming. Do you drink coffee? perhaps smoke cigaretts? maybe you drink energy drinks? All drugs which cause dependancy. Please help me understand.
Originally Posted by sfc420
Last edited by mlomenzo; 03-13-2008 at 12:31 PM.
My brother was taking Ambien for less than a year. As soon as he started taking it he started to "sleepwalk" rather than not sleep at all. I had numerous calls from him at 4 in the morning mumbling nonsense. I'd ask him the next day what was going on, and why he called, and he swore up and down that he never called me until I show him my received calls list.
He refused to stop taking it and on November 27th, he killed himself in the middle of the night....on his bed...in his pajamas. The autopsy came back in February and the only thing in his blood as far as drugs, was Ambien.
If I had the tenacity, and the funds, I would SUE the makers of this horrible drug.
If you are taking it, PLEASE consider what I've just told you. Not only is it addictive, but the side effects can be tremendous.
Ambien is the Devil
After reading through some of the posts, I'm glad to see I'm not just the 1 in a million some shrink told me I was during a a clinical trial.
First of all, I have to say that I have a pretty bad anxiety disorder...technically they say it's GAD...but after seeing so many shrinks you realize the label doesn't mean much...anyhoo...about 6 months ago I had to travel to Argentina from Boston to meet a friend. Not exactly a short flight and having a pretty bad anxiety disorder, I was not too thrilled. I told my doctor I basically wanted something to knock me out. Like a lot of people with anxiety disorders, I have had an issue with drug abuse in the past so tranquilizers or benzos of any kind were a no-no...so he prescribed me Ambien (CR I believe cause there was no generic available at the time). A week or so later...
I got off the flight in Argentina feeling like a million bucks. I slept the entire way through and thought Ambien was some godsend. I even used a few pills while in Argentina and loved the dreamy state I kind of slipped into before finally passing out. Ok, Buenos Aires was fun but moving on...
Two weeks later I board the plane home and a steward walks buy and says "Only half an Ambien this time." Well, I thought this was an odd comment and then told myself maybe he was talking to someone behind me or something and I brushed it off. Soon afterwards another steward walks by and says the same thing. Now, I'm kind of agitated and pissed off to be frank so I ask him what the hell he's talking about. It turns out that godsend had me walking around the plane like a zombie mid-flight looking for the bathroom and toppling over other passengers. It took three grown men to restrain me and get me back into my seat! To this day, I do not remember a micro-second of it. It was only after this when I realized the strange things in Argentina...waking up to find my pants on the other side of the room or that laptop I know I turned off open and running.
I flushed the pills and that doctor who swore to me those things were a myth and I'm never trying that stuff again. SCARY!
Last edited by ddcmod; 03-08-2010 at 07:22 PM.
twice the dose? are you kidding the LD-50 in rats is 695mg/kg! so do your reasearch next time.
My Experience with Ambien: Learn from me. FOLLOW DOSING INSTRUCTIONS!
I actually have a nickname for it. "The Oblong Menace".
About 10 years ago, I was addicted to it once, cold-turkey detoxed once; no thank you doc, you can keep your ambien. I found it to be RUTHLESSLY habit forming. Worse than anything! I've taken potent opiates for pain and never had the slightest trouble with addiction (broke my leg and used 60mg Percocet per day for a couple weeks, gradually reduced the dose and just stopped them, painlessly) I'd taken Valium for weeks at a time for muscle spasms and had no addiction issues; I'd never been addicted to anything in my life. I guess I was the "1 in 1,000" my former doctor claimed would have addiction problems with Ambien. B.S. I say.
First night I needed just 5mg to sleep. Oh! It was wonderful! Second night, no dice, I needed 10mg. O.K. Third night, 10mg did NOTHING. I knew I had a choice, flush the remaining 88.5 tablets down the toilet or play with fire.
So what (exhausted at 3a.m.) did the insomniac do? He played with fire and got boiled in oil.
Middle of the third night, I couldn't sleep. Took an extra 3mg, slept.
Fourth night, tried 13mg to no effect. So I stupidly took 20mg. (At that point, the correct thing for me to do would have been to call my doctor and tell him about the Ambien's ineffectiveness.)
Fifth night I took 30mg, 6th night 40mg, then 50mg, then 60mg, up and up and UP, UNTIL, .......I ran out. I was stupefied. How could I have taken ninety 10mg Ambien in less than 10 days? About 18 hours after my last dose, something was funny with my breathing. It was labored, I had chest pain. I called 911, thinking "heart attack" I even took two aspirin! If I'd only known what was to come, I probably would have put a gun in my mouth.
