How many on Ambien for sleep deprivation???

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by nah.stacey, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. nah.stacey

    nah.stacey Member

    Hi ya'll haven't been on here in probably over a year, life just got too discouraging and I was looking at any way to finish this S.....crap. Tooo much pain, tooo little help, tooo few options, nnoooo hope in sight.

    I was wondering how many of you long termers have been on Ambien-the sleep drug, for any length of time?????? Since sleep is usually the first thing that goes out on us, this simple needful mechanism that works in everyone else? I have been on Ambien for ten years, even though they say it is only for short term use. HAH!!! the wonder drug that works, fat chance I'm a lifer. But after you read my post on Ambien, I wan't you to seriously re-consider what you are truly taking.

    Subj: Long-term Ambien use
    Date: 10/16/2011
    This could turn out to be the most deadly, harmful pharmaceutical drug know to man, ranking right there next to ANY opiate derivative. While I realize that this product was NEVER intended for long term use, it is none the less used this way, 4 months, 5 years, 10 years, it is given by doctors to a patient for this purpose. My advice to you is RUN!!! RUN far and fast from this drug.

    Once it is started it is one of the most difficult to justify stopping. "I need my sleep", "I have a job or family to care for", "I can't perform with no sleep". Sleep at first becomes the obsession, then after a few nights, Ambien becomes the obsession, after 10 years, your mind and body are so altered you may not come back, and IF YOU CAN, you may have already lost EVERYTHING you hold dear. I know I am a 10 year user of Ambien, the silent but deadly thief of life.

    I am a mother of five, a beloved wife and the only reason I am sitting here to tell you this story is because my husband loves me still, after all I have put him thru the last ten years. Most people aren't that lucky, they take their own lives because they are so altered by use of ambien they "know not what they do". I began using ambien after a partial hysterectomy left me incapable of falling asleep on my own. I don't know what happened to my hormone levels but I just couldn't shut down. I took Ambien so I could keep functioning.

    My life as a soccer mom kept me running and then when they all went to school, I went to work. I didn't have to, my husband provides well for us, but I was losing my sense of worth and thought work might help. Now I was in the real world, and they expect results. Can't quit taking Ambien now I have to keep going. Two years in to taking ambien I didn't connect it to my mood change. I am an optimist by nature and depression is a foreign concept to me. Not so anymore, now I am getting body aches like severe Avian flue symptoms. What the H*** is that??? What is wrong with me?

    Year after, year after year, I continued taking ambien and the symptoms escalated. Body aches, headaches, lower back pain, joint and muscle pain. I thought I was going to die. I went to doctor after doctor after doctor, test after test after test!!! I begged God to let me die again and again. Had back surgery on my lower back fusing L5/S1. Healing was slow, I was on Tramadol by then in the handfuls. Being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, with failed back surgery syndrome on my chart along with severe depression (WHAT???).

    Jump to ten years on ambien, I am now on Oxycodone 160 mg a day, my ambien dosage has crept up to 27.5 mg a night. I am fighting my insurance because I can only have 90 tablets in 90 days and I am running out in 30. Sound bad??? You have no idea. I am lethargic, major major depressed, I am a mere shadow of who I once was, my children have no idea who I am. I spout weird things to them, have sex with hubby I don't remember (he's smiling, may have been what saved us) eating things I don't like and many episodes I don't care to recall on this post. Anyone seeing themselves in this???

    I keep blaming all my problems on the illnesses, NEVER once thinking that ALL the crap I am now taking is doing this. I am running out of Ambien first, so I dip into my oxycodone to compensate for the withdrawals (which I will get to later), then I get my oxy only to run out of ambien. The cycle is getting MORE and MORE vicious. Robbing Peter to pay Paul with two of the most lethal substances ever to be marketed by big pharmaceutical companies. (If I can spell pharmaceutical you know I am NOT taking this drug any more, it also steals your memory, your thoughts, your kindness, even your very soul which you sell to get more ambien)

    You become so fixated on not having sleep deprivation that the very thought scares you to death, then you start adding something else to compensate for the times it doesn't work right or in time or at all, but you continue taking it anyway cuz you just know it will work next time and you HAVE to sleep. Ask Michael Jackson what this is like, oh wait you CAN'T because he is no longer with us, and neither will you be if you take this.

    Suicide on this drug increases dramatically with prolonged use. Read the many posts here, many come on trying to find out why a loved one who is seemingly normal during waking hours, but becoming increasingly aggressive, defensive and just plain weird, up and commits suicide one day by doing something bizarre like "kissing his family goodnight, then went up and shot himself."

