Ambien dangers short and long term Ambien side effects Addiction
Ambien is the brand name for the medicine called zolpidem, which What can I l her about the long term side effects of Ambien? I can't.
I have been taking ambien for about 9 months. I always fall asleep naturally, but I always wake up in the middle of the night and take a half or a quarter of an ambien to get me through the rest of the night (depending on what time I wake up). But I do take a part of a pill every single night. Before I was on ambien I had the most horrible insomnia–it was ruining my life, and this has been the greatest year because I know I can sleep. I feel like I have my life back. But now I’m reading about how it’s only intended for short term use. Why? Can’t I just take a half an ambien for the rest of my life? Thanks for your help. Hi Natalya.
Using sleep hypnotics such as Ambien for more than 4 weeks can lead to damaged sleep staging and addiction. If taken for longer than 7 to 14 days, Ambien can provoke insomnia that is actually worse than the insomnia the drug was intended to treat. Continued use of Ambien can lead to physical dependence and, when you stop taking Ambien, withdrawal symptoms. However, physical dependence is different than addiction. Addiction occurs when a person compulsively seeks out Ambien and uses it despite negative consequences.
Ambien is habit forming and creates physical dependence. This is one of the main reasons that it is prescribed short term. Before you were on Ambien what other alternative treatments to sleeping pills did you check out?
I also want to add that we at Addiction Blog do not encourage or condone mixing alcohol with prescription drugs. This can be a serious or even fatal mistake!
I do however still experience blocks of time missing from my memory. I sometimes have no memory of conversations with different people, no memory of ”relations” with my husband, and also eating after taking Ambien.
Thanks for your comment, Lisa.
Are you familar with long term Ambien use and general body problems? It appears everyone is different when it comes to side effects of this med. and especially when used for a long time. Thanks.
Ambien is the brand name for the medicine called zolpidem, which depresses the central nervous system and can help people suffering from seizures, anxiety, or sleep disorders.
I’ve been involved in a long distance relationship with someone for two months, and I think he may be suffering side effects from long term use of ambien. I notice that he works compulsively from morning to late night. Although some of it is just needing to make more money, he’s taken on more projects than any human can possibly handle. During the day he will say he is overwhelmed. I also hear a lot of grandiosity in his conversations, like he has so little time to make a huge dent in the world. I’ve heard him say he takes a couple of ambien at night, I thought one pill would have the entire dosage. I know he can’t sleep without them. Since I’ve never met him in person, hard to determine how he actually moves through the day. I’m not sure his therapist/dr. is providing the dangers of long term use, or if he is just ignoring them. Since it’s still early in terms of our relationship, I’m not sure if it’s something I should share my concern about, but I just don’t know how/when to bring it up. Would he need to be hospitalized to go through withdrawal?
I’ve been taking Ambien for about five years now. It was prescribed to me when I was going through a rough break up and suffered depression. Funny I no longer need the anti-depressant but can’t get a wink of sleep w/out Ambien. I wish I never started, but definiy dependent on it, but have recently discussed with my doctor at options to stop. Im reading this and I thank you all for sharing your experiences it helps me realize that the decision to stop is the right one I may still have a chance to reverse some of the effects. Have a good year! Stay well.
Ambien dangers: short and long term Ambien side effects Share 0 0 115.
I recently came down with a terrible kidney infection and am taking antibiotics, but wonder if the kidney infection is at all related to the Ambien.
You can open the conversation with your friend by saying, “I am concerned about a few things. Would you like me to share them with you?”
Hello there, have been reading for a few days now and wanted to let you know what a good resource I believe you’ve got going on here, carry on the good work.
Check out the National Sleep Foundation or The American Sleep Association websites, and ask questions about sleeping aid alternatives there. You can try to call or them, and see what help you might get in finding another doctor or learning more about sleep alternatives. Does this help?
