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short term memory loss from long term Ambien use?
My husband and I are in some trouble.  He is a physician, (53 years old)  and was just given 2 weeks "medical leave" because people were noticing he was forgetting things.  His short term memory is impaired.  We have already seen the neurologist, then we see the psychiatrist Tuesday.  He has been taking 10 mg of Ambien nightly for maybe 8 YEARS, has been down to taking 5 mg for about a year.  He has been taken off the Ambien, but what are the long term effects?  I find alot of info on short term effects, but could his memory issues be due to AMBIEN?
Please help.  
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I have Chronic Fatigue syndrome, Epstein Barr, and insomnia. I must get my sleep, or I trigger the virus.  I've been on ambien for about 15 years. I had a very good administrative's position with a very busy  engineering firm.  I had to have surgery in 2009 and I think it triggered the shingles.   I now have post herpetic neuralgia, damaged nerves as a result of the shingles.  It's horrible.  I am seeing a neuroligist and he has me on lyrica 3 x's a day and tegretol 2 x's a day, plus the ambien, which helps me sleep and keep the pain down. I left my position in April of 2010.  Since I have been on these 2 drugs (about 6 months) I notice my memory is not as good as it was.I believe no working and vegitating my brain doesn't help.   My ability to speak my thoughts is hindered.  The words are there sometimes, but I can't get them out of my mouth. It may come to me 10 minutes later!   I fall asleep sitting up sometimes.  I'm in a fog. Concentration is very hard to do.  I try to remember things my hubby tells me, and I forget.  It's frustrating, but the pain is redused.  If I forget to take my lunchtime lyrica, 2 hours later I'll remember, because the pain sets in from the shingles and I panic.   Everyone is blaming the ambien.  Could it be the combination of meds that we're taking as well?  I too have had the black outs.  Really embarrassing to not remember an intimate night with your hubby.  We have laughed about it, but it's no laughing matter. That was before the shingles. I had weight gain but that's because I like to eat.  I have been dieting and watching what I eat, and I lost 30 lbs since january.  Also my cholesterol has gone down substantially, and my good went up 3 points.  My triglicerides went down from over 500 to 99.  So I don't think the ambien causes weight gain.  I wish everyone the very best and hope my post helps somewhat.  As for me, after reading all.......  I think I'm going to try to reduce the ambien.  Last night I cut the tip of the pill so it would amount to about 7.5 mg.  I slept well and dreamed about Tom Cruise!   Probably cause he's in the news lately.....   So we'll see.  I will keep posting my progress...........  
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I was on zolpidem er 12.5 mg for two years.  My neurologist prescribed it because my sleeping problems were triggering migraines.  The zolpidem really worked for me, with no real side affects, but after reading all these and other posts, I decided to stop taking it.  I called my neurologist with my decision and she supported it. I stopped cold turkey and was one of the lucky ones with only a few rough nights of withdrawal symptoms.  Now I am back to not sleeping well, but no longer have to worry about the possibility of permanent damage due to extended use.  I don't regret the decision, but it is not for everyone.  Good luck to those that choose to stop taking this scary drug.
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This is my first time in a chat room hope I am doing this right. My sister has completely lost her short-term memory after taking ambien for a few months. She has had all kinds of test, CT-scan, MRI, lots of blood work and they are about to do an EEG on her. She has been devasted by this and is unable to work. Have any of you experienced memory loss to this degree? I am searching for answers can anyone help us?
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Hello,
I'm very sorry to hear about your sister. I feel quite disheartened after reading this whole thread. I took zolpidem for over 3 years 10mg every night. I came off it a couple of months ago, but my short term memory is absolutely shot and has been for a long time. I can't remember new things, and select things from the past. Often times the wrong word comes out out of mouth.
Please if anyone reads this and has a positive story to share : ie memory came back after a while, please post. I feel terrible to think this is permanent damage. Most ppl posting are like me and have just discovered this phenomena, and are still taking ambien or only recently gone off. Only a couple of people posted after the fact and they said their memories never improved! This is horrific.

