How quickly can you become dependent on sleeping pills (Ambien)?

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Alaskah
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Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 274
   Posted 11/2/2011 9:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I normally take a 10mg Ambien once or twice a week. Lately I've been having more problems sleeping so for the last four nights I took a pill each night. Then last night I decided I shouldn't. I honestly got about 30 minutes of sleep as a result shakehead

Can you become dependent that fast? Tonight I decided to break a pill in half and just take that to wean off and OMG! I have never felt a pill hit me so fast and so hard before. And I just ate so I don't have an empty stomach. Rather than halving the dose, I feel like I doubled it. This might be due to my current state of pure exhaustion. But what might sound worse is that I love the feeling I get. I miss going to the bar on occasion and getting goofy around people and having fun (too shy to be goofy without influence).

I guess I'll sleep well tonight.

Jim1969
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Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 11/3/2011 12:43 AM (GMT -6)   
I don't know much about ambien, but I do know that there are certain medications that you are not suppose to cut/break/chew etc because it is the coating that slows down the release. It is possible Ambien is such a medication and by cutting it in half you allowed the full dose of the half you took hit you all at once.

Please do not do this again until you speak with your doctor and pharmacist about it.

Out of curiosity have you tried some of the "natural" sleep aids available OTC like straight melatonin or the ones that combine melatonin and a few other ingredients? I do know people who take these and combined with good bedtime/sleep time habits sleep quite well.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

THE HAPPY TURTLE
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Date Joined Mar 2009
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   Posted 11/3/2011 5:04 AM (GMT -6)   
hmmmmmmmmmm. something i will be talking with my shrink about. melatonin. only here good things. jamie. thx.
EMOTIONALLY UNSTABLE PERSONALITY DISORDER,

RAPID CYCLING BI-POLAR DISORDER

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bayoub2
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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 11/3/2011 5:18 AM (GMT -6)   
I think they call it bounceback insomnia...in other words, your body got used to it, but you're no addicted/dependent, not for long. Most times, you bounce back after a coupla nites..try an alternative like Jim said

Hope you get some ZZZZZZZs

Maggie
"We never realize how strong we are, until being strong is the only thing left"
Major Depressive Disorder, ptsd, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, l3/4, L4/5 gone, bursitis arthritis sciatica


welbutrin HBP meds abilify seroquel hydrocodone flexeril klonopin magnesium

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 34607
   Posted 11/3/2011 7:49 AM (GMT -6)   
I take ambien every night. I just accepted that I needed something for sleep. Now and then I do take a couple days off from it and take the melatonin instead. It works good for me for a few days and then it stops so I go back on the ambien. But if it works, why not take it unless the doc doesn't want you to take it every day. I know people worry about getting addicted, but if you need it to sleep, what is the difference? I don't understand that.

I wish you the best in working this out and deciding what to do. Yes it makes a huge difference as to whether you have food in your stomach or not. They say take on an emty tummy. Good luck.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Alaskah
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 274
   Posted 11/3/2011 10:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Natural methods have never worked for me, including meditation and breathing exercises to help me relax.

Jim - I was on Ambien a few years ago and was told to break them in half rather than take the whole thing in the beginning. And looking at my prescription bottle now, it does say "Take 1/2 to 1 tablet..." So you would have to break it to take 1/2 of a pill.

As for the dependency, I think the concern is as you adjust to it, you may need to up your dosage to get the same effects. When I was on Ambien before I took them every night. After a few weeks they didn't do anything for me anymore but I weaned off of them instead of upping the dose. I guess that could vary by person and by medication.

Don't know if it makes any difference, but it's also a generic for Ambien that I'm on, but "Ambien" is easier to remember than "Zolpidem Tartrate."

"Life's journey is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights,
but you can make the whole trip that way."


