Any nurses here think ambien is addictive?

  1. I've been taking ambien on and off for the last 4 years for insomnia and wonder if any other nurses are on it too. My concern is that I'm addicted and don't know it? I take 5mg 4/5 X a week and when I do, it's straight to bed. I realize that it's considered a non benzodiazapine and supposedly non physically addictive. However, there are many who claims there are definite physical and mental withdrawal symptoms; signs of addiction. There are numerous forums on this debate all over the web, but I wanted the opinions of people in the medical field other than MDs.

    Personally, I'm going to try not taking any for a few weeks and see if I'll experience anything other than the inability to sleep.

    P.S Not sure if this is the right forum to post this question so I apologize if it's not.
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    The drug itself may not be addictive but the dependence can be to using something to aid in sleep.....Benadryl is not addictive but if you take it for sleep and stop, you have insomnia.
  4. by   Geena
    With prolonged use of Ambien - it is recommended you wean yourself off by cutting the dose in half and then quarter over a period of time. More than addictive, it is habit forming. There are reported cases of seizures following a sudden discontinuation.
  5. by   middleageNP
    Quote from Geena
    With prolonged use of Ambien - it is recommended you wean yourself off by cutting the dose in half and then quarter over a period of time. More than addictive, it is habit forming. There are reported cases of seizures following a sudden discontinuation.
    Thank you Geena for your info, but what would you consider a prolong period? I think I would definitely qualify but curious as to what your opinion is. I've never heard of the seizures reaction you mentioned with zolpiderm before. Could you send me a link to where you've heard of it?

    Without ambien during the last few years, I don't think I could have functioned without the sleep I needed. However, I'd like to be able to overcome my insomnia without having to take anything on a regular basis... A good start would be now...Going to bed before morning comes.
  6. by   Gompers
    Quote from heehee61
    I've been taking ambien on and off for the last 4 years for insomnia and wonder if any other nurses are on it too. My concern is that I'm addicted and don't know it? I take 5mg 4/5 X a week and when I do, it's straight to bed. I realize that it's considered a non benzodiazapine and supposedly non physically addictive. However, there are many who claims there are definite physical and mental withdrawal symptoms; signs of addiction. There are numerous forums on this debate all over the web, but I wanted the opinions of people in the medical field other than MDs.

    Personally, I'm going to try not taking any for a few weeks and see if I'll experience anything other than the inability to sleep.

    P.S Not sure if this is the right forum to post this question so I apologize if it's not.

    Well, right there you are showing that it is mentally addictive. You already have it in your head that you will NOT be able to sleep just because you stop taking the Ambien. So it is additive - the question is whether your body has grown physically dependent on it.

    What you really need to do is talk to the doctor who has prescribed this medication for you over the past few years and discuss a safe strategy for discontinuing it. Good luck.
  7. by   rn/writer
    Please remember, it's against the Terms of Service to ask for (or offer) medical advice on this board.

    To the OP: you really need to seek solid medical advice from a practitioner who knows you and your history. Some docs won't prescribe Ambien for longer than a specified period because of the very concerns you have mentioned.

    In the last couple of years, a number of new meds have come on the market that are supposed to be far less habit-forming than previous sleepers. Maybe your doc can switch you to one of these.

    At any rate, there are other variables to take into consideration, not the least of which is your personal medical history.

    Please take good care of yourself by letting your doc know what you need.

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