    I can tell you that your body will build up an intolerance so that even taking 80 mg of Ambien or in my case 150 mg didn't kill me, but that was my aim. High school cheerleader, gymnast, eternal optimist, had been sunk by a prescription of pills. This medication is deadly and ruthless. It is no respecter of race, creed, gender, or beloved family member. IT WILL TAKE YOU DOWN TO THE VERY JAWS OF HELL IF IT DOESN'T KILL YOU FIRST.

    I am now one month clean from ambien, and Lorazapam and by default oxycodone (I ran out early). I have walked the tightrope over HELL with withdrawals that range from acute anxiety, heavy sweating, nausea, heart squeezing maniac dreams that go on and on and on and surprise!!!! SLEEPLESSNESS, and that's just the ambien side effects. Have you ever seen a Heroin addict rapid detox????? It is NOT something you ever want to experience. I have lost 20 lbs in one month a method of weightloss I do NOT condone. I still am not sleeping much yet after one month off ambien, I could probably be sleeping by now if not for the oxycodone that I am discovering I really don't need anymore, I don't have the flu sypmtoms, the mind numbing pain in all my extremities that I attributed to Fibro/CFIDS, the lower back pain.

    The sleeplessness remains because of the oxy but otherwise I was sleeping on my own after about 7-10 days but then the oxycodone started in earnest dumping me back to no sleep. However, I am not stressing about falling asleep, if I am not sleeping I get up and post here or watch 80's music videos and relive what used to be and who I was while I wait for myself to come back from the dead. I can do this now because I have lost everything that used to be me except for my beloved husband who has stood by me and held me while I rant and cry, sweat and cry some more. He stayed away when I couldn't cope with light, sound or being touched, read post after post after post on how to help me but never pushing me to do it but patiently waiting for me to see the light as God held my heels to the fire and showed me what I had become. NOTHING. IT STEALS YOUR SOUL.

    I can promise you this is not an exaggeration and that truly it was so much very worse than portrayed here, if that is possible. THINK, THINK, WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE WORSE THAN A FEW MISSED HOURS OF SLEEP????? OH YEAH, A DECADE OR TWO OF YOUR LIFE, IF YOU SURVIVE.

    Nah. stacey

    Know also that I am on day seven detoxing off of Oxycodone, of six years, just to see what pain is my own. Oh an by the way? pain or no pain, I feel as if I am coming out of a coma. I have been given a second chance to see what is real and maybe, just maybe I am NOT as sick as I thought I was.
    I will keep you all up to date on this thing just so maybe someone else doesn't get to where I got and actually succeed.
    Best to all,

    [This Message was Edited on 10/19/2011]
  2. SherylS

    SherylS Member

    I too have stopped the Ambien. Wasn't on it as long as you (3 yrs, 5 mg) but just knew it wasn't good for me. Off it for 3 weeks now--sleep is improving and definitely feeling better all around. I am off all pharmaceuticals now--none seemed to work anyway. I like knowing the misery is from this DD and not side effects of drugs. I am seeing a doctor that works with supplements and bio-identical hormones and will try this route for now.

    If you search "ambien withdrawal symptoms" and go to the site, you will read some truly horrific stories on this drug and the withdrawal from it. Anything that affects us like that cannot be good to put into our bodies.

    Hang in there!!
  3. deserella

    deserella Member

    Thanks for posting your story. I have been having sleepless nights because I've become so dependent on ambien. I try melatonin and does nothing. I'm trying to find an alternative preferably natural supplement to help my sleep.
  4. nah.stacey

    nah.stacey Member

    Please don't give up on getting off of Ambien if you have used it longer than the prescribed 7-10 days. Anything beyond a week is considered long term use.

    Please oh please, listen to those that post here and also the the posts on, and under ambien use. This drug is as deadly if not deadlier than any opiate on the market and that one is considered "legel Heroine".
    I know sleep is so very vital, but please don't get caught in the trap. It could be causing alot of the symptoms you are attributing to FM/CFIDS. I know I did.
    I have been off of ambien for over a month now, and while my sleep isn't fantastic yet and some nights very minimal, I DON'T HAVE THE CONSTANT BODY ACHES AND FLU SYMPTOMS that I thought was complete FM. I am so surprised at how much better I am feeling without it. Granted I still get fatigued, somewhat achy at times, but that is to be expected till it is all clear and I need to know how much is residual ambien and how much is FM/CFIDS.

