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Old 07-11-2005, 04:31 PM   #1
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Help with Ambien Withdrawal

I'm on day 4 now of Ambien withdrawal. I was on it for 4 wks. 1/2 of that time I was taking 2 x 10 mg/night and then on the last night 4 (or maybe 5... I was loopy) x 10 mg.

The first time I went through this, the withdrawal consisted of 2 nights of no sleep and then fine. This time, longer use and more pills, I'm on day 4 of no sleep, feeling alternately profoundly depressed and really anxious, haven't left the house since Friday, a little nauseated (have hardly eaten). I'm going through a lot of stress right now and developing a phobia, so maybe this is just me without drugs?

Anyway, the only withdrawal symptoms I can find on drug sites are restlessness, "discomfort" (whatever that means) and insomnia. And then a whole lot on benzo withdrawal. Has anyone had the depression and/or nausea? Does anyone know how long this lasts???

I keep going through phases of deciding to take a tiny amt of ativan. I know that's a really bad idea.

 
Old 07-11-2005, 05:47 PM   #2
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Re: Help with Ambien Withdrawal

I thought I was withdrawing from ativan after only 8 days, but today I consulted with 3 pharmacists and they all told me I was withdrawing from ambien. I was on it for 45 days straight. 10mg/night.
My head is tingling, constant nausea, and muscle weakness. I've already went down one size because I'm too sick to eat. I drink lots of water and gatorade to keep from getting hydrated. The steam from the shower helps the tingling. I have only been off of ambien for 14 days. I thought I should be feeling better, and some days I do, but the sinus irritations and tingling are very annoying. I stopped c/t. Pharmacist said I should have tapered. But I was doing some crazy stuff on ambien, like getting out of bed to leave the house, having sex with my husband (who I don't even like) and not even remembering it. (scary)
Hang in there. My pharmacist who I really trust said the only thing that will help will be more ambien or time. I vote for sticking it out.

 
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Old 07-12-2005, 10:08 PM   #3
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Re: Help with Ambien Withdrawal

Thanks for your input, I'm doing better today, still weepy/panicky and exhausted, but better than yesterday. Actually left the house today and showed my face at work. Yesterday was by far the worst, ate nothing, sobbed all day. Today I actually ate a little. Slept last night for the first time, and without the crazy dreams. And no ativan.

Hope you are feeling better, too.

 
Old 07-13-2005, 01:46 PM   #4
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Re: Help with Ambien Withdrawal

My withdrawal symptoms are mostly nausea without vomiting and feeling a LITTLE tired. Both of these symptoms lasted about 4 days.

What I usually do is to drink plenty of water to "flush" it out, which I still do drink plenty of water but I'm not taking narcotics or any "drugs" anymore.

Last edited by Vanguard; 07-13-2005 at 01:46 PM.

 
Old 07-13-2005, 02:20 PM   #5
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Re: Help with Ambien Withdrawal

Please be very careful with Ambien!!! Let me share my experience.

I took Ambien for several months and thought it was a wonder drug. Pow- sleep.

Then after being off for a while, I took a 10 mg. pill. I didn't sleep so I took another 10 mg pill. The last thing I remember, I saw fog coming into the bedroom toward me and taking the shape of people. I woke my husband. The next thing I remember it is morning and I am in the emergency room.

My husband called my best friend and they sat with me for hours waiting for it to wear off. They said I was quite the chatterbox. I thought I was getting ready to go to a picnic and make a lot of sandwiches. I have no memory of any of this!!!! I was taken to the emergency room and the doctor there said that Ambien was really just a street drug that somehow got FDA approval and she would never prescribe it to her patients.

As I said, it worked great at first. Now I am terrified of it!!!

Just a word to the wise. If you'd like to know more, I will be happy to share.

Peace -
walkersma

 
Old 07-13-2005, 04:09 PM   #6
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Re: Help with Ambien Withdrawal

I read on a post somewhere that Ambien is similar to one of the date-rape drugs, don't know if that's true but it doesn't seem far off.

I'm pretty scared of it now, since recently I stayed up on it and then woke up to find I'd cut my feet up with a swiss army knife, really, truly, I hate pain and not a self-mutilator (sp?) at all, that totally terrified me. I have a job where I'm on my feet all day too so far days I was tiptoeing around trying to keep the bandaids from falling off.

I think now that the anxiety and depression are from a drug I'm taking to prevent migraines, metoprolol, that was being masked by the ambien's sort of benzo-like effects. I've called my doctor about getting off the metoprolol since it isn't working for the migraines anyway. I started taking that shortly before the latest ambien binge.

Feeling better today, eating pretzels and drinking lots of water, didn't sleep well last night but slept well the night before so that made up for the first few days.

 
Old 07-14-2005, 08:41 PM   #7
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Re: Help with Ambien Withdrawal

How are you doing with the withdrawals? I am just a little concerned due to my terrible experience with them. Please post and let us know!