Iusedtobesmart are you still posting? Has anything improved? I have been complaining to my dr (the same one prescribing be zolpidom for years straight that my memory was going and i felt like i was losing my cognitive ability. THey had a neurologist give me the WAIS exam and they said I was fine, but given they really had no benchmark how can they tell?). THIS IS A REAL PROBLEM.
IS this a form of dementia? If anyone has any answers from the medical community I would love to know.
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480448 tn?1426952138
Hey hon, I also am sorry to hear about your sister.

You have posted on a very old thread, often times they get less attention.  I think you would get more replies if you started a new thread.  It's very easy.  Go back to the Anxiety Forum (or any forum you choose).  

Click on "Post a Question" (Or "Ask a Question", forget exactly how it's worded)...you will be then able to post your own thread and get answers.

We're here to help, and will try the best we can!  Best to you and your sister!
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I am so glad you answered me. Have you had any other changes besides the loss of short-term memory? My sister Sherry has also lost her appetite and we are not sure if she is just forgetting to eat or what. Her personality has seemed to change to she is so much sweeter than before but this may be due to the devastation she is experiencing. It is like this has broken her spirit. She is also having no sleeping issues now and we are wondering if this could be due to the fact that she can't really worry about events during the day because she can''t remember any of them. She is having spinal fluid drawn next week and an eeg performed so we are hopeful they will find something. We still think the ambien could be the cause.
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Thank you so much for the advice like I said I am new at this.
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480448 tn?1426952138
Sure thing!  I know it's tough navigating a new site!  Let me know if you have any questions!
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Hello trh60
I can't say I have any other problems similar to your sisters. I just can't retain new information or even draw on information that I previously knew. I hope the drs can find out the cause of your sisters problem. Please continue to post updates as i would very much like to know what the dr's find to be your sisters problem. I hope that we can somehow recover from this because it's a horrible way to live and I am very scared that the damage is permanent.
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I agree with this comment 100%. I have been on Ambien (or Zolpidem) for about 5 years now. I cannot for the life of me figure out HOW I would ever fall asleep without it. I was staying awake until 2am prior to Ambien and my brain just would not shut off. When I finally did fall asleep, it would last a few hours wnd I would be up again with my mind spinning on stuff, over and over. Now, atleast I know that I FALL asleep and get atleast 5-6 hours a night. I have never done anything at night that I wasn't in control of, no driving, no activities... I just sleep, however, I am starting to notice what I call "stupid memory loss"...things like names of people that I know or simple functions like finding "my documents" on my computer. I am concerned if it is Ambien related or the simple fact that I am fatigued and 5-6 hours is still not enough sleep. I imagine it would be even worse if I got less sleep per night.
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I am SO glad I came across this thread. Reading all of the comments exactly reflects the problems I have been having lately especially (Huri999). I have just turned 50 and have been on 10mg Zolpidem every night for about 8 years because of chronic pain. Like others on here I WAS once considered of above average intelligence and very bright with an excellent memory and good social skills. One of my fortes was solving technical issues. That ability including learning, remembering and the ability to hold simple conversations has now completely vanished. I get angry and frustrated trying to do the most simplest of tasks now, and was convinced I had early onset of Dementia or Alzheimers but was too scared to go to the doctors. In the last few years I have lost my job as an avionics engineer, my long term relationship, my friends, and my confidence. I mainly stay in my apartment 24/7 and do not socialize or even pick up the phone now. My mind is a constant fog. I cannot remember anyone's name, what I did yesterday or even the DOB of my own children.
I have now been referred to a Psychologist for depression and anxiety.
Recently I came into my front room after a poor nights sleep to discover loads of food wrappings and toast crusts and various other food items on the floor of my living room but I had no idea or any memory of eating them the night before, it was quite worrying and it wasn't the first time either. Yesterday I was driving along a road that I used to drive every day of my life and suddenly could not remember where the heck I was. I constantly argue with people about conversations they say I'd had with them but have no memory of those conversations. I feel like I have the mind of an old man of 90. I am starting to think I am stupid as I cant even add simple numbers up or talk to anyone without stammering and forgetting what I started to say. I am very worried now especially as many folks on here have are reporting that the symptoms remain even after not taking the meds. I must say though to all those thinking about law suites that this medicine has been a life saver for me as I simply could not get to sleep without it and having NO sleep at all would be like a living hell.
