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    Old 09-22-2005, 08:49 AM   #1
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    ambien help

    I have been taking ambien for some time, but every night for 1 1/2 years. I was only taking 2.5 to 5 mg for most of the time but for the last few months I have been taking 10 mg. Now I CAN't sleep and I am exhausted to the point where yesterday I had extreme vertigo in the evening. I know I need to wean myself off of this. I tried taking 1/2 of a lorazepam yesterday afternoon and I actually did sleep in the evening for a couple of hours - but I woke up and finally took 5 mg of ambien at 2 in the morning and still never slept after that. I think the ambien is now causing the insomnia. Any ideas on how to get some sleep as I wean off this. I am afraid I will just collapse with exhaustion.

    Last edited by redjb7; 09-22-2005 at 08:50 AM.

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    Old 09-22-2005, 03:59 PM   #2
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    Re: ambien help

    I'm going through the same thing. I haven't slept in weeks and can't sleep without the ambien. I feel so anxious now. I am going to a homeopathic doctor tomorrow to see i he can help. Good luck.

    Old 09-22-2005, 05:31 PM   #3
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    Re: ambien help

    I had a similar experience with Ambien.......just never really seemed to help me much. My doctor just recently switched me to Ativan 1mg. I take one tablet just before going to bed and I have been sleeping great. In fact I had to start setting my alarm again. I have been taking them for about a week now and have really been feeling good. No side effects, just really good sleep.

    Old 09-22-2005, 08:27 PM   #4
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    Re: ambien help

    I can appreciate all of the problems addressed here. Please listen carefully - Ambien, Xanax and other benzos are extremely physically addictive. If you can wean yourself off of them, by all means do so. But this is not easy. There is also a risk of seizure by weaning yourself off of an addiction. Please talk to your psychiatrist and an addiction psychiatrist. It can be made easier with drugs like Depakote (an anti-seizure medication).

    See if you can relate:
    2 years ago, I became very very physically sick. The cause was severe acid reflux, which was not diagnosed or treated (despite many attempts). My family interpreted the symptoms as indicators of mental illness and sent me to a psychiatrist, you presribed Xanax to relieve the "anxiety". At no time, did I ever take more than 3 mg of Xanax a day. I took 1 mg, 3 times per day. Within 1 month, I developed chronic heart palpitations whenever the Xanax was wearing off. I never craved the Xanax, but I felt like my body would implode if I didn't take the next dose. I thought I would die. I tried to wean myself off of it, but after 1 month, I was completely unsuccessful. I wanted nothing more than to get rid of this incredibly addictive drug. However, I had to wait until the primary illness was properly diagnosed an treated. 3 months later, I had my diagnosis and a regimen of Nexium completely fixed the original symptoms. However, I was still on the Xanax and still having horrible heart palpitations. (I could hear the sound of my heart beating like a very loud drum in my ears). It was sheer hell.

    I informed the xanax presribing psychiatrist that I couldn't wean myself off the Xanax. He was "baffled" because my dose was so low. The next day I checked myself into a local detox center, where the typical benzo patient was taking 15 mg a day of Xanax. They put me on Depakote, which relieved 90% of the pain of withdrawl. However I was not the typical detox patient, as I didn't have a mental craving for the drug. I never wanted to see another pill again. I was discharged from this center 2 days later, because I did not meet the criteria for inpatient admission (I wasn't sick enough and I didn't bother to lie). Instead, I detoxed the rest of the week at my own house. It wasn't that bad. I was a little nauseous (like a mild flu, really not so bad), and I only threw up once after eating some bad fettucine. I felt like myself within 2 weeks and I was back to normal at 4 weeks.

    Anyway, in my 2 days at the detox center, I met a lot of people who were in for abuse of benzos and they couldn't sleep either. You are not alone. But you must seek treatment from an addiction specialist. My psychiatrist had no idea that Depakote could get me off the Xanax that fast.

    I still have acid reflux, which is still being treated successfully with Nexium. I have not even craved a Xanax or Ambien since the detox.

    Old 09-23-2005, 11:36 AM   #5
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    Re: ambien help

    I agree to the last post. STAY AWAY FROM AMBIEN AND BENZOS!!!! Ask for another solution. I got addicted to both ambien and klonopin but I think ambien more. When I tried to ween off both I am now having severe anxiety. I was only taking a quarter of .5 of the klonopin and maybe 2.5mg of the ambien and it only took 2 weeks for me to get addicted. Now I cant sleep without it. I am trying to decrease the doses to get off but it has been extremely difficult. The homepathic doctor I went to today said he can help so i'm just praying it does.

    Old 09-23-2005, 01:14 PM   #6
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    Re: ambien help

    benzos are addictive for a few and then its mostly a psychological addiction
    benzo sleeping pills are useful for short periods only as they all eventually lose theirt effectiveness
    Life is not a dress rehearsal

    Old 09-26-2005, 10:10 PM   #7
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    Re: ambien help

    Prescribing guidelines for ambien (Zolpidem) note that it should only be used for a few days then stopped for 24 hours as a "drug holiday." This allows the body to "wash out" tolerance of the compound. It should not be taken every single night. That is why patients often experience waning effects. Ambien is a great drug if taken per the guidelines.

    Old 10-16-2005, 01:49 PM   #8
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    Re: ambien help

    I'm going to have to disagree with that. The problem with Ambien is that once you take the drug, you have no control. You might go right to bed after taking it, but once it kicks in there's really no telling what you'll do. For instance, the last time I took Ambien I got out of my bed some time during the night, and when I woke up in the morning I found myself wrapped in sarongs. Head to toe--it must have been six sarongs. I can think of no rational explanation for the sarongs. Additionally, I have had many long, strange conversations after taking Ambien, both in person and on AIM. I once talked with a guy I know for almost two hours about our horoscopes, and I told another friend that I never wanted to speak to him again. My AIM automatically saves all conversations, and going back over them now, I have no memory of saying any of the things that I said. I should think that we should be wary of any narcotic that causes us to lose all control over what we do.

    Last edited by Hkatherine; 10-16-2005 at 01:52 PM.

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