Ambien Longterm??

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by donnadb, Apr 21, 2003.

  1. donnadb

    donnadb New Member

    Has anyone taken Ambien on a longterm basis?? If so, please tell me how long you have been on it and have you had any problems getting it from your doc on a longterm basis? I've been taking it for about 2 yrs. and now my doc has decided that it's addictive (a little too late if you ask me!) and won't give me an RX for it. I know you can order it off the net but it is SOOO EXPENSIVE that way!! I'd love to hear your story!

  2. Solstice

    Solstice New Member


    I was on ambien for 7 long years. When it is advertised they say you should only be on it for 7 DAYS! It is supposed to be used short term to get people back on a sleep in jet lag, or people who work night shifts and want to get back to a day shift.

    It is a hypnotic. It knocks you you probably realize. But it does nothing for achieving a deep level of sleep.

    It can cause liver damage if used too long and it can cause cognitive if we need that!

    I tried to come off of it numerous times, and was not able to sleep AT ALL without it. Yes, it is very addictive.

    I can't stand it when I hear that people are being told to take this by their doctors. I think it is not a good drug over the long run. Seems like your doctor should have told you before you started taking it that it is addictive.

    However, it is so hard to get off of. I think your doctor needs to realize that and help you wean off of it. The way I finally did it, was to up my dose of elavil for awhile while I tapered off of the ambien.......and I had some rough nights of sleep, but eventually I got off of it, and then was easily able to taper down on the elavil.

    I also used a light to help me be able to get to sleep more naturally. I explained this in another thread. I think it was called reverse sleep cycles. You can probably find it by looking at that thread or by doing a search.

    My sleep is far from perfect. But it wasn't with ambien either, and I had the risks involved with ambien.

    Good luck. Hope this helps.


  3. Nikki

    Nikki Member

    My rheumy rx'd it indefinitely for me. I asked him about taking it long term because I had read it was for short term only. He said it would be okay to take long term. Wish the drs. would all get on the same page. I've been taking it regularly since Feb. of this year. I've always had insomnia and this is the best sleep I've ever had. Guess I better rethink taking it long term.

  4. tansy

    tansy New Member

    If so I've been using it for about 4 months now.

    Do sometimes forget to take it so know it's effect isn't in my mind.

    I was told there was a danger of rebound insomnia but my sleep got so bad I wouldn't know whether this would indicate a problem.

    My doc would rather have stuck to Trazedone but it wasn't working well enough and seemed to slow my brain too much. The first time I took zopiclone I fell off to sleep in a really gentle and natural way.

    Actually this often doesn't work for me on it's own but I have found high doses of velarian root along side it helps so maybe valerian's worth looking into.

    I find docs' worries about addiction frustrating particularly if they will, or can, not prescribe an effective alternative.

    My need for some restorative sleep is greater than any worry I might have of becoming addicted to a drug, other than aiding sleep Zopiclone has no effects on me that could create an addiction to the substance - just a need for something that works

    Good Luck

  5. ephemera

    ephemera New Member


    I was on nortriptylene for 6 months without any results. Sleep doc changed me to Ambien in November & I have improved since then for about 75% of my nights. Other nights are still hard to get to sleep - my most painful moments are when laying in bed.

    At first my mail order prescription service wouldn't approve my Ambien refills. Then the doc & staff got involved & now I'm approved for a calendar year. Even got a letter in the mail saying they reconsidered my request. Guess they wouldn't do so (especially in writing) if they thought it was a problem to stay on the medication.

    Best thoughts to all.

  6. AC77

    AC77 New Member

    A doctor Prescribes something doesn't mean they know about it! Especially Internists-because there is too many meds to know all the details on. Whereas a specialist who Rx;s within his/her field should know. Ambien is a schedule IV drug, which means that the FDA says that it slightly psychically addicting and can be strongly psychologically addicting. The PDR on Ambien Says that it can be addicting. And take it from me, who has been on (now off) 20mgs at Night, it is very hard to come off of. It is very similar to a benzodiazepine. It even stimulates those receptors, though more selectively.

    It is your Docs RESPONSIBILITY both morally and legally to withdraw you. Titrate downward, especially because it is a controlled substance. rapid withdrawl is dangerous with most sleep meds. I would remind him of this. And tell him of the side-effects you are having. Short-term replacement of a long acting benzo like Valium or Klonopin at night will help with this for 2 weeks if need be. 0.5-1mg Klonopin or 5-10mgs of Valium at night would be a close equivalant for weaning. But do not stay on too long and slowly reverse the benzo dose down after 1 week.
  7. Dara

    Dara New Member

    5mg for about the last six months. I don't take it every night though. My doctor told me not to ever take it two nights in a row, at the most every other night. What really puts me to sleep at night is taking a muscle relaxer, Zanaflex. It's so frustrating, what works for one person doesn't work for another. Seems like it's all trial and error. I would think that your doctor would at least give you one last prescription so you could wean yourself off of it slowly. Sometimes I just break one in half and that works too.

