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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » anybody have to stop ambien??

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Author Topic: anybody have to stop ambien??
randibear
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my dr. gave me ambien and i took it for three days. i felt terrible the next day and the headache wouldn't go away.

i was jittery and nervous after taking it and my heart would race.

i was taking elavil and didn't have any side effects so i'm going back on that.

thank heavens i didn't pay for the ambien because i'm going to stop taking it.

i'm starting flagyl soon with the levaquin and don't want to just make it worse.

anybody else have bad effects with ambien and have to stop?

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

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Vermont_Lymie
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Yes, ambien makes me feel horrible, in the ways that you describe.

In fact, I do not sleep very long with it, and usually get less sleep if I use it!

I do much better with chamomile tea, a little valerian, a calcium supplement, and if I need the big guns to sleep, an advil.

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Keebler
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-

There have been some very serious reactions to Ambien in even "normal" people w/o chronic health concerns. VERY serious.

Some people do tend to do okay, but many more don't. It appears your body is one that doesn't not do well with it. I would even give it another try.

-

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Keebler
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-

www.nytimes.com/2007/03/15/business/15drug.ready.html

EXCERPT:

The review was prompted, in part, by queries to the agency from The New York Times last year, (after)

after some users of the most widely prescribed drug, Ambien, started complaining online and to their doctors about unusual reactions ranging (from)

from fairly benign sleepwalking episodes to hallucinations, violent outbursts, nocturnal binge eating and -- most troubling of all -- driving while asleep.

--------------------------

F.D.A. WARNS OF SLEEPING PILLS' STRANGE EFFECTS

Ambien and Lunesta are among the 13 sleep medications that the F.D.A. has ordered to use strong new label warnings.

By STEPHANIE SAUL March 15, 2007

The most widely prescribed sleeping pills can cause strange behavior like driving and eating while asleep, the Food and Drug Administration said yesterday, announcing that strong new warnings will be placed on the labels of 13 drugs.

The agency also ordered the makers of the well-known drugs Ambien and Lunesta and the producers of 11 other commonly used sleeping pills to create patient fliers explaining how to use them safely.

The fliers, which the agency says it requires when it sees a significant public health concern, will be handed out at pharmacies when consumers fill their prescriptions.
Although the agency says that problems with the drugs are rare, reports of the unusual side effects have grown as use of sleeping pills has increased.


Sales in the United States of Ambien and Lunesta alone last year exceeded $3 billion. Use of those medications and other similar drugs has soared by more than 60 percent since 2000,

fueled by television, print and other advertising. Last year, makers of sleeping pills spent more than $600 million on advertising aimed at consumers.


The review was prompted, in part, by queries to the agency from The New York Times last year, after some users of the most widely prescribed drug, Ambien, started complaining online and to their doctors about

unusual reactions ranging from fairly benign sleepwalking episodes to hallucinations, violent outbursts, nocturnal binge eating and -- most troubling of all -- driving while asleep.


Night eaters said they woke up to find Tostitos and Snickers wrappers in their beds, missing food, kitchen counters overflowing with flour from baking sprees, and even lighted stoves.

Sleep-drivers reported frightening episodes in which they recalled going to bed, but woke up to find they had been arrested roadside in their underwear or nightclothes. The agency said that it was not aware of any deaths caused by sleep-driving.


The reports gained credence from scientific studies. A forensic toxicologist in Wisconsin, Laura J. Liddicoat, gave a presentation at a national meeting on six instances of Ambien-impaired driving.

And Dr. Carlos H. Schenck and Dr. Mark W. Mahowald of the University of Minnesota said that they had been studying cases of nearly 30 Ambien users who developed unusual nighttime eating disorders.


Last May in Washington, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, Democrat of Rhode Island, blamed Ambien when he crashed his car near the Capitol building.

The agency also received reports of people making phone calls, purchasing items over the Internet, or having sex under the influence of sleep medication.

In each case the consumers had no recollection of the events, which they said had occurred after they took their pills and headed for bed.

