General Question

quasi's avatar

Should I be worried about taking Ambien?

Asked by quasi (782points) July 6th, 2009

I’ve read the horror stories, the weird side effects, the withdrawl, etc. But it helps me sleep, and that is golden.

I’ve come up with a routine of taking a full pill one night, half a pill the next night, and no pill the third night, then I repeat. Obviously, I sleep the best on the night I take the whole pill, and I haven’t had anything weird happen yet.. I’ve been going on like this for a month.

Any personal experiences with the drug here?

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22 Answers

sandystrachan's avatar

For a month already and no side effects , that means only 2 weeks left before they start
I jest , not everyone gets the side effect you may be a lucky one .

Dog's avatar

As @sandystrachan says not everyone gets the symptoms. However it becomes addictive and if used daily I found it would lose it’s effectiveness.

For me the answer is to up my exercise and only take 1/2 tablet once or twice a week. ( before upping my exercise I needed it nightly or I could not sleep at all)

calvinette's avatar

Just as long as you go immediately to bed after taking it. Do not take a bath, do not make a cup of tea, do not sit down in front of the TV, do not make a phone call or start making your grocery list. My mother-in-law found this out the hard way—scared dad half to death when he found her next to the tub.

The only concern her doctor has is it can become addictive. She said, I’m too old to care about that. If I need it, I need it.

SirBailey's avatar

I wouldn’t take it.

marinelife's avatar

The makers of Ambien say that its use can become addictive. That means in the long run you will be facing worse sleep problems.

Are you sure it is worth the risk of these possible side effects?

“Central and peripheral nervous system: Frequent: ataxia, confusion, euphoria, headache, insomnia, vertigo. Infrequent: agitation, anxiety, decreased cognition, detached, difficulty concentrating, dysarthria, emotional lability, hallucination, hypoesthesia, illusion, leg cramps, migraine, nervousness, paresthesia, sleeping (after daytime dosing), speech disorder, stupor, tremor. Rare: abnormal gait, abnormal thinking, aggressive reaction, apathy, appetite increased, decreased libido, delusion, dementia, depersonalization, dysphasia, feeling strange, hypokinesia, hypotonia, hysteria, intoxicated feeling, manic reaction, neuralgia, neuritis, neuropathy, neurosis, panic attacks, paresis, personality disorder, somnambulism, suicide attempts, tetany, yawning.”


Have you tried other ways of improving your sleep? Have you seen a sleep specialist? Most Americans have too much light in their bedrooms. That impacts deep sleep. There are lots of less drastic things that you can do.

Shegrin's avatar

I hate pills, but when I asked my doctor to help, she gave ma a ‘scrip for Ambien and told me to take it every night for TWO WEEKS, just to reset my body clock. It worked, but just in case, she also gave me a homeopathic med called Neurexan. It’s sublingual and it “quiets the mind” so you can go to sleep. I prefer the Neurexan, but Ambien gets you started in the right direction if used as directed.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Talk to your doctor, that’s the best advice. No disrespect intended, but I doubt very many people on here have medical degrees or practice as physicians for a living. If all else fails, call a nurse or a pharmacist, someone who is familiar with the effects of drugs. Hearsay is pointless when it comes to your health.

Darwin's avatar

My son was put on Ambien for a while but he would stagger around the house moaning that he had been drugged so we stopped it.

If you haven’t had any side effects up until now you are probably one of those people who can take it without problems. However, rather than relying on Ambien every night, I suggest you talk to your doctor about a sleep study and about other ways to be able to sleep naturally.

seventeen123's avatar

My mom used to take it. She was always fine. As long as you really do go to bed right away. Ha one time I didn’t know what it was & some kid offered I took it & i was tripping soooo bad! not a good experience lol. otherwise you should probably be ok! i would check with a doctor..

Darwin's avatar

@seventeen123 – You take random pills that people hand you? Do you want to live to be eighteen123?

seventeen123's avatar

haha thats funny.
lol i dont do that anymore! when i was like a freshman in high school & its what all the kids did so i didn’t care back then.
i would never do that now.

Darwin's avatar

Good! Glad to hear it.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

If you think it’s going to do you any good, then I would recommend worrying about every-damn-thing. Personally, I’ve never seen the return on that investment, so I don’t worry about much of anything.

mass_pike4's avatar

As mentioned, it is best to take right before bed. Do not take it and then plan on staying up later because that is when all the side effects take place. It can cause you to hallucinate and it is kind of scary. Do not try to fight off the tiredness. I have learned the hard way. I can certainly see how these can be addictive

seventeen123's avatar

Shouldn’t be a problem as long as you go to sleep right after taking Ambien.

Draconess25's avatar

Well, this isn’t my place since I haven’t taken it, but….I don’t believe in taking any artificial drugs. Its not natural (well, that was reduntant), & it shouldn’t be in your body. It disrupts the natural order of thngs….You could try jasmine or chamomile (SP?) tea, or maybe peppermint….

Coloma's avatar

No pills here…hot tub. Works every time.

Theby's avatar

I took Ambien for seven years. Towards the end of that seven years I started doing strange things that I could not remember the next day. I have woken up with an empty ice cream carton beside me. This was really worrying since I actually went to the shop across the road to buy the ice cream whilst in this anoetic state. I asked the shop assistants the next day about it and they said I acted normally. On another occasion I awoke holding a glass full of cereal and water with a spoon in it.Anyway, I stopped taking the Ambien. It took about two weeks to get into a normal sleep pattern again. I would not recommend Ambien.

GrumpyGram's avatar

I hated it and would Never take it again. Never. Highly addictive for me and quite rapidly so. One week with Ambien and I could Not sleep without it, period. Then I couldn’t sleep unless I took an entire pill. It was BAD.

GrumpyGram's avatar

@Draconess25 I couldn’t agree more with you. I can only wish that you’ll feel like this in twenty or thirty years when sleep doesn’t just happen like it does for you now. It’s a luxury but you don’t know it yet.

Draconess25's avatar

@GrumpyGram If the world doesn’t end in 2012.

jazmina88's avatar

I tried a half and felt awake but not and can see how people would walk around on the stuff. I did not have the deep sleep like i normally do.

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