Be Careful with Ambien!

Discussion in 'Support' started by meeruf, Nov 15, 2013.

tinnitus forum
    1. meeruf
      Badass

      meeruf Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Diving
      I have taken this drug on and off post-tinnitus. I don't feel any dependence whatsoever to it, but it have happen that I have waken up the next day and an extra pill is gone. I never put the pills in the same room I sleep. That means I have been sleepwalking to another room and taken it, but with no memory of doing it. Scary. However, this was easy solved by letting my family hide them from me.


      Last night, I took this pill for the first time in two weeks. Everything went as normal. But my family forgot to hide them. I didn't think of it. I observed that they was at the kitchen, but did not think much about it.

      After that. I have a complete blackout from around 00.00 to 12.00 next day. This is some of the stuff I have been doing:
      - I have been playing online-poker, around 400 hands. (I have a poker program that logs everything I do)
      - I have been to the super marked buying tobacco. (Luckily, I walked)
      - I have taken a shower.
      - I blocked my visa card, and opened it again after talking with a bank-dude on the phone. (I record phone-calls)

      Then, the most scary part:
      - I took seven!! more pills some time during the night. I don't know if I have been taking them all at once or partly through the night. But my family found me 5 in the morning walking around confused in the house. They got the picture when they found a empty pill box. My mother called 911, but it was not needed. They just said: "Give him a lot of milk, and get him to puke it out again.

      I've read about other people doing crazy shit to. Like walking around naked out in the day, drive and crash, been violent. Gosh, I could never forgive myself if did something violent stuff to my family.


      Nope, this drug is history for me. My family though I looked completely normal. Crashy Shit..
       
      • Useful Useful x 1
    2. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      Yep, this is pretty common for Ambien/Stilnox. Used to happen to me quite a bit but my tolerance is so high that I don't get to that black out/hallucinogenic stage anymore. I also developed a dependency on it, so yeah I would advise others to stay away from it.

      If anyone is taking it though, best thing is to take it in bed while trying to sleep, avoid taking it while you're still awake. Also the normal 10mg dose they prescribe is too high for someone with no tolerance - 2.5mg to 5mg is all you need at most.
       
    3. Lulubug69
      Artistic

      Lulubug69 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      9/2013
      That is truly frightening. Not worth taking.
       
    4. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      Yep. All of those Z drugs ( zolpidem (Ambien), zopiclone, and zaleplon) are every bit if not more dangerous than benzodiazepines. It is very easy to get sucked in to using them, and few doctors (being the brainwashed pharmaceutical company minions that they are) are even aware of the dangers. My doctor tried to convince me to try them, but I learned my lesson with Xanax. I will never again take a medication that I have not thoroughly read up on. Seriously - if we the consumers quit allowing our doctors to be pill pushers we will get better treatments in the long run.

      The problems with Z drugs are well documented. I could list links, but academic or scholarly on them are easy to find.
       
    5. Golly
      Bookworm

      Golly Member Benefactor Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      New York City
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2011
      If you are a Weeds fan, you will recall the scene when Doug realizes what Ambien drove him to do:

      Weeds Doug Wilson take's a shit on the...


      -Golly

      PS. Viewer discretion advised.
       
      • Funny Funny x 1
    6. NeoM
      Moonlighting

      NeoM Member

      Location:
      America
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/31/2013
      haha. This is why I'm afraid to try ambien. However, the lack of sleep is killing me (both ways).
       
    7. Golly
      Bookworm

      Golly Member Benefactor Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      New York City
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2011
      I have found that low doses of Remeron are immensely helpful as a sleep aid. Discuss with your doctor; my understanding is that compared to benzodiazepines and so-called Z-drugs, Remeron is quite safe.

      -G
       
    8. Riikka

      Riikka Member

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2007
      Ambien seems to have some scary side effects. When I first read those I wasn't sure if I could believe them, but now that you are writing about your experience, I get a little worried. Have you experienced those sleep-walking side effects right from the beginning of taking Ambien, or did they start only after a while?

