Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: ambien

Posted by Elizabeth on December 14, 1998, at 3:10:55

In reply to ambien, posted by Karen on July 3, 1998, at 15:46:03

> Last night I took 20 mg of ambien (prescribed) and twenty minutes later was intimate with partner. I have very few memories of this. I also acted aggresively which is not my nature. Then after the intamcy I told my partner I didn't really remember. I felt cognition during certain aspects of the intamcy. It felt like a dream or like I was drugged. Is this normal? Has anyone else had similar reactions or side effects??

Dude, I have had the exact same experience with Ambien! I also get very silly if I take it and then don't go right to sleep afterwards. Ambien works very fast, especially if taken on an empty stomach, so you should expect odd things to happen if you stay awake on it. I find it helps me to get to sleep (and stay asleep for a reasonable amount of time) but doesn't strictly knock me out, so it is possible for me to stay up and get goofy after taking it. (I take 20mg also, after getting a partial response from 10mg. 5mg is pretty minimal - it's the recommended dose for elderly people.)

Never had anything similar happen with benzos, BTW, including Halcion.

I don't think it necessarily means you ought to quit Ambien if it's working for you - I certainly appreciate the horrors of refractory insomnia - but you might want to be more careful about what you do when you're under the influence of it. Of course, if it stops working (as it does for some people - though not all) switching to trazodone (or another sedating antidepressant) or a benzo might be worthwhile. (I've taken Ambien for as much as a year at a time, pretty much every day, without loss of effectiveness, so it is possible.)

In response to Toby: I can't speak for Karen, but I have found that those "natural" methods that you suggest are of little use (especially since most of them are things that I do anyway). Sleep hygeine is certainly a start but for many it is not sufficient (I am familiar with all the tricks, thank you). And yes, I've tried herbal tea, tryptophan, hot baths, etc. and no, I don't drink alcohol or take stimulants such as caffeine. Trazodone, not Ambien, was the drug to whose sedative effect I quickly became tolerant - and I have heard the same from several others who have tried trazodone for insomnia.

I personally don't find the goofy/disinhibited experience harmful or disturbing, although I could see how a more severe reaction (paradoxical stimulation combined with disinhibition/increased impulsivity and more severe amnesia) could be quite dangerous. My amnestic experiences have been strictly of the "hmm, I think I remember doing that, although it sort of felt like a dream" variety.




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