  8. Sindy-Uk

    Sindy-Uk New Member

    I have been taking Ambien(Zolpidem) 5mg for the last 9 months. I have always had problem falling asleep. When asleep I have problem waking up. Over the years, anything I tried usually stopped working after about 5 days. Even if I left few months gap, it still wouldn't work. Also, everything else made me feel groggy the next day.

    But Ambien, it has worked really well. I usually take it only about 3-4 times weekly, especially the days I need to wake up for work the next day. It doest not give me deep sleep that I would really like, but then there is nothing else that I have found. The days I dont take it, I fall asleep at about 2-3 am. My GP does not prescribe it, but the Dr treating my CFS does, so I have to pay for it. I have been getting mine from India, because it is about 3rd of the price here in UK.

  9. Betsy2

    Betsy2 New Member

    My rheaumie prescribed Ambien short term for me but I do not take it every night. Also when I take it I can not take the full dose (10 mg) or I get into a depressed state of mind the next day. Generally, I take a half a dose when I do take it. I don't feel like I need it every single night so I take it as needed. There are nights when I sleep restlessly when I don't take it but I don't want or need the addiction to it.
  10. starstella

    starstella New Member

    hi donna, I have been taking ambien daily for about 2 years, maybe 3, and am not getting any inication from my doc that i shouldn't take it anymore. what is your doc suggesting as an alternative, and how are you to suddenly make the stop in med? and come on, is ambien any more "addicting" than meds like klonopin, or some antidepressants? has your doc decided that you no longer have a sleep problem? more insanity in the world of FM.
  11. fibolady

    fibolady New Member

    put me on ambien about 3 years ago, and then it just stopped working. but he never menioned the possibilty of liver disease.


  12. marta

    marta New Member

    Ambien is about the only thing that gets me into a reasonable sleep and I've taken it nightly for about two years. One doctor prescribed it for long-term use after I was having extreme constipation with Trazadone. Another doctor said that it shouldn't be taken long term. Like someone else said, I wish they'd get on the same page with this one.

    I'm finding now that, while it lets me go to sleep, I don't stay asleep and I am not sleeping as well as I used to taking it. I also seem to be more tense during the day although this could be from lack of sleep and not an effect of the drug.

    I'd be interested to know if anyone else has experienced next-day tension with Ambien.

    Everyone is so different in how they react to these drugs.

  13. Antenbunny

    Antenbunny New Member

    I have been taking Ambian for about 3 years, I take it every night. I can't say it's the best thing in the world to do but if there is no alturnative... I was sleeping maybe an hour or two a night before the ambian, I almost went crazy. You Dr. should be helpong you, not adding to your problems. Find a Dr. that will help you with your sleep.
  14. donnadb

    donnadb New Member

    Hi Guys,
    Excellent replys and thanks for the info!! My doc did give me Elavil but it doesn't work AT ALL!! Guess I'm so used to the hypnotic state induced by the ambien that just an anti-depressant isn't gonna get the job done!! What to do?????????????
  15. bre_ann

    bre_ann New Member

    my rheumy said I was taking such small amounts, it wasn't any big deal (1/3 to 1/2 of a 10mg.pill) but I began to feel that I just absolutely couldn't go to sleep without it so he gave me RX for Trazedone (I think I take 25mg.). At first I didn't like it very well but after a few days, I was able to get good sleep and have been able to sleep a few nights without it at all. I went straight from Ambien to Trazedone and didn't have any problems doing that.
    I don't know why there seems to be such a problem with giving RXs of Ambien. My brother has the same problem with his dr. But my rheumy had no problem with it.
  16. JannyW

    JannyW New Member

    My psych has had me on Ambien for about 7 months now, and so far it's the only thing that helps me sleep. The only problem I've had with taking a hypnotic is that I usually can't remember much about the evening before ... like I need more problems with my memory! I'm actually wondering if it affects more than short-term memory ... anyone heard anything about this?

    Jan ^v^
  17. Plantscaper

    Plantscaper New Member

    Insomnia and ambien should only be used, sporadically, so that you will not build up a tolerance for it...I won't reiterate what has been already said..but if you do it that way, will not have problems...

    Hope that helps,