I have had problems sleeping for as long as I can remember. In 2003, my doctor prescribed a sleeping medicine called Ambien. The extended-release pill was not yet on the market. I was given the full dose of 10 milligrams of the drug.
I had heard so many stories of people taking Ambien and having hallucinations before falling asleep or falling into a deep sleep and not being able to be woken up.
I took my tablet at bed time and waited. I waited longer, and nothing happened. I didn’t get tired, no hallucinations. Nothing.
My husband took half the dose I did (with a doctor’s prescription), and he hallucinated for a few minutes before falling sound asleep. He told of watching the television picture swirling right before he passed out.
Other people have gotten out of bed and eaten snacks, had phone conversations and done other things that they have no recollection of when they wake up.
Ambien is addictive and should not be taken for extended periods of time. If your insomnia does not improve or gets worse in a week to 10 days you should consult your doctor. Never take more than the prescribed amount.
Eight full hours should be devoted to sleep when taking Ambien. Do not take Ambien if you can’t commit to 8 hours of sleep.
The most common side effects that I have been told about include; strange dreams, a “drugged feeling” especially if the person wakes up after only a few hours of sleep, dizziness and headaches.
This is why it is important to get the full eight hours of sleep.
Mental illnesses and mood disorders can be made worse with this drug so make sure your physician is aware of any depression or anxiety you may have.
As with all medications, there are risks of allergic reactions. If you notice symptoms such as but not limited to hives, difficulty breathing, swelling, rash or chest pains a doctor should be consulted immediately.
Though Ambien should not be taken for long periods of time, you should also consult your doctor when you stop taking the medication. Suddenly discontinuing the medication can cause adverse reactions. You may not sleep well for the first few days after discontinuation and that is normal. Others have complained of excessive sweating, cramping and vomiting.
Alcohol should never be consumed when taking this medication. Alcohol can increase the side effects of Ambien.
Though it didn’t work for me, Ambien is an effective medication for many people who suffer from insomnia.