Chronic Lyme, Depression, Anxiety, 12+ Years

getting by
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Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 34607
   Posted 11/3/2011 5:19 PM (GMT -6)   
I consider myself lucky then. I have been taking them for about seven years and they still work for me. But my situation is that I can sleep, but I don't get a restful sleep. The ambien gives me a more restful sleep. I take generic too. I hope that you find something to help you sleep. I also use meditation and that helps. There are a few tips that might help. Like not eating before you go to sleep, keep your bedroom dark, don't watch tv in bed (thought when I do, I always fall asleep on it, so I don't know where they get that one from), reading before you go to bed is discouraged too. I don't know if any of these will help, but I thought that I would throw them out there. Probably could throw them out completely, lol... But you never know.

Good luck, and keep posting and let us know how you are doing with sleep. Have you read any books on sleep issues? You might want to try that.

Best wishes,

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Alaskah
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 274
   Posted 11/3/2011 8:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I see. That makes sense. My problem is falling asleep, and then staying asleep once I do. I'll take hours to fall asleep without help, and then I'll wake up a lot during the night and take forever to fall asleep again. A lot of it may be due to back and neck pain, and joint pain in the winter months. I can never seem to get comfortable. Rumination is also a problem - the more I have on my mind, the longer it takes to fall asleep.

I tend to sleep better with some music playing softly. I can't handle laying there in dead silence. I usually snack before bed so I don't wake up hungry in the middle of the night. But caffeine is bad, and I know I have more trouble if I drink soda in the evening.

I haven't read any books, I know it's just stress. I get this whenever my life takes a downturn. And I feel like I've hit rock bottom right now.

"Life's journey is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights,
but you can make the whole trip that way."


Chronic Lyme, Depression, Anxiety, 12+ Years

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 34607
   Posted 11/3/2011 8:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I hope that you feel better soon. I have obsessive thinking, and would think a lot before I could fall asleep. I started taking risperdol for that, but eventually switched to abilify. It is a mood stabilizer also and helps my anti depressant work better. But like I said, I started it all because of the obsessive thinking. My husband is like that too. Thinks too much at night and can't sleep. But he started taking trazadone and it has helped him. Helps his moods also. Which I am thinkful for. Not that he was in a bad mood or anything, but he seems to be feeling better than before. Psychologically.

I hope that you find what is right for you for sleep. I feel that with sleeping pills, I would rather sleep than not. So if I come dependant, it doesn't matter because I am going to continue to take them as long as they help me. My insurance does send the doctor a letter about sleeping pills and dependance. But he still prescribes them for me. I think that they gave up though, they use to send a letter about once a year. Oh well...

Take care,

Keep posting Alaskah,

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Alaskah
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 274
   Posted 11/3/2011 8:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Lol, I'm surprised your insurance sends those letters. I'm sure they care less about your dependence and more about how long they have to pay for it...but at least your doctor ignores it. Afterall, I'm sure he knows more about those things than an insurance agent. But I agree...I don't mind taking the sleeping pills. However, I am going to be on several antibiotics soon, and I am hoping to make a doctor appointment to discuss anti-depressants/anxiety medication. I don't like the thought of putting 10-12 pills into my body a day and how they will interact. I'm tired of being sick, and sick of being tired. Plus I'm already forgetting the ONE antibiotic I'm currently on...I don't know how I'll fair with several different meds. I'll have to set up several different alarm clocks, I guess.

"Life's journey is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights,
but you can make the whole trip that way."


Chronic Lyme, Depression, Anxiety, 12+ Years

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 34607
   Posted 11/3/2011 9:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I use a pill box for all my meds. Fill it on Saturday night. Some I have to take more than once a day. It gets frustrating taking so many different things, and yes, worrying about interactions. Plus side effects. But I have a pretty good combination going right now. No discomfort at all. I am glad. Tried a lot of different anti depressants before I found what works for me. I know the feeling. Being sick and tired of being sick and tired. It gets old fast. But so do we. So enjoy as much as you can each day. You are trying and that is what counts. I think you will see progress. Good luck with the antibiotics. I know they aren't really that much fun to take.

Take care,

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies
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