An agency official said yesterday that the activities associated with the drugs went beyond mere sleepwalking.
"We do believe that sleepwalking is different from these behaviors," said Dr. Russell Katz, the F.D.A.'s director for neurology products. "Sleepwalking is considered more of a reflex.

These behaviors are complex and they're different fundamentally because of the complexity. People get up, they take their car keys and they go drive. As you might imagine, that might be potentially dangerous to the patient and others as well."


Dr. Katz said that it was not entirely clear whether people reporting the problems had been technically asleep or awake.


Although Dr. Katz said the side effects were rare, the agency said that the few dozen reports it had received probably did not represent the full extent of the problem.


Drinking alcohol before or after taking the drugs appears to increase the chances of having such a reaction, Dr. Katz said.

A defense lawyer in Atlanta who specializes in impaired-driving cases, William C. Head, said he had received calls from people around the world who had been charged after using such medications.

"Ninety percent of these cases involve alcohol as well," Mr. Head said. Often, though, the people arrested had only a glass of wine or two, then took a sleeping pill, he said.

"You can't even keep your car on the road," Mr. Head said. "I think any warnings that they give, any advertisements should say not a drop of alcohol."


The medication guides that the agency has called for will clearly explain that risk, according to Dr. Katz, who said the drug makers must submit drafts by May.

He said the drug makers had been working with the F.D.A. on the wording since the agency notified the companies three months ago that the changes would occur.


Besides warning against alcohol use, the new labels and guides will tell consumers that they should not take the pills with other drugs that suppress the nervous system.

The warnings labels will include some general language required by the agency, along with language that the companies will be required to draft that describes the side effects of their specific drugs.

The drugs affected include newer products as well as older and widely used ones that are sold under brand names and generic names.

Most of the drugs already carry statements warning against alcohol use and of the risk of hallucinations. Advertising for the drugs has also included such warnings.

But the labels will make those statements more prominent, and the medication inserts will emphasize the risks when the consumer gets the prescription filled.


The warnings also are to include information about an unrelated and rare risk of life-threatening allergic reactions with sleep medications.

Some patients have recently reported such reactions, in which the air passages or face swells up, after using one of the newest drugs in the group, Rozerem, Dr. Katz said.

After reviewing reports, the agency determined that those reactions were also a potential side effect with other drugs in the group, he said.

Although most of the reports of sleep-driving and sleep-eating have involved Ambien, the agency concluded that the behavior can be caused by any of the sleeping pills.

One sleep expert, Dr. Mahowald of Minnesota, said that Ambien had received the most publicity because it was the most widely used. But "there's no question that any of the sedative hypnotics can do this," he said.

Ambien and its extended-release formula, Ambien CR, made by Sanofi-Aventis, dominated the market last year, accounting for 27.6 million of the 44 million sleep drug prescriptions in this country, according to data from Verispan.

In second place, with about 7.3 million prescriptions, was the drug temazepam, a generic that is also sold by Tyco Healthcare under the brand name Restoril.

Lunesta, by Sepracor, was next with 5.8 million prescriptions.
Dr. Mahowald directs the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center, where doctors have been involved in a study of about 30 patients who developed sleep-eating while using Ambien.

Some of the patients gained weight before discovering that they were getting up at night to cook and eat.


"Hopefully this will make doctors think twice before blindly giving patients a prescription," said Dr. Mahowald, who advocates a combination of medication and behavioral therapy to treat insomnia.

He also criticized marketing of the products. "I personally think the extent of advertising has just been unconscionable," he said.
Data from the research firm TNS Media Intelligence shows that in 2005 and 2006, Sanofi-Aventis spent a total of nearly $350 million to advertise Ambien and Ambien CR.

Sepracor spent more than $500 million on advertising for Lunesta during that same two-year period. And Takeda, which makes Rozerem, spent about $100 million.


After yesterday's F.D.A. announcement, Sanofi-Aventis immediately posted the text of a "Dear Doctor" letter to its Web site, outlining the new warnings.

