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Ambien


tammyokc
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My question to you is about your Ambien.

How long have you taken it?

How much do you take?

Would you sleep without it?

I have taken it for 6 yrs. The first three yrs. I took 5 mg, then went up to 10 mg. Now I take 5 mg and let it dissolve under my tongue at 10 pm and then after I wake up in 3 hrs. I take another 5 mg or I wouldn't go back to sleep. So I still only take 10 mg a night but not all together. I have wondered if this is why my heart palps and anxiety came on. I know that with POTS you have tachycardia and anxiety but do you think our bodies are so use to Ambien during the night that we are withdrawing during the days and it makes our POTS worse? I just wondered why after I switched from 5 mg of Ambien with no problems to 10 mg, I started having the anxiety and heart palps a year later and wondered if it was related. I'd stop my Ambien to see but I have POTS with high adrenaline surges 24/7 and if I didn't take my Ambien, I would get no rest and I'm afraid I'd fling myself over a cliff if I had to go on NO sleep!!! B) Also I am never tired, always wired. I can't nap during the day or ever feel sleepy, just exhausted!

I always try to take the least amount of drugs as possible and cut everything into 1/4s but Ambien is one I?ve become so tolerant to that I do take maximum doses most nights.

What are your thoughts on the drug Ambien? I call it my miracle drug but now I'm wondering if it's making things worse and I just don't know it. Anyone feel the same?

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I take 10 mg, and have been on anywhere from 5 to 10mg across 7 or 8 years now. I do not take it every night... maybe once a week...and sometimes for 5 to 7 days in a row when I'm having a tough time sleeping.

Nina

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Hi, Tammy. I, too, find Ambien a 'miracle drug' for my occasional bouts of insomnia. I seem to go through periods where for weeks I sleep like a log with no pharmaceutical assistance. Then for another few weeks will I will toss and turn and need Ambien to break the cycle.

Like Nina, I have taken it on and off for several years, in varying doses. Sometimes, I can get away with a third of a 10mg pill. Mostly, though, I need at least a half (5mg) to get to sleep. I try to use it sparingly, since there is habituation to worry about. But I did have a period a few years ago when I used it for at least six weeks every night, with a doctor's approval and guidance.

Your symptoms sound very similar to mine when my ANS first went haywire - palps, anxiety, insomnia, wired, panicky, etc. I have Hashimoto's hypothyroidism, so we first thought maybe my meds needed to be adjusted. Labs said I was fine, so then we went on to the pheo workup. I assume you have had these tests, yes? If not, it is certainly worth investigating. Pheos are rare, but so is POTS, though I believe the latter is actually more common than the literature would indicate. I was worked up for pheochromocytoma numerous times, and learned quite a bit about the diagnosis process, so feel free to contact me if you need some additional info on this.

Have you tried either a benzodiazapine or an SSRI to help with your anxiety? If not, the latter in particular might be a good option, since SSRIs are also frequently used in the treatment of POTS/dysautonomia. SSRIs may cause increased insomnia in the early stages of treatment, but can ultimatley help you sleep by toning down the anxiety and other symptoms.

Again, I wish you luck in finding a treatment regime that works for you.

Best,

RunnerGirl

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Hi Runner girl, I will contact you personally about the tests you have had run. For the record I have taken Ambien EVERY night for 6 years under the care of a doctor and that's why I'm wondering about those that have taken it for years everynight if they find they have heart palps and anxiety. It's hard to know what's POTS and what's a drug withdrawal. Like I said, I'd just stop but I'd have to be in the hospital or something cause my body couldn't function on no sleep so was wondering what others experiences were on Ambien if they took it everynight for awhile.

Thanks!

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B) Hi Tammy

I have been taking Ambien 10mg for 2 years. I take it every night. I find that I suffer terrible insomnia if i dont take it.

I dont experience the anxiety that you mentioned.

I have had POTs since i was about 12 yrs. old, though I wasnt diagnosed till I was 20.

I hope that you find some relief from your symptoms, it is so hard living with POTS.

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I've been taking about 2.5 mg of ambien every night for, I don't know, 6 months? A year? I have 10 mg tablets that I cut into bits. I have only gone without a few nights since I started, and never 2 in a row. Every rare now and then, I'll try to sleep without it; if more than about 90 minutes passes without sleep, I take some ambien. This little crumb is enough to help me fall asleep--though it typically doesn't keep me asleep the entire night. I still wake a couple times, but I will fall back asleep. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. And if it's after 5 am, I just stay awake and rest for awhile before getting up.

I honestly do NOT think there's a correlation between daytime anxiety and tachycardia and ambien use at night. (I don't think the body is in "withdrawal" ...)If you're concerned, though, talk to your doctor! Couldn't hurt!

You might try some non pharmacological approaches to aid your sleep--and easy up on the tach/anxiety during the day. Yoga (or any other low-key exercise you can tolerate) and meditation are best. Some people have other rituals--warm baths, reading, etc. Stay away from TV and the computer... Because I'm having a ton of neck problems, I've started using a heating pad for 10 minutes after the lights go out, and that too relaxes me and helps me fall asleep faster.

sweet dreams,

Merrill

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