Ambien Side Effects

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by PVLady, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    Sometimes we don't watch sides closely with meds. I know others are on Ambien. I just pulled up the following side effects/interactions on Ambien.

    I don't take SSRI antidepressants but found it interesting there is a higher incidence of "thinking" problems if you do.

    I also read it causes constipation. I have such a problem with that, I am tempted to start using Lunesta and see if I am better. I recently increased to Ambien CR and my digestive problems increased.

    Special warnings about this medication

    Some people using Ambien--especially those taking serotonin-boosting antidepressants--have experienced unusual changes in their thinking and/or behavior. Alert your doctor if you notice a change.

    Ambien and other sleep medicines can cause a special type of memory loss. It should not be taken on an overnight airplane flight of less than 7 to 8 hours, since "traveler's amnesia" may occur.

    When you first start taking Ambien, until you know whether the medication will have any "carry over" effect the next day, use extreme care while doing anything that requires complete alertness, such as driving a car or operating machinery. Older adults, in particular, should be aware that they may be more apt to fall.

    Use Ambien cautiously if you have liver problems. It will take longer for its effects to wear off.

    If you take Ambien for more than 1 or 2 weeks, consult your doctor before stopping. Sudden discontinuation of a sleep medicine can bring on withdrawal symptoms ranging from unpleasant feelings to vomiting and cramps.

    When taking Ambien, do not drink alcohol. It can increase the drug's side effects.

    If you have breathing problems, they may become worse when you use Ambien.


    Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication
    If Ambien is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either drug could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Ambien with the following:

    The antidepressant drug imipramine (Tofranil)
    The antipsychotic drug chlorpromazine
    Serotonin-boosting antidepressants such as Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft
    Drugs that depress the central nervous system, including Valium, Percocet, and Benadryl


    Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
    If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Babies whose mothers take some sedative/hypnotic drugs may have withdrawal symptoms after birth and may seem limp and flaccid. Ambien is not recommended for use by nursing mothers.


    Recommended dosage


    The recommended dosage for adults is 10 milligrams right before bedtime. Your doctor will prescribe a smaller dose if you are likely to be sensitive to the drug or have a liver problem. Never take more than 10 milligrams of Ambien per day.



    Safety and effectiveness have not been established in children below the age of 18.



    Because older people and those in a weakened condition may be more sensitive to Ambien's effects, the recommended starting dosage is 5 milligrams just before bedtime.

  2. StairwaytoHeaven

    StairwaytoHeaven New Member

    I took Ambien for a short while. It helped put me to sleep (and keep me to sleep) most times. However, the amnesiatic effects were not worth the trouble. I would wake up the morning after taking it and not remember anything at all from the night before. I would talk to someone the very next day and they would bring up our conversation from the previous night...and I had no clue that I had called them. Be very careful with this drug, especially if you are a college student....studying and then forgetting everything is not a great feeling. Also, for me at least, I experienced hallucinations during the first 15-20min of its effects.

    After this I moved on to Ativan (worked okay, still woke up at night), then Clonazepam (still taking this, works okay, but my dosage needs to be upped), thinking about trying trazodone (sp?).
  3. mshonda400ex

    mshonda400ex New Member

    I am 23 years old and I have had the same effects as above. I would hallucinate and would wake up in the middle of the night anyway. When I would get up during the night I was extremlely intoxicated. My husband told me that I would sleepwalk which I have never done before. Needless to say I quit taking. Lunesta is a much better drug if you ask me. I have not had any side effects as of yet. The only downside is it is expensive but no more expensive than Ambien. Hope this helps. Sweet dreams.
  4. NancyMystic

    NancyMystic New Member

    Thanks for posting this very important caution!

    Nancy M
  5. BlueSky555

    BlueSky555 New Member

    I have taken ambien, 10 mgs. and have had no problems with it. I suppose it depends on the indivudual.

    Of course, when you take it, you should always take it and go directly to bed. If not, you probably will not remember anything about the night before. This med is suppose to put you to sleep, rather quick.

    I remember when I first took it, the same thing happened to me and it scared me. That's when I figured out that it was the med that was causing me to be "out of focus" etc.

    Of course, like it states, I think it's a temporary medication.

    Thank you for the information, and taking the time to post it, PVLady; very interesting and I'm sure this needed to be recognized.