      I have taken Ambien some times in circumstances when I otherwise probably wouldn't have slept. I'm a bit worried about the drug though. I usually get that black out and don't remember anything from going to bed until the wake up time. Once I made the mistake and took the drug before going to the bathroom. It made me feel too drowsy and I stumbled.
       
    9. NeoM
      Moonlighting

      NeoM Member

      Location:
      America
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/31/2013
      My problem is that I can't get 4-8 consecutive hours. For some reason, I can fall asleep with the tinnitus going most of the time, but after waking up once or twice I just cannot go back to sleep. Does Remeron knock you out for the night?
       
    10. Riikka

      Riikka Member

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2007
      Remeron is recommended by many people here on the forum and it's definitely a safer alternative for longer time use than sleeping pills or benzodiazepines. If it works for you as well you can only know by talking about it with your doctor and then trying it yourself.

      Another thing that is good to consider though is sleeping habits. At some points I made the mistake of going to bed to early and then spending 9-10 hours in bed out of which I slept 5-6 hours. Now I rather go to bed later and limit the time I have for sleeping to 7-8 hours and I feel my sleeping has improved.
       
    11. Golly
      Bookworm

      Golly Member Benefactor Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      New York City
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2011
      My experience with Remeron is that even if I wake up during the night, I always get back to sleep. The downside with taking 15mg nightly is that you will probably need more sleep. That is, if you normally require eight hours, you might require as much as nine or ten hours with Remeron. If you take Remeron only occasionally, I expect that you will feel very sluggish the next day. With daily usage, however, this side effect goes away.
      -Golly
       
    12. JTP
      No Mood

      JTP Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      5/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shit happens
      My experience with Remeron is exactly same as Golly's. So far so good. 7.5mg nightly has been enough for me for the past six months.
       
    13. Golly
      Bookworm

      Golly Member Benefactor Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      New York City
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2011
      Just for the record, I dropped my dose to 7.5mg about a month ago (down from 15mg). Still works great and I don't seem to need the extra sleep. -G
       
    14. JTP
      No Mood

      JTP Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      5/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shit happens
      And the pack lasts twice as long too:)
       
    15. meeruf
      Badass

      meeruf Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Diving

      Yes. I have been sleepwalking a lot of times on Ambien. But never like this time. I have also been doing some other weird stuff when on Ambien. Like calling home in the middle of the night because I tought my family was dead.

      But this time was kind of extreme. I mean, some of the stuff I did need some braincapasity. Like playing poker or talking with the bank to open a creditcard again. You need codes, addresses and security questions to do that stuff.

      The poker part. I did not loose when playing. I played like always and had a small profit.

      weird...
       
      • Funny Funny x 1
    16. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Ambien (and Lunesta) should not be taken more than a few consecutive nights. Even says so on the packaging instructions. Lots of documented scary things happen with long-term use. I have tried both and quickly dumped both. Lunesta wasn't quite as bad as Ambien,but it wasn't great, either.

      I haven't been able to get a good night's sleep for years, long before I had tinnitus. My latest try is Rozerem, which basically is souped-up melatonin. We'll see how it goes. I also have considered Remeron, which I see a few of you are on.

      But in truth, I operate under the assumption that I never will sleep a straight eight hours again in my life, unless I am seriously drugged. Which is not a routine option I want to explore. I've just learned to get by on patches of sleep.
       
    17. Golly
      Bookworm

      Golly Member Benefactor Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      New York City
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2011
      @LadyDi:

      The nice thing about Remeron is that the LESS you take, the sleepier you get (up to a point). I think this mostly holds true once you are in the therapeutic dose range of 15mg to 45mg. Nevertheless, this paradoxical dosing effect means that you would not need to be "seriously drugged" to enjoy the benefits of Remeron on a regular basis. Even at a quarter of a pill (3.75mg), Remeron is still an effective sleep aid with few side effects.

      It should be noted that as an anti-depressant, Remeron has two main side effects: (1) drowsiness and (2) increased appetite/weight gain. While the former is a good thing for those craving sleep, many are scared off by the latter. My personal experience, however, is that I did not gain an ounce while taking Remeron.