I’m fighting back for my life as I once knew it to be. I was once an independent, beautiful, inligent person until I was introduced to ambien as a way to combat my sleeping disorder after that my life went down hill from there. I’ve lost my job as a result of ambien, failed very important exams related to this job, almost lost my life, twice. My relationship failed, I spent thousands of dollars on this drug because I was and still am addicted to it.
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I have been taking Ambien for several years. I have tried slowly removing Ambien from my nightly ritual, but find I can’t sleep without it. I have noticed the past few weeks, a cloudy strong odor urine. Usually, my urine is quite clear and no odor because I drink a lot of water each day. I have no unreasonable lower back pain, and no pain when I pee. I wonder if the long term use of Ambien may be effecting my kidney’s?
After you are diagnosed, and the effect has been linked to Ambien, you can then send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone.
My husband cannot go without Ambien. He drinks as well with it. He has extremely bizarre behavior, i.e. running out side with no clothes, nonstop talking, and is easily agitated. He is now saying he no longer cares for anyone or anything. I do not know how to help him.
Hello amoja three rivers. Thanks for your question. Chronic use of hypnotics like Ambien for sleeping can affect your sleep cycle in the long term. Have you tried alternatives such as valerian or melatonin to aid sleep? Or behavioral modifications like increased exercise or meditation? I wonder if you can consult both a medical doctor and perhaps an “alternative” specialist who can provide you with other more natural aids to sleep?
Hi, I have take ambian for almost 10 years now on a daily basis. Its horrible if I run out because I can’t sleep at all sometimes for 2 or 3 days or until refill is received, though I’m exhausted.I have experienced almost all of the above side effects aside from driving. I have made food, woke up to wrappers and food everywhere, made many phone calls, texts and had long conversations (some were even taped so I could hear the next day), bidding on items on ebay and of course stumbling around the house, falling ect..most of this with little or no memory at all. I know it is a problem and I have been asking my dr for an alternative for years and he seems to keep ignoring my request! I’m afraid to stop cold turkey after hearing the withdrawels and possible seizures but I simply don’t like knowing I am out of control for that period of time. (Also, posting on facebook is horrifying when I sometimes discover some “ambian” moments I’ve posted).Is there a proper way to wean off or on to a less harmful sleep aide?
Hi Cheryl. Yes, the most safe way to detox from Ambien is at an inpatient facility with a detox center. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a hospital, but can be a clinic.
I am glad you are off the ambien, but I don’t think reccomending a mixture of any drug and alcohol is good advice. In my house, I am the one taking Ambien, my husband sometimes will take a benedryl to help him sleep, but again, I think any drug used for an extended amount of time is not good. I want to be off Ambien so badly, I tried Lunesta as well, but didn’t like the metal taste in my mouth as one of the many side affects, that and a foggy hang over feeling it gave me the next day. I like the suggestion of alternative more natural ways of achieving sleep. Best of luck to you, but please be careful when mixing any drug with alcohol.
I have been on Ambien for a couple of years as well. I find that about 50% of the time it doesn’t work for me at all. I do not like that I have to take it to get some much needed sleep.
If you think that you or a loved one might have an Ambien addiction problem, you are not alone. If you’re ready to learn more about signs of prescription pill addiction, click here. Or leave us a comment or. We respond to all requests for help or more information personally and objectively. Share 0 0 115.
Finally, Ambien is a hypnotic drug that acts on the central nervous system and slow the brain’s activity. This is why it’s important to seek medical help when you stop taking Ambien. Activity in the brain can rebound and race out of control to the point that seizures can occur.
I took Ambien for over a year. It led to sleep-walking. Last Friday, I left the house in my bare feet, and ended up by the river where I usually walk my dog. Sheriff spotted me. Apparently, I was unresponsive…ended up in Psych ER and was petitioned to a VERY scary mental institution for four days. I’m suing the shrink.
Can long term use of ambien memic ALS ?
Hi Pete. Have you spoken with your prescribing doctor about your desire to stop taking Ambien? Do you know what to expect during withdrawal and detox? And do you have a back up plan for how to get healthy sleep?