The agency has ordered all the companies to send such advisories to prescribing doctors.

In a statement last night, Sanofi-Aventis said that information about sleepwalking had always been included on its label. In company clinical studies, it occurred in fewer than 1 in 1,000 patients, the statement said.


The agency also said that it was recommending that the drug makers conduct additional clinical studies involving sleep-driving and other reactions to determine whether any of the sleeping pills do not cause those problems.

But those studies will not be required. And so far, none of the companies have announced plans to conduct them, Dr. Katz said.


The agency's move follows a warning last month by authorities in Australia, where Ambien is marketed as Stilnox.

The Australian drug agency said that it had received 16 reports of unusual activities by consumers using the product, including sleep-driving and sleep-eating.

In one case, a woman woke up with a paintbrush in her hand, discovering she had painted the front door of her home while asleep.


Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company


-

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Keebler
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-

Black Box Warning - HOME
www.epocrates.com


https://online.epocrates.com/u/10a385/Ambien
EPOCRATES ONLINE

Ambien: Adult Dosing - Scroll all the way down.

EXCERPT:

SERIOUS REACTIONS

depression, worsening
suicidal ideation
aggressive behavior

complex sleep-related behavior
hallucinations
amnesia

anaphylactic/anaphylactoid rxns (rare)
withdrawal if abrupt D/C

COMMON REACTIONS

- at site.

============
============

Also from my research notes:

Jittery/nervous symptoms can indicate excess porphyrins' effect on the nervous system.

For anyone with liver function problems or problems metabolizing any drug in the Cytochrome P-450 detox pathway this drug can cause problems - one of those could be the buildup of excess porphyrins.

That can be very serious and have many neurological, toxic reaction (and, in some cases and if untended, could even be fatal to anyone with one of the genetic hepatic porphyrias or, perhaps, even with secondary porphyria).

Although it's excreted primarily through urine, metabolism is through the liver. There is a hepatic (liver) caution and dosing adjustment.

Again, short-term use is how this drug is supposed to be used, and sudden stopping or fast changes in dosing can pose risks.

Those with impaired respiratory function are also cautioned.

-

[ 21. June 2008, 01:35 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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cactus
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I've just stopped taking ambien because I began sleepwalking (not driving, thank goodness), and evidently it has given me some amnesia moments as well. Scary.

If you already have something else that works for you, stick with that, and skip the ambien.

--------------------
Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again? - A.A. Milne

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Marz
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how much do you take randibear?

The sleep doctor I just saw was surprised that sometimes just a 1/4 of a 10 mg pill puts me to sleep.

He even thought it unusual that 5 mg would do it for me.

If you're taking 10 mg. maybe its too much.

I used to have ambien and took 1/3 of a pill because it was easy to break that long pill into thirds.

Now, my insurance won't pay for it and it's harder to break up the round zolpidem pill into thirds, so I've gone to halfs and quarters.

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sixgoofykids
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They make long Zolpidem pills, too. Be sure if you have the time released ones that you don't break them.

--------------------
sixgoofykids.blogspot.com

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Lymetoo
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Marz... I also take 1/3 or 1/2 pill (10mg) and it usually works fine.

randi... are you sure it's not the Levaquin doing that to you?

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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roro
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i take 10mg every nite. cant sleep without it.

i got insomnia when i went on pain meds.

never had any bad effects, except i have to take it when I am going to sleep. if i take it and try to stay up, i black-out

i was on xanax before and it made me depressed ans have mood swings.

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jamescase20
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I know I am going to be attacked for this, but ambian shakes the gaba recptors in the brain, and that kills a few lyme.

That headache may be a part of a herx, or simply benzopen withdrawls.

"non benzopens" are what they call ambien, but its a benzo thats cleaned up a bit. But

a benzo is a benzo, and withdrawls, include, headaches.

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Lymetoo
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Why would she be having withdrawal?? She just started on it.

I think!

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Opinions, not medical advice!

