Questions about Ambien

Nurses General Nursing


Have any of you ever taken Ambien? What side effects have you had? I take one (10 mg) about every couple months. If I go right to sleep, it works great. But if I take it and then something keeps me awake it makes me hallucinate. Too weird! It's not scary, because I'm aware of what it's from, but it makes strange patterns on the wall, etc. My husband has also told me that I babble on and on. (and I'll have no recollection of talking or of what I said. ) Another thing, it gives me dbl. vision.( I remember taking Valium after surgery a few years ago and it gave me dbl. vision, too.) And, one last thing, I took one last night and woke up about an hr. later w/really bad hiccups that lasted about 15 min!

I was just curious if anyone out there knew anything about this particular med. I seldom use it, but sometimes I really have trouble sleeping so I'll take one.

Are these normal side effects? Is my dosage too strong, maybe?


Amy :)


104 Articles; 5,349 Posts

Specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds.

I have taken Ambien infrequently (none recently) without any bad effects at all. Put me out like a light about 15 minutes after taking it. Slept well all night without any hangover. HOWEVER, I am VERY hesitant to give Ambien to any pt over 60 because I have seen more than a few elderly folk totally "flip out" for a few hours after using this drug. (These were pts who were alert, totally oriented and appropriate before usage.) At the very least, I will only give 5mg to elderly--and that with trepidation. I prefer an antihistamine such as Vistaril instead for a pt's complaint of insomnia.

Specializes in OB/GYN,L&D,FP office,LTC.

I have tried Ambian on rare occasions. The first time I took it I knew I was under the influence of the drug,but,I swear it sounded like my cat could talk!LOL It may help to decrease the dose to 5mg. I usually fall asleep pretty quickly and sleep really well. I have noticed that i feel hung over in the morning though.



427 Posts

hallucinations are one of the sides of ambien. I have never taken it but have given it out to a lot, and i mean a lot of patients. What you are reportng is pretty common. It is not good to give to the elderly, but when the docs order it for a sleeper thats what they get, i prefer halcion or xanax for the old folks, i accidently took a xanax .5 (they look like lipitor, especialy when your half asleep) and i sleep from 9 am till 1:30, called in sick to work cause i couldn't wake up and slep till 10 am the next day. The nice thing about xanax is narcan will reverse it. Ambien is a non benzo so i'm not sure if flumazinil will reverse it


6,011 Posts


I think you might be mistaken about Narcan being able to reverse Xanax. Romazicon is antidote for overdose. And I believe that Romazicon was or still is in short supply.


427 Posts

nope, narcan definatly reverses it. may not be the official antidote, but it works. seen it with my own eyes


1 Article; 5,758 Posts

Why don't you try melatonin. Any health food store will carry it. The recommended dose is 1ml which is 0.3 mg I believe, that is sublingual. However the stuff is powerful and the person who recommended it to me told me to start with 1/3 the recommended dose. I have never needed more than that. I wish they would do studies on the elderly with it. I am so tired of scraping the over 70 crowd off the walls after sleeping pills. I think it would be particularly useful in the sundown dementia groups. They always seem to have problems with a circadian rythym disturbance that has them up all night and sleeping all day. I have wondered if we took care of the sleep disturbances if their dementia would not improve.


79 Posts

Thanks for the input, guys. I may try the 5 mg. It's weird, I seem like a real lightweight when it comes to drugs. I mean, the smallest dose of anything does me in! But when I have trouble sleeping, NOTHING seems to work. I'll go several days, and it seems no matter how tired I get, I can't sleep! That's how I ended up w/the med in the first place. But I really hate taking it. I usually get a rx for 10 tabs and it lasts me about a year.

I don't know if the melatonin would work. Like I said, not a whole lot does work when I have that problem. When I was in the hospital (pre-term labor, there for a week to try and stop it) they gave me Seconal IV and it didn't do a thing! (well, other than the hallucinations, also. :rolleyes: ) Plus, my insurance wouldn't cover anything OTC.

I think I'll stick w/the Ambien, try cutting it in half. Thanks so much for sharing. I feel better knowing I'm not alone in my strangeness. :) Love that cat story, BTW!!!!

Amy :)


1,250 Posts

I took it ONE time and had a mega hangover that lasted almost two day...then I really couldn't sleep. Decided to take two benedryl and slept really well. Will never take another ambien though, if I want a hangover, I'll drink some Budweiser which gives me an almost imediate headache!! LOL!


6,011 Posts


All it takes is 0.3mg of Melatonin and I'm out like a light. You take it about an hour before bedtime, then darken the room when you lie down. Zoom into LaLa land and no hangover in the AM. (It's about $6.00 for 30-40.)

You can also try Valerian Root...but it smells like the south end of a north bound hog. You will sleep quite well on that. (It's about $10 for 30 HUGE nasty smelling cpasules.)

I take 10-20 mg of Amitrip. for the neuropathy in my left leg.....teeny weeny dose, but works quite well at inducing sleep..... (And it's only like $5.00 for 90.)

There's also Benadryl....25-50 mg and sleepytime.

Maybe a little Sleepytime or Chamomile tea?

I hardly ever need anything to sleep so mostly any of the above are a once in every 6-8 week happenings. But I can vouch for all...they really work. And it seems that Ambien even at 5mg is kind of over the top when the others work also.


20 Posts


I used to take valerian root a few years back, but I would wake up with these God-awful belches in the a.m. And they smelled just like that damned bottle of valerian root.

No upset stomach, but I learned to love insomnia after that...


349 Posts


This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X