    Take care,
  6. butterfly83

    butterfly83 New Member

    I take Ambien and it helps me sleep, but sometimes i do have trouble remembering the hour or so before I fall asleep. But I'm in bed mostly so.. its not that big a problem for me. You just have to be safe if you use it. Take it and get in bed. The medication instructions do say that.
  7. California31

    California31 New Member

    Only took it ONCE...horrible experience. Started hallucinating during a phone call to a friend...(which I had no recollection of the next day...) She got scared thought I was going nuts...called the fire department which was ready to break down my door....until I awakened to tell them I was fine....Only when I talked to my friend the next day did I have a clue...After that event my doctor, a major player in the FM community, told me to take it only when I was going directly to bed....I declined to ever take it again....Another doctor later told me that the memory problems can be rampant. A girlfriend of mine in not aided in going to sleep when she takes Ambien....seems to have no effect of any indeed we are all different. However a friend in the Bay Area had an experience close to mine....virtually a black out...with memory loss after taking the drug.

    [This Message was Edited on 12/15/2006]
    [This Message was Edited on 12/15/2006]
  8. Bunchy

    Bunchy New Member

    I take Ambien some days and must admit if I stay up and watch something on TV like a soap, the next day I can't remember the previous episode - it's like I never watched it. Really irritating if I've missed a good one...LOL

    Seriously though, be careful with this drug, there are other strange side effects.

    When I smoke (sometimes) if I take Ambien then smoke afterwards, I throw up!!!

    Others report hallucinations etc.

    Always report side effects which are distressing or unusual to your doctor immediately.

    There are plenty of other options if Ambien doesn't agree with you.

    Love Bunchy xx
  9. dani78xo

    dani78xo New Member

    When I was on Ambien, I was having horrible horrible hallucinations. I'd see things trying to kill me at night, and I had trouble actually GETTING to sleep a lot of nights because I'd have to continually turn on the light to convince myself what I was seeing wasn't there.

    Sometimes the room would seem like it was closing in on me, or I'd see inanimate objects (i.e. my dresser) grow fangs and try to lunge at me.

    Needless to say, it scared me like CRAZY.

    I also had nightmares. Awful enough, was the fact that my nightmares were always about the SAME THING. The hallucinations I had. I would dream about the hallucinations being ghosts, and them being out to kill me, or my friends turning INTO the hallucinations trying to kill me. I'd wake up crying or shaking and wouldn't be able to get back to sleep for a while.

    One night the hallucinations were so bad that I wouldn't sleep for a few days--I stayed up as long as I could every night until I just passed out--because I was so petrified of taking Ambien again, and having to go through the terror again.

    It was really a neverending cycle. I switched to Lunesta, which is a lot easier--the hallucinations haven't gone away though, and I know it's not the Lunesta doing it, because I was on Lunesta BEFORE the ambien, and I had absolutely no problems.

    Also, I've never been able to just get right to sleep after taking a sleep med since I was on Ambien--it takes at least one and a half hours for the meds to take effect.

    Ambien really screwed up my insomnia--even more so than it was. I don't really like how the sleep meds effect me--sometimes I do really stupid things, or get angry for no reason. But having to choose one, Lunesta's definitely a better fit.

    People tell me that hallucinations from Ambien or other sleep meds are rare, but I've heard a lot of horror stories about it. Maybe it's just my sensitivity to meds, but I know I'm NEVER going back on Ambien again.

  10. chloeuk

    chloeuk New Member

    I was on Ambien for a year and one of the problems with this drug is that your body gets used to the dose pretty quickly so you need more to do the same thing. I also experienced side effects similar to others here..if you take this med and dont go straight to sleep you will experience a rush of energy and feel great, but you will not be able to go to sleep.

    When I stopped the ambien I had severe withdrawal symptoms that went on for quite a while, this drug should never be used for more than 3 weeks at a time.
  11. LongStruggle

    LongStruggle Guest

    I have been on ambien for about 6 years. I do not have any problems with it. I never experience any drugged feeling or any other negative symptoms.
  12. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    Thanks for the feedback. Sometimes I think we are not aware of some of the more subtle side effects. Yes, I also had nightmares where I was terrified. Several times my husband had to wake me up, I was trying to scream in my sleep. I thought someone had broke into the house.

    The side effect I had which was more subtle was with my digestive system. For me, it caused constipation and indigestion. Also, I would feel hot and cold all the time.

    I know it was the Ambien because it stopped when I stopped the drug.

    Since I have already been dealing with the digestive problems, I just cannot add one drug that contributes to that problem.

    Thanks again..
    [This Message was Edited on 12/18/2006]
  13. LonelyHearts

    LonelyHearts New Member