      -Golly
       
    18. Riikka

      Riikka Member

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2007
      I agree you should definitely give Remeron a try. I haven't noticed side effects from Remeron and it usually helps me to sleep quite well, exept when I'm very stressed or in a noisy environment. The only thing about Remeron I regret is not having taking it earlier, it would have saved me months of not being able to get to sleep and feeling tired at work.

      One small negative effect of Remeron for me though is while before I had problems falling asleep, I now fall asleep quite easily but I'm prone to wake up more easily during the night/in the early morning. I guess no medication can transform a light sleeping into a person with zero sleeping problems.
       
    19. Erlend
      Question it

      Erlend Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Scandinavia
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2013
      What was wrong with xanax? I consider asking my doc for xanax
       
    20. Golly
      Bookworm

      Golly Member Benefactor Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      New York City
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2011
      Here is my take on Xanax and benzodiazepines in general. If used on an "as-needed" basis, under the supervision of a doctor, they are fine. Of course, the term "as-needed" probably needs to be qualified. Xanax is a short-acting, anti-anxiety medication that will help one deal with panic attacks or the kind of anxiety that might keep you awake in the middle of the night. I suffer from the latter about once a month and take 1mg of Xanax on those occasions. If I were to be plagued by constant anxiety, which I am not, I would look to another class of drugs that would be safer when used on a regular basis (some antidepressants fit the bill). Xanax, like other benzodiazepines, has addictive properties, which means that one can build up a tolerance. In my opinion, this is why Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, etc., should not be used on a regular (i.e., daily) basis.

      -Golly

      PS. In addition to my monthly Xanax, I take 1mg Klonopin about twice a week. My doctor has assured me repeatedly that this dosage that this frequency is not harmful and will not lead to dependence.
       
    21. Per

      Per Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      I've been taking Xanax / Xanor on and off for like 17 years, had no bad side effects from it really. You need to take breaks so you don't get too resistant, and stick with as low dosages as possible of course (as with any drug). If you get prescribed the 2mg ones then they usually come with three dividers so you can break them off into 0,25mg pieces. I'm at a bodyweight of 93 kg / 205 pounds taking 0,25mg perhaps 3-4 times a week when I have'em. Then I can go without for like 2-3 months. My only bad experience with Xanax/Xanor is when I took 2mg per dose for a longer period of time, meaning every day for a month or so. That's ages ago and I experienced withdraw symptoms when coming off of them.

      One more important thing with Xanax/Xanor and that is to NEVER combine them with alcohol, that goes without saying for all benzodiazepine medication.
       
    22. Per

      Per Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      When it comes to sleep medication I've tried Zopiclone/Imovane, Melatonin, Valergan and Stilnoct, aka Stilnox/Zolpidem/Ambian/Intermezzo/Sublinox/ Zolsana - that product carries a lot of different brand names around the world. I think the med. is on open license so anyone can produce it now.

      In my personal point of view Stilnoct (as its called in my country) is by far the most effective sleep medication with the least side effects I've tried. When it comes to Melatonin I used to by them over the counter in the States (prescription only in my country) but it didn't do too much for me, I guess they were too weak for me but they were okay if I took them dead tired. Zoplicone/Imovane put a bad taste in my mouth, like metallic after taste and drowsiness for days after. Valergan is actually an allergy medication with very moderate effects against insomnia, if any. Some docs try to push this drug before anything else cause they know it's the mildest form of insomnia treatment.

      We all react differently to medication and when taken in high doses anything could create havoc. My current Stilnoct dosage is 10mg, I've been up to 15mg as well and after a long break 5mg is actually plenty. You get to develop immunity to them after a while so always keep youre eye out for that. Common side effects for me with Stilnoct is amnesia. Also, increased appetite is typical.
       
