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Ambien- General Thoughts

Posted In: Medical Stories 7 Replies
  • Posted By: randomness
  • July 2, 2007
  • 00:57 PM

There might already be a thread of this nature but I felt as this would be an appropriate forum. I am well aware of the behavior side effects of Ambien but does anyone, perhaps with clinical training, have any hypotheses as to the causation of Ambien's atypical behavior as a sleep-aid compared to say, Temazepam (another common sleep aid). I know Ambien has a unique chemical structure, do we have any analytical chemists in the house who might be able to shed light on how this contributes to perhaps some unusual pharmacodynamics (action of the drug on the body) such that bizarre side effects occur regularly, and they seem to have some common threads; phone calls made unexpectedly, unusual eating, and unusual trips to strange places stand out in my mind as characteristic Ambien behaviors. Also I hae seen many reports of full on hallucinations induced by Ambien. Does anyone have any thoughts on the clinical/biochemical basis for these reactions to the drug?

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  • Well, I can't claim to be the clinically trained or knowledgeable analytical chemist you were looking for, so hopefully this discussion stays open.On the other hand, I can point out that the "full on hallucinations" have always felt to me like nothing quite so much as dreaming before I went to sleep. My mental state was never that of someone who was otherwise 'with it' and the hallucinations always occurred at such times when I would claim the ambien 'hit me kinda funny'. The net result seemed to me to be that occasionally it would completely fail to trigger a true sleepy shut-down of conscious thought and action, yet still activated some of the brain's sleep processes so that I did things like slurring my speech, losing nearly all sense of balance, hallucinate/generally lose touch with any sense of reality be it hallucinating or not. Perhaps the scariest effect though, when combined with things like my lack of balance ... is that I managed to fall down the stairs in my house a time or two, and more than once it occurred to me after I hit the bottom that that SHOULD have hurt, but I felt nothing. There was a clear mental delay in that realization, but indeed I felt no pain until the following morning from something that left me limping for more than a week afterwards.Indeed, it did merely seem to me that a lot of such effects were things the body probably didn't need while asleep, and ambien had merely failed to erase my concious thoughts and actions, not failed to start some very basic sleep processes. I have no medical training though, and I'm 18 ... so take all of this with a grain of salt.For that matter, I have experience with many many sleep inducing medications/sleep consolidating medications/more kinds of sleep medications I've probably forgotten various terms for. This is indeed because I have (a) significant/severe sleep disorder(s) ... so my experiences may not be typical of the general population at large. Still ... sleeping while awake...
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have sold Ambien for almost 10 years and know every possible thing there is to know about the drug. Are you asking about these "common" side effects because they have happened to you, or is it something you have seen on tv or read about? I would be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have- I have sold Ambien and Ambien CR and am more educated on both of these amazing products than most doctors or pharmacists because I was required to be able to answer questions for the providers and pharmacists.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Teddy, what kind of question is that for a chat forum!!Seriously, I think that all of these sleep pills (Ambien and various benzodiazepines, etc.) act on the action of gamma-aminobutyric acid neurotransmitter (GAMA) by suppressing the GAMAa receptor sites. Ambien is supposed to bind more preferentially to the Omega-1 sub-tye (most associated with sleep) and so acts more on sleep than the other drugs. As you said it is chemically different to the rest and so acts differently. But I think the answer is that all of these drugs act on more than one receptor site to a greater or lesser extent (and hence the different side effects). Truly mind bending stuff - and who said it just make you sleepy!Ken
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hey to all-Ken is pretty much on the money with how hypnotics/sleep aids work chemically, except it is actually the GABA receptor/complex not GAMA. (minor details). The Benzodiazapene class (temazepam), is written for sleep because it is cheap, and for the most part effective. It can however cause a not so nice hangover effect due to the 1/2 life (length of time it takes for your body to metabolize 1/2 the drug), tolerance, withdrawl and even addiction. Benzo's work on all three receptor sites (on GABA- Omega1,2,3), hence the increased side effects. Let's face it, people who can't sleep usually do not have intermittent insomnia. These drugs are only indicated for short term use (7-10) days b/c of these issues.Trazadone is also commonly prescribed for sleep. This is an SSRI, a very weak anti-depressant! This drug is being written specifically for it's side effects (drowsiness)- not for the main use or what is was created for. Feel free to choose what you want but be concious that there definitely are a wider variety of complications with these products than with Ambien.Now- Ambien and Ambien CR. These drugs are extremely different because they work specifically on the sleep receptor (omega1) and not the anxiolytic and anticonvulsant receptors (omega2,3). Ambien is distinct NON- benzodiazepine and is the number one used sleep aid in the country. Obviously there are going to be people that react to different drugs in different ways but these arguements that Ambien has been the cause of them gaining weight is hilarious. Not to be condescending, but a woman who weighs 250# prior to taking ambien probably did not get that way from a medication that caused her to get up in the middle of the night, slab some butter on a package of hamburg rolls and consume the whole thing! Come on people do we really have to blame something or someone for all of our shortcomings?I have always had a reversed circadian rythym, I get my eneregy usually at 4-5 in the afternoon and would be good to go through the night. Unfortunately, I have a job that requires me to work early in the morning, hence my need for Ambien. As far as falling down stairs etc, I think it is so important to remember that whenever you take a SLEEP aid, you need to be aware that you should have your pajamas on, teeth brushed and ready to go to SLEEP. NOT- read, watch tv, take it at work and think you can make it home before the drug starts working etc. I think if anything needs to be done, it is patient education and stressing that this is a SLEEP medication and it WILL make you drowsy, it will make you dizzy, it could cause you not to remember everything you did while forcing yourself to stay awake on the drug. Are you catching my theme here? SLEEP usually means laying down in bed and closing your eyes.Please know that I do not disregard anyone's bad experience(s) with Ambien, like I said- drugs effect people in different ways. I would just ask you that if you are going to judge the most commonly prescribed and safest drug for insomnia that you judge it outside of these ridiculous tv updates.Thanks for letting me on my soapbox, good sleeping to all, it is one of the most important things you can do to be proactive about good health!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Ambien can be used for the short term treatment of insomnia, when you cannot fall asleep , this medicine will help you to sleep. So you should only take this medicine before going to the bed, as it is very powerful and so it will make you sleep for 7 to 8 hours.
    ianpeterson 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • My freind told me it, but than I use it, I asleep very fast without medicine, I don't know why.
    laimonas123 1 Replies
    • October 8, 2010
    • 04:32 PM
    • 0
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  • I used to take ambien until I had some strange experiences with it. I drove places and didn't remember, finger painted on my walls, and did some other INASANE things. I was taking them how I was supposed to and then going to bed, but as time went on, I built up a tolerance to it and started waking up and doing strange things. Ambien works a lot like alcohol. It affects the same part as your brain, making your front receptors go completely to sleep. This is how the medication takes effect in your body to put you to sleep. Sadly, lots of people wake up after taking this medication and say.. whoa what did I do last night. Realizing they went to bed in pajamas, and woke up in street clothes ect. When people binge with alcohol the exact same thing happens. Being awake, but not coherent at all having full blow blackouts. Im not a doctor but I hope this helps explain.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 13, 2010
    • 02:36 PM
    • 0
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