Also, have you tried a mild benzo for sleep? You may have already mentioned this, if so, I'm sorry for repeating!

walkersma

 
Old 07-15-2005, 11:54 PM   #8
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Re: Help with Ambien Withdrawal

I'm nearly done I think... today is 1 week. I'm sleeping again and finally eating something other than pretzels, too, as of yesterday. Anxiety is quieting down a bit, partly because the ambien is getting out of my system and partly because I'm trying to be really proactive about the things in my life that are causing me anxiety. I'm channeling the residual back into work. The severe depression seems to be lifting too, I've gotten past the not leaving the house, lying on the floor weeping thing.

I didn't ever go the benzo route because although it's not the same chemical it affects the same receptors and I kept reading conflicting info on the internet (big surprise!) about whether or not one would make the addiction to the other worse. I was so tempted, not even so much for sleep, but to lift that black cloud that was following me around. I was too scared even to take something like Tylenol PM, that it would prolong the suffering. Plus I was having really vivid, intense dreams and nightmares the first few nights (for that hour or so I would drift off at 7 am), which apparently is typical also with benzo withdrawal, and that definitely didn't help w/ sleeping, I was concerned that taking another sleep drug would just put that off, too. (I'd read that your body is starved of REM sleep when you take ambien or benzos and that when you go off of it, your body tries to catch up on REM, hence the disturbing dreams). I just wanted to get out and get through it, but I swear if I hadn't have found this message board I wouldn't have made it. Just reading posts from all of you who are detoxing from something made me feel not alone (since I went through it without telling anyone), and that I'd done it before w/ hydro, I could do it again.

Thank you!!!

 
Old 07-16-2005, 06:45 PM   #9
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Re: Help with Ambien Withdrawal

Quote:
Originally Posted by walkersma

My husband called my best friend and they sat with me for hours waiting for it to wear off. They said I was quite the chatterbox. I thought I was getting ready to go to a picnic and make a lot of sandwiches. I have no memory of any of this!!!!
Peace -
walkersma

When I tell people that Ambien has an initial euphoric effect on me, they don't believe me. I don't blame them, Ambien is a sleeping agent.

I know that there's a guardian angel watching over me....One night after taking 40 mg of Ambien (that's right 4-0), I thought about cooking some sausages (I ALWAYS get the munchies whenever I take them). Used George Foreman grill, fell asleep and woke up in the middle of the night with the sausages still grilling. S O M E O N E woke me up to save me...and my apartment. Scary stuff Ambien can do.

 
Old 07-23-2005, 01:13 AM   #10
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Re: Help with Ambien Withdrawal

Quote:
Originally Posted by adp831
I thought I was withdrawing from ativan after only 8 days, but today I consulted with 3 pharmacists and they all told me I was withdrawing from ambien. I was on it for 45 days straight. 10mg/night.
My head is tingling, constant nausea, and muscle weakness. I've already went down one size because I'm too sick to eat. I drink lots of water and gatorade to keep from getting hydrated. The steam from the shower helps the tingling. I have only been off of ambien for 14 days. I thought I should be feeling better, and some days I do, but the sinus irritations and tingling are very annoying. I stopped c/t. Pharmacist said I should have tapered. But I was doing some crazy stuff on ambien, like getting out of bed to leave the house, having sex with my husband (who I don't even like) and not even remembering it. (scary)
Hang in there. My pharmacist who I really trust said the only thing that will help will be more ambien or time. I vote for sticking it out.


Your reply I can really relate with. I am 21 and have been taking ambien for abour 6 months. Never more than 2 10mg pil a night, however I have become addicted. When I first starting taking I seen lots of crazy stuff like dead people ( of course not real)!!! I now take the pill around 11pm and go to bed around 2 0r 3 am. I like the way it makes me fill, like you, I have lots of sex with my hubsband (except I do like mine) usally I don't remeber much of it the next morning. I also shop alot on ambien, Using my labtop I purchase stuff I do not really want or need. When I am on ambien I fill almost drunk, very loose and relaxed and worry free which I believe is why I have become addicated along with the fact that if I did not take it I would never sleep or at least I have the fear that I would not sleep. One night I went out of town and forgot my pills, I was up all night rocking in my bed, restless and felt horiable anxiety. I would like to get off the pills becouse the next day (even after 8-10 hours of sleep) I fill tired all day and have memory loss, also becouse I do not want to relly on these for ever. Does anyone know of an "easy way to beat the addiction. SOmething maybe natural to help deal with the withdraw systoms.... I would be forever greatful for your input. Thank you

 
Old 07-23-2005, 01:21 AM   #11
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Re: Help with Ambien Withdrawal