I had to spend my detox in the hospital's ICU, vomiting and sweating and shivering and seizing; my vital signs fluctuated wildly for a few days. All I got were odd stares and irrelevant questions by doctors asking me about my medical history and "how long have you had epilepsy?" How in the world did I do this to myself, with Ambien?!? They claimed it could not possibly be causing my symptoms and dismissed my claim of being addicted to it out of hand. They said it was a "perfectly safe drug, without the possibility of causing addiction or this catastrophic reaction." They kept giving me pointless blood test after pointless blood test. THEY WOULD NOT BELIEVE ME! After about seven days, I was released, leaving the doctors bewildered as to what could have possibly done this to me. Only I knew.
I pray to God that the medical establishment sternly warns patients to NEVER exceed the recommended dose and to contact them immediately if the prescribed dose is ineffective!
Had my FORMER doctor simply said, "if you feel you need more than the recommended dose, please call me right away", I could have avoided a week of sheer hell.
Last edited by PeterRabbit2; 03-08-2010 at 07:24 PM.
First Night Taking Ambien
I am new to the forum guys and would like to give you my first night experience on this Drug (Ambien). I took the medication around 1 am after having my usual trouble settling my mind to sleep and it did put me to sleep however; unfortunately, I did not stay asleep and had more trouble staying in the bed then if I had not taken anything at all. My night was more tossy turvey than usual. I actually got up and sat at the computer for a few reading this forum last night. I did get a really good hard 2-3 hours of sleep and for that I am greatful. It was not what everyone on here is saying though. It is my first night and I hope that this will improve tonight and I will get the full night of sleep I so desperately need. I have bipolar II -schitzo-effective episodes and sleep deprivation is one of the triggers of a manic phase. I am going to try the old remedies of cutting back on all caffienated drinks and taking my showers in the am rather than the pm. I take other medeications and hope that I get a better result tonight but I know that this is not a build up over time drug. I will post tomorrow morning and let you know how it went.
I just wanted to warn everyone about this awful drug!! I actually got in my car one night at around 1:30 am and had no idea that I was even doing that. The weird thing is, I had enough sense to put my glasses on and my seatbelt. and i was fully dressed. I bet you can only the imagine the horror i felt when i crashed into a car that was stopped at a red light. I apparently must have fallen back to sleep while driving and almost totaled my car.. it ended up being in the shop for 3 months with $13,000.00 worth of damage. and the person i crashed into was an off duty cab driver. I am so relieved that there was no one in the back seat and especially glad I didnt kill anyone or myself. How dangerous is this drug?? I now have heard in the last couple years that it can make someone sleep walk, or in my case, sleep drive! This really scares me to think that i know people taking this medicine for sleeplessness. There has got to be something better out there to take. I just dont wish this on anyone, as I am getting sued by the driver of the taxi for medical bills, and fortunately my insurance company is the one getting sued, not me directly. The thing is, the other side is trying to say that i neglectfully got into my car and drove! Well, i NEVER did that.. i didnt even know that i was driving in the first place! and in the past, i used to sleep walk and make something to eat on the stove top, like a grilled cheese or egg sandwich.. i didnt even know i was doing that, until i would see a plate in the sink or maybe i wouldnt eat what i made and it would be just sitting there on the counter.. its soooo not funny.. i cant even imagine how in the world they are even giving Ambien to anyone!!
well, that is my story and i dont know what will happen with the whole suing thing. my insurance co. told me that i only had to make my statement, which i did, and they would take care of the rest. this is awful to go through!!
A note to anyone: read the above and follow dosing instructions!
Originally Posted by PeterRabbit2
I know exactly what you are talking about. I, too, have been on Ambien CR 12.5 mg for almost a year, and cannot sleep without it. It has honestly changed my whole life. I have never slept since I was a baby, had a sleep study done, and was put on the Ambien.
Originally Posted by mailman
I was so tired (41 years old now) that I was falling asleep at the wheel. I was scared for my safety and for that of others. I can't imagine my life without ambien, and yes, that does make me sad. I don't want to be on ANY medication for a long period of time. However, when I do not take it, I cannot sleep. I have tried EVERYTHING for sleeping....natural remedies, meditation, yoga, warm milk, reading, exercising, so on and so on and so on. I even took other forms of sleeping pills- Lunesta, over-the-counter and even other Ambien dosages. Nothing helped. Until I was put on Ambien CR 12.5. It is actually a special formulation for people with bonafide sleep disorders.
Until I took ambien I could count on one hand how many times I felt refreshed or had a good night's sleep. People who don't suffer from our condition have no idea what it feels like to never sleep. I truly envy my friends and family members who sleep like a rock for 6-8 hours. I don't know what that is like. I have never known what that is like. So until anyone can walk a day in our shoes- (never sleeping)- one cannot judge for being on this medicine. It has saved my life and enriched it in so many ways.
I have tried Ambien and it does nothing to me. Tried double dose and still nothing! Whats up ???