    I cannot stress enough to all who are starting a new medication, ambien or not, YOU ARE YOUR OWN BEST ADVOCATE!!!!!!! Sometimes your Dr. will tell you the risks are minimal or that your can become dependant but not addicted to a medication. PLLLEEAAASSSEEE. There is no difference in the feelings of withdrawal sypmtoms whether you are "dependant" or "addicted". Withdrawal symptoms are no respecter of persons. You WILL get them if you have been on any kind of medication for any length of time. BE AWARE AND BE FORWARNED!!!!!!!!!! No one can do this for you. If you find you are feeling worse and worse and your symptoms are getting worse. Sit back and take stock of what you are taking, maybe it's time to go back to square one and start over again. I know you think it will feel worse to get off of everything, but remember our bodies change drastically every seven years, and maybe, just maybe, things aren't as bad now as they were back then.
    I know that this DD has taken everything from me except my bleloved hubby, bless his soul.

    So now that I haven't the stressers that I had in the beginning. It's been six yrs since my youngest son died, I can handle it now. I no longer work (lost that with too many sick days), maybe I don't have to worry so much now. I have had back surgery to fuse L5/S1 so perhaps with all the physical therapy it isn't soooo bad now.

    Sit back, take stock, clean your system out and start over with a little optimism, and a lot less drugs. You don't have to stay that way if you truly can't handle it, but it would be sooo worth it if you are a long time sufferer and perhaps after all you have been through, all the tests, the surgeries, the Dr. appts. Clean it out and start over. Long term use of ANY DRUG is not good for anyone. Withdrawal symptoms will be there whether you are dependent or addicted with any long term use.

    Be wise and be aware,
  5. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    But Ambien is one that I fortunately never had a problem with. I took a small dose (5 mg or 2.5 mg) for several years -- at one point, concurrent (on doctor's approval) with Xyrem. I am no longer on any sleep meds (may be why I'm up at 2 a.m.), but it only took a few days to be 'off' Ambien without any kickback. There is still a portion of a prescription left amongst my medicines, but I haven't felt the need, so I'm keeping it on standby just in case I have a short rough patch. My sympathies to those here for whom withdrawal from Ambien has been difficult. Life without sleep is horrible.
  6. Saoirse3

    Saoirse3 Member

    I have been on Ambien for 4 years, 10mg a night. My pain doctor said it is "just fine for fibromyalgia use, because of sleep deprivation". At the beginning of the year it seemed I had energy enough. So much so that I was taking flying lessons. Then a few months ago, I got agonizing pains in my knees. X-rays showed bone on bone arthritis, but doc came up with Synvisc. I refused to take opiods because they made me itch so bad and gave me awful headaches. Doc gave me Ibuprofen, then Ultram and now Indomethacin. The Ibuprofen helped a little, but the dose was too high to be safe for my liver. Lyrica! I was fine with 75mg, but doc insisted "more was better" so upped it to 150mg. I hated it and the way it made me feel. Sad, depressed, crying. But I stuck with my Ambien and fought like a tiger when doc reduced it to 5mg. I HAD to sleep! If I had no other pill in the entire house, I had to have my Ambien.

    Could THIS be the reason I hurt and I can't seem to shake this hip and lower back pain? Doc said physical therapy would fix it. Well, it's been 3 months and I feel worse. If it's the Ambien, I will never put another pill in my mouth. I believe you.

    So how do you get OFF the stupid stuff? I swear if I can wean myself off of Cymbalta (THAT was horrible, but I did it!) I can do this too. I don't care how tough it is, if Ambien is this dangerous, I'll do it. But I need to know HOW.

    Soft hugs,
  7. Beadlady

    Beadlady Member

    Ambien happens to work good for me and I'm not going to change something just because someone posts something here about her bad experience.

    Others that take Ambien--if you have questions about it please talk to your doctor or pharmacist about it. There are alot of drugs out there that should not be stopped cold turkey and keep in mind your body might have a bad reaction to something that is different~~like it may not go with your other meds. Just because something is "Natural"" doesn't mean it doesn't have the potential to raise havok in your system.

    Please be careful.
  8. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Did the Synvisc work for your knees? Usually it doesn't when the OA is at the bone-on-bone stage. I had the injection in both my knees, along with arthroscopy, and so far, so good. My OA was mild to moderate.

    Love, Mikie
  9. Saoirse3

    Saoirse3 Member

    It worked for a time (about a month) then completely vanished. Hoping to have arthroscopy when we move to Atlanta. A friend just had a hip replacement and he's been back in the hospital 4 times already. I want a real doctor!

    Love, Stacey
  10. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I hope you find a good doc. My daughter lives there and I know it has been difficult for her to find good docs.

    Love, Mikie
  11. inbetweendays

    inbetweendays New Member

    Most of us are not sleeping due to the lack of production of brain and sleep hormones.