Furthermore, it actually seems irresponsible that your doctor has knowingly allowed you to continue with an Ambien prescription, given that it is recommended for short term only (4 weeks or less).
During the first few days after taking Ambien, a person usually feels sleepy and uncoordinated. With continuing use, the body becomes accustomed to these effects, and they lessen. This is known as tolerance, which means that larger doses are needed to achieve the same initial effects.
Im concerned as well. I started taking ambien about 8-9 months ago. While it helps me sleep and my moods (idk how but it does) im still a little worried. Im 23 and cant remember…alot of things or conversations, sex, even stuff I routinly do are almost forgotten daily I.e: grabbin my keys,fone,cigs,lighter,purse,money,debit card…like everything I know i’d need. I had a conversation with my dad a few weeks ago and while we were talking, he handed me money which I asked for and put it in my pocket. Not even a min afterwards I asked him for money and he laughed at me. Confused, I asked why. He said I already asked and he already gave it to me. It may have been funny but inside I know something is wrong. Ive never been so blah in the head. If u ask me what I did yesterday…i wouldnt b able to remember maybe 1 thing and the rest is completly erased. Ex. Me and my bf were in the car and he asked where did we spend so and so money at..and I couldnt even remember 1 place we went to. I feel helpless. I know it probably causes frustration to everyone, myself,loved ones, boss’s and co-workers.Depression seems to b getting worse and unfortunay I think I may be turning into a paranoid skitzo. Once again …i havent been so blah in my entire life. Idk if ambien is at any fault but I need some insight?
Hi Sharee. I hear your concern for your husband. It’s possible that your husband is PHYSICALLY DEPENDENT on Ambien, but that’s different than addiction. Addiction is characterised by continued use of a drug despite negative consequences, cravings, compulsive use and obsessive thinking (to name a few signs). Have you shared these concerns with him or his doctor?
I took ambien for about 5 years, but when my MD added mirtazapine I found I no longer needed the ambien. After taking the mirtazapine for a few years (along with Zoloft & Valium) I began to have adverse reactions to the mirtazapine, ie: my right eye would close within half an hour after taking it. So they lowered the mirtazapine, which does help me sleep & put me on 5 mg of ambien. Fine for a while, but lay I am so tired & sleepy during the day, even after 9,10,11 hours of sleep, I’m thinking it must be the ambien. Any advice?
HI, I have had MANY problems from ambien, but have found it almost impossible to stop taking.
I’d suggest that you talk with a professional addiction counselor, and go to Al-Anon meetings to get started. You can set up a plan for yourself and decide what you can live with, and what you cannot. Using outside resources for help is an objective way to get another perspective and not have to carry the load all by yourself. You are not alone!
Hi Monin Garcia. Have you spoken with your doctors about these symptoms? Ambien is meant for short term use, so there may be another way that you can manage sleeping problems. I’d suggest that you seek medical help, and ask for alternative therapies for getting and staying to sleep. It is possible that diet, exercise, meditation and a balanced routine can support you as you seek help with sleep.
Zolpidem, the main active ingredient in Ambien, can cause side effects, but should not be taken if you have a history of kidney or liver disease. Call your doctor to report this unusual problem while you are taking Ambien.
Thank you Addiction Blog for all of the helpful information!
General long term effects of taking Ambien can include worsened insomnia and slowing brain activity. What does your prescribing doctor notice in terms of your general health change as a result of taking Ambien. And have you considered looking for alternatives to Ambien or asking for advice from the National Sleep Foundation or The American Sleep Association? It is possible that there IS another therapy that can work for you.
I have been taking Ambien for several years. I have tried slowly removing Ambien from my nightly ritual, but find I canâ€t sleep without it. I even bought natural pills and I’m convince that they did not worked, I have been doing strange things after taking ambien and supposedly asleep, for example, cooking food without remembering it, and one day during the morning hours I did not know if it was morning, night, could”t remember were I was, it was scary…
it seems like i can barely think at all after the years i’ve been taking this drug. and would LOVE LOVE LOVE to stop taking it. i have been in training at work for two weeks and find that i can barely learn anything now. plus depression seems to be coming on lay.. probaby from feeling like a vegetable from this nightly ritual.
