Your doctor probably made a VERY bad decision, Ambien (zolpidem) is meant to be a sleep aid, and is in the drug class 'Sedative/Hypnotic'. It's supposed to be taken for a short period of time to help with insomnia and other various sleep problems.
I take it every night, and have been for 2 years, but some nights I'll take it and PLAN on going to bed, but after it kicks in, its pretty much like being drunk, and I end up staying up very late those nights until it wears off. Some of the things I've experienced: visual and auditory hallucinations, extreme euphoria, staggering and stumbling when walking, unable to concentrate on anything, interests in abstract things (especially techno/trance music), very unproductive (watching movies/playing video games), increased appetite, and especially, amnesia.
I'll explain some things that happen, for instance, one night when I was high on it (only 10mg) I called my neighbor at 2 a.m. and then walked to her house in my underwear, and then helped her brother (happened to be outside the house when I walked over there) steal his parents car for a joyride. But, I didn't remember any of it the next day, she called me and said "omg, last night was so funny!" and all I said was "what do you mean?". <<< No joking. Theres other countless crazy things that I've done.
I'd say it's about halfway between tripping out and being drunk. Obviously you don't wanna be like that everyday, especially at school/work.
Now, I DO understand why your doctor prescribed it, because it COMPLETELY rids you of anxiety... I'll say anything to anyone, do whatever, whenever, without feeling anxious. I have social anxiety and ambien definitely does fix it, but there are infinite reasons why it can't be taken as an anti-anxiety med. But, the next day after I wake up, I feel anxious about how badly I made a fool of myself, as I said before, like being drunk. I'm guessing because its a sedative, the side effects make sense, but then again, that's why its designed to be taken immediately before bed so you don't
Aside from that, it's a highly addictive drug, and most people become dependent on it.
There is however a drug (not a scheduled drug in US, so you can't have a scrip for it) called alpidem that's used elsewhere in the world for anxiety, I don't know anything about it, but I would think that it has less of a sedating effect and less side effects.
Seriously though, I think you should go back to your doctor and ask for a either an anti-depressant (helps for slight anxiety) or a benzodiazepine (valium, xanax, klonopin). I take Klonopin (clonazepam) for my anxiety, and it works great, but benzo's are addictive for some people and most doctors are very hesitant to prescribe them for that reason, especially for teens. However, I'm not addicted to/dependent on Klonopin... I just take it before I leave for school, or before I go out with friends, and it works perfectly with few side effects.
This is just my opinion though, take it how you want, but please for your own sake, talk to your doctor about taking something besides Ambien for something other than sleep.
I have really bad anxiety and i'm starting celexa tonight for my anxiety/deppresion...I hate feeling drunk. I have a 17 month and i can't be doing anything crazy or stupid. Your opinion means alot to me. All i needed was something to help get to sleep not something to sedat me..lol.. I think I will stick with the celexa and maybe get some tylonal pm..
Okay, since someone else said it first. :) I wasn't going to scare ya off with my experiences but mine are exactly the same. I have never been able to sleep with it. I've taken it 3 times and each time I completely hallucinated and couldn't go to sleep. I mean I was having conversations with my grandma ( who lives thousands of miles away) and all sorts of crazy $hit. Try benadryl or tylenol pm...
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