      • Winner Winner x 1
    23. Golly
      Bookworm

      Golly Member Benefactor Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      New York City
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2011
      I agree with Per that mixing benzodiazepines and alcohol can be hazardous and should generally be avoided. When I brought this up with my neurologist, however, he said the only danger was that the effects of the alcohol could be magnified. Other than that, there are no toxicological reasons why these drugs cannot be mixed. I think it's safe to say that if you plan on going on a booze bender, don't take take benzodiazepines. However, if you have had a glass of wine with dinner, my understanding is that there is no grave danger in taking Xanax. (As always, ask your doctor what he thinks.)

      -Golly
       
    24. object16
      Magical

      object16 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      remeron and Seroquel are both very good. you may find that low dose of remeron will keep you going. be prepared that your dose may need to go up with time, but should hold you for a few years.
       
    25. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      ,
      I had a terrible experience with Xanax. Went through severe withdrawal symptoms after reducing my dose from 0.5 mg 3x/day to 0.25 mg 3x/day. I experienced extreme anxiety, agitation, depression, confusion, high blood pressure, involuntary arching of my back, and a heartbeat so forceful I thought my heart would burst. I thought I was going to end up in a mental institution. Worst experience of my life. Further, it might be the cause of my heart issues. It took weeks to figure out that my blood pressure issues were entirely related to Xanax withdrawal. Doctors kept telling me I could not have developed any dependence on the drug during the short time I took it before I started reducing my dosage. After I finally tapered completely off the stuff, which took something like 5 months in total my blood pressure spikes and so many of the other symptoms I suffered from disappeared.

      I ran across this web site recently that I think sums things up pretty well: Xanax Detox - Xanax Medical Detox Protocol. Granted, it is from a detox outfit that is clearly trying to attract people by telling them of some of the dangers, but I think this article covers things pretty well and honestly. Physical dependence on Xanax can happen in a short time, withdrawal can produce symptoms that mimic anxiety and therefore create a cycle of usage, it can cause very high blood pressure (165/110 in my case when normal for me was 110/70), the list goes on ... You can find lot's of good info on the problems with Xanax with a web search.

      Bottom like, Xanax was created and clinically tested only for short term use, yet doctors prescribe it to some people for years. While it may really help and be a godsend to some people, it can also be very dangerous and few doctors recognize this. My advice is to only take it if you feel you have no other choice. I started taking Xanax prior to getting tinnitus, and I believe Xanax is responsible for my T in one way or another - either through some direct action on the auditory portions of the brain, the resultant high blood pressure I experienced during withdrawal, or some sort of excitotoxicity from withdrawal. My T started after about my 6th or 7th dose. I had not taken it for a few days and I began feeling extremely agitated. I had just recently discovered the high blood pressure. I took one to get to sleep after calling the doctor about the high BP. I woke up an hour latter with my ears screaming.

      In my case I think it is clear that I am very sensitive to Xanax; others may not be. Recently, I went out of town and needed a container to put my magnesium tablets in. I washed out an old Xanax prescription container and used it. A couple of days after I returned, after I quit using the magnesium that I stored in the old Xanax bottle I began experiencing Xanax withdrawal symptoms and did not know why. Then it occurred to me what I had done. Fortunately the withdrawal symptoms were not severe and persisted only a couple of days.
       
    26. Per

      Per Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      That proves the power of self suggestion. Withdrawal symptoms can also be more mental than physical as I got to experience when I quit smoking back in the day. As mentioned above I've been using Xanax/Xanor on and off for a long time now with very little issues, so I must be rather tolerant to the stuff. Anyways, too much of anything can create problems and if your almost over sensitive to some chemicals your better off not taking them of course. It just goes to show how different we react to drugs, or anything for that matter. Some people go absolutely ballistic on alcohol. This individual reaction pattern is spooky in a way so it's crucial to respect your own profile.
       
    27. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      I cannot deny the possibility that my symptoms in this case were the power of suggestion, but I sincerely doubt it. I really never gave it another thought that reusing the old Xanax bottle could be a problem. It was not until I began feeling the unmistakable (to me anyway) symptoms that I remembered what I had done.
       

Share This Page

Loading...
If you have ringing ears then you've come to the right place. We are a friendly tinnitus support board, dedicated to helping you discuss and understand what tinnitus treatments may work for you.