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Lymejul25
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Oh yes..Ambien was a nightmare for me!

I was noticing the floor was wavy, and it felt as if I was stepping over ocean waves, and when I looked at myself in the mirror, I thought it was someone else. Definitely scary!!

Also, I kept turning on and off my bedroom light, but didn't know I was doing it..had no recollection of it.

This stuff is dangerous.

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Marz
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Thank you Sixgoofykids, I didn't know zolpidem came in a long tablet too.

I googled images and found pictures.

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Keebler
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-

James,

yeah . . . I have some questions about your statement: "I know I am going to be attacked for this, but ambian shakes the gaba recptors in the brain, and that kills a few lyme. "

-

Well, (in all softness of voice) . . . "shaking up GABA" is not something we want to do. Steady goes. Gentle.

It's unclear exactly what is meant by "shaking up" and how that kills spirochetes. Are there links to articles detailing that ?

Is there research linking "shaking up GABA" with being an action that kills spirochetes? What I've seen is that if a toxic, infectious state raises the NMDAs, some (non-lyme) researchers say that adding GABA will lower the NMDAs. And, it can. But at a risk.

And, although it may lower the NMDAs that react to toxins, I've found no research to show that adding GABA will kill infection. But, I've not read about this in a while, so I'd really like to see the source of your information.

As a person with a seizure disorder, I've studied NMDA and GABA balance a bit. If NMDA (the excitatory) neurotransmitters are too high, magnesium is a wonderful agent to calm that down (and magnesium detoxes, too).

That said, I know that with bartonella, magnesium might be tricky. Still, even if the magnesium is captured by bart or lyme (as Rosner points out), the body still needs it to function. Magnesium is needed for the brain and the heart and for muscles. We can't starve our bodies of it.

While GABA might need to be brought up, rather than directly adding in GABA agents, most of the time all that is needed is to add magnesium or other agents that indirectly will bring the NMDA and GABA back into balance.

this is very complex and I could add a few more things but I've gotta stop now. I just want to caution that GABA is not to be messed with as if it gets too high, serious problems can arise.

Same with NMDA - it if gets too high, that can be a toxic, excited state. But I'd not want to go "shaking" anything in any manner.

-

[ 26. June 2008, 07:36 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Amanda
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I took it for two days at 5mg. I was laying in bed when suddenly I thought I was a boat floating on the ocean. Next day bad headache. second night took it, and thought that there were birds flying around in my room. When I realized I was hallucinating, I realized I was standing in my living room and don't remember getting out of bed. Next day bad headache

NO ambien for me

I take Lyrica to stay asleep. take Klonopin to fall asleep. Its the "old school" benzodiatrapine (valium basically) mentioned above. Cheap, effective, no hallucinations or headaches. You have to wean off of it slowly. Some people develop addictions to the stuff and start taking more and more, so you gotta watch for that

--------------------
"few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" - Mark Twain

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hokie
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My LLMD has recently (within the last 6 months or so) begun using Flexeril for sleep with his patients.

I have not heard one bad story about it; it really works for me.

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Hoosiers51
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I like having some Ambien on hand for nights I just cannot sleep with anything else, and am so tired I want to shoot myself (metaphorically, but if you have ever felt like you went days without solid sleep, on top of Lyme, you can relate. It is torture).

That said, I rarely take it, maybe once or twice every three months. My main complaint is that after a few days of taking it, I feel like a truck knocked me over. So i'll take it one night and call it done.

Every once in awhile I do weird things, like get up and start Facebook-ing (the horror!), and not really remember, but luckily nothing dangerous.

I take Lunesta every night though....only 2 mg. I NEED a sleep aid, and it is one of the only things I don't feel hung over on. It is a controlled substance, but I don't feel like it's addictive at all. It must work well for me.

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InADaze
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Ambien made me vomit. But then, so did Lunesta. So, no prescription sleep aids for me.

My doc put me on Flexeril & Neurontin at night to help with symptoms and sleep. It does seem to improve my sleep.

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