Hi Lisa. Thanks for your question. I have checked the adverse reactions for Ambien CR on the FDA approved drug label for Ambien CR. There are no reported cases of kidney problems associated with taking zolpidem. http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/archives/fdaDrugInfo.cfm?archiveid=5875 Does this help?
NO sweating / Low pulse / throat pain / abdominal pain. /unable to eat meals without pain. Have had every test in the book.
I have been taking ambien off and on for about 4 years. Am I addicted?? I am having intestinal issues but don’t know if its realated. And I have bad vision now, and can’t keep my train of thought. Is this from long term use…or just getting old??
While I don’t condone mixing alcohol with prescription drugs, Lou’s post should be yet another indication that ambien is not harmless. Lou’s post highlights the difficulty of getting off this drug that is so often deemed ‘safe’ and non-addictive.
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After reading all the comments, I wanted to share with the group a good way to get off ambein. I have been off and on Ambein for many years. When I want to get off it, I take one or two Benedryl pills (over the counter allergy medicine) with one glass of wine. This actually works to get me to sleep, even after 1-3 weeks of taking ambien. Try to first reduce your ambein from 10mg to 5mg and then to 3,,, over the course of the week, then try the Benedryl.. trust me it works. IF you dont want to ween off, you can just take 2 benedryl’s ans 2-3 glasses of wine,,expect to feel Hungover/very drowsrey the next day, but after one to two days of this,, you will be able to sleep without anything. This is the only safe drug/way I have found to break the ambein habit,, unless you want to go 2-3 nights without sleep.The trick is to make sure you get up early, 630am,, this will help you fall asleep at night. God Bless Lou.
Hi Lori. Thanks for sharing about your husband and how his experiences with Ambien affect you both. I would agree with you: it sounds like your husband has a problem with Ambien. But here is the truth. You cannot fix him or his problem. But you can get help for yourself, and confront him about his Ambien use.
Hi Jody. You should speak with your doctor (or get a new one) about tapering your Ambien and finding a replacement. You MUST detox from Ambien with medical supervision, and never cold turkey.
I am concerned about my husband’s use of ambien. I had heard that it can create some long term effects like depression, feeling of hopelessness, stuff like that. I am concerned about this and possible addiction.
Hi Robert. I feel for you! It can seem like a never ending cycle of needing Ambien to sleep, but not feeling rested as a result.
I have not had any of the side effects. IN fact I was taking a sleep aide from a health food store that made me dizzy and gave me vertigo. However this is super scary. I have PTSD and am going through something unbelievable and horrifying. Ambien is the only thing that has helped me sleep so far. I have been on it maybe a month. But the one thing it definatley has done and it is a clear difference is it makes me heat sick. I live in NYC with constant heat waves so I have been heat sick a lot. But the alternative is not to sleep!
Central nervous system depressants should not be combined with any medication or substance that causes drowsiness, including prescription pain meds, cold and allergy medications, or alcohol. If combined, they can slow both the heart and respiration, which can lead to death. The main side effects of taking Ambien are:
Saturday October 18th 2014.
I’m a totally different person now. My once happy disposition is no more, my peace of mind no longer exists, I’m just trying to survive. I ‘m trying to keep my head above water even though I just want to drown. I feel so alone. My mind does not retain much anymore, I have difficulties understanding simple instructions its like my brain is slowing down.
Hi Sera. I’d suggest that you schedule an appointment with your prescribing doctor and review how Ambien is working for you (or not), and the side effects that you describe, as well as alternatives. Make a list of all the symptoms that you can think about and be prepared for the appointment. Also, outline your concerns and how you WANT to feel. Then, present this information to your doctor and write down some other alternatives and look them up on the internet. Does this help?