Wierd things happened to me as well. The first few times I took ambien I was watching my babies video monitior and the image turned into a old lady laying in a hospital bed, I woke my husband up and said there was interferance and that we were pciking up images from the hospital down the road. I actually believed this!!! Also when I layed in the dark and would start at any lights I would start to see people image and once the light on the tv yurned into a horse with cariage that went down the wall and was coming towards my bed, I actually got scared and started crying (st this point I sort of know this was just the ambien but still scarry) Sorry to ramble, but I thought you experiances are similar to mine. I am still taking ambien but I do not have the side effects nearly as bad as when I first started,

 
Old 07-30-2005, 05:48 PM   #12
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Re: Help with Ambien Withdrawal

Hey there, back again after a few weeks w/ no internet access. Have fallen off the wagon 4 times. Took ambien 2 nights in a row and am now paying for it. Just to document this, I'd been off for weeks and then two nights in a row and although I did (eventually) sleep last night, had nightmares and the depression and anxiety are back.

To foothill999, I had to just cold turkey it. I hadn't been taking it as long as you have, though. I wanted so bad to take a little ativan to take the edge off while I was withdrawing, but I'm glad I didn't. I recommend taking some time off if you can, I know I couldn't leave the house for a few days.

I had all the same symptoms as you do during the day, with the added bonus of becoming increasingly irritable toward the end of the day. I would count the hours until I could take pills again and feel that bliss. I knew I had to get off them but I kept putting it off. Once they were out of my system and I started feeling better, I felt so much better not taking them. (Of course I blew that). I am in such constant back/neck pain that's why I started taking them, it's so hard to fall asleep. But gradually I began to be able to sleep again on my own.

Anyway, if you decide to stop and can talk to a doctor I highly recommend that. If not, I had insomnia, restlessness, anxiety, depression, nausea that lasted a little over a week. For me the anxiety and depression were the worst part, but if you know it's from the drugs and that you'll get through it, it helps.

 
Old 07-30-2005, 06:13 PM   #13
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Re: Help with Ambien Withdrawal

OMG!!! I just now saw this thread.

I had horrible horrible withdrawals from benzodiazapines!!!

I also hallucinated, kept seeing a little boy and an old person (what is it about old people??).

I had complete memory loss of about two weeks. I remember NOTHING. People would try and remind me of things I did and I told them "I don't need to feel any more shame then I do already, don't tell me.".

Yes, I too was presribed this medication. First Ambien, then xanax, then ativan. They are all benzo's just have different half lives and some are faster acting then others (for instance ambien is FAST).

As I was going through this I suddenly "came to". I had been in a black out for several days but all of a sudden something gave me a moment of clarity and I was like "WHOA! I gotta get off this ####!"

I went CT and it was horrible. HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE. It was far worse then withdrawaling off of alcohol or any of the other drugs I took that I wasn't prescribed. It made opiates/hydro etc a breeze.

I am now about 10 weeks out. I have no problem quitting stuff once I put my mind to it. I quit everything else over eleven years ago. I was on THESE medication by doctor's order. When I went off of them along with going off of lamictal and effexor at the same time, my doctor "fired" me for not following his treatment protocol...can you imagine????

The pharmacist who ended up assisting me in my detox told me I was DANG lucky to be alive! He was horrified at the medications I was on, how long I was on them and the dosages being prescribed.

Increased anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, nightmares, Fears of going mad, increased depression, breathless feeling, aggression, flu like, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, distorted vision, dizziness, shaking, tight chest, ringing in the ears, headaches, rubbery legs, extremely sore eyes, pain in the neck and shoulders, agoraphobia, hallucinations, creeping sensation in the skin, increased sensitivity to light, sound, touch, and smell, feelings of rage, tight throat, horrible skin rash especially on face, stomach, pain hyperactivity, confusion, profuse sweating, palpatations, chest pain, loss of taste, metallic taste, fishy taste in mouth, sinus problems, heavy, aching limbs, blurred vision, feelings of electricity all over, feelings of being *****ed with tiny needles, very severe tics, tingling around mouth, hands, and feet.

Those are just a few of the things I felt.....OH MY GOSH!!!!

Last edited by Constant; 07-30-2005 at 06:16 PM.

 
Old 07-31-2005, 03:47 AM   #14
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Re: Help with Ambien Withdrawal

Boy what happened to my determination a few weeks ago! As I was withdrawing from Ambien and feeling nearly suicidal, I realized the beta-blocker I was taking to prevent migraines (which wasn't working) was making me depressed. So I started going off it too, while getting off the Ambien (I'm a genius, I know). Then last week I took 2 ambien on non-consecutive nights, then 2 days in a row and now back to withdrawing (though not as bad). So I have anxiety and depression from the Ambien and anxiety and heart palpitations from the beta-blocker withdrawal, freaking out about my life and the spiders in my house, so I took a huge dose of ativan.

And now I have Mick Jagger singing "Mother's Little Helper" running through my mind.

 
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