The trouble is! now where do I go from here?
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Please Help about AMBIEN
Has anyone on or in the past experienced any type of allergic reactions or breathing problems while taking Ambien or Zolpidiem? I am so grateful to have found this blog. I have been having a so far untraceable reaction that includes hives, rashes and  throat closing. Having moved to a new area, taken every allergy med on the planet and been out on a ship for a week, the only thing that has followed me everywhere for the last year is Zolpidiem/Ambien. When I have tried to stop taking it I get excruciating migraines in bed or alien nightmares. Please help.
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I do get itchy skin but I think that is from the Dihydrocodeine and .??....(FORGOT) ..It'll come in a minute__________ oh yes... Amitriptyline! I did have strange episodes when yawning and it felt like my throat froze for a second or two but again I don't know if this was the Zolpidem or not.  I don't get breathing problems even with all the other meds I take at the same time which include the above and Propranolol ..and smoking (tut)  However I have been advised by my pharmacist  not take  antihistamines with Zolpidem or my Dihydrocodeine as it can cause it to double or tipple the effects.
-Something I forgot to mention in my earlier post (above) that I feel is very important, is that when I have taken a bigger dose (20mg) of Zolpidem (Ambien in the USA)  I have found myself talking to people in my room that aren't there (then very shortly after realized there is no one there) I would like to know if anybody else has experienced  this. This doesn't happen on lower doses or when I don't take the drug.
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BTW  vnfi Your not taking venlafaxineare are you? (just noticed your user name) It's caused me severe issues.
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Very interesting reading.  I've been on Ambien for about a year and a half, usually taking just 1/2 a 10mg dose.  It started out just as needed or if I was under extra job related stress.  Half a pill works wonders, but unfortunately I now have to take it every night if there is any hope of sleep.  The reason for my search was I feel dizzy all most all of the time recently so was curious if there were long term side effects related to that.  I have not experienced memory loss at all.  Reading all this however, will make me try and gradually reduce my dependance and look for a better way to sleep throughg the night.  I didn't read every single post, but does anyone experience dizziness on a continual basis?
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GOOD NEWS Im so happy i can post something possitive. I want to tell you i found sometring that really helped me with memory loss! I started taking omega 3 from fish source, 1500mg a day for 4 months now, and it has done some much improvement im shocked my self im so happy!!! i feel much more my self again!!! :) Please do your own investigation and try it, its totaly worth it !!
I still have chronic insomnia, but im taking allergy medicine and natural slepp pills....no more zolpidem. Not 100% happy about it but still looking for a solution, my goal is not having to take anything that isnt natural to sleep...
Please be carefull...leave zolpidem, antidepressents ( i had lexapro, effexor, lamictal, name it!) they help for a while but it leaves severe damage in your brain. At least fish omega 3 helped me to recover lots of it. Hope it helps you too!
pd: i made such a negative post on april 12 2012, i cant describe how happy i am to share positive experience that hopefully helps someone else. Shoud change my nick to "smarter!!!!"
Good luck!!!
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Please read the post i made today. Bye! i found that omega 3 made dramatical improvement to my memory and intelligence issues!! Im not on zolpidem anymore thought, but who knows it may help you too.
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ps: my english is not perfect cause its not my 1st language...
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Yes! i just did, good luck :)
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4742611 tn?1358633686
me too  and to all the above comments too !!!  last night woke up and thought I called a woman a 9:30 pm etc etc   then really WOKE up and checked my phone to see if I called this person,   NO I did not !!   OMG  --
and lots of what I though was dementia  ( I'm 70 )   all this started with Ambien.  Now going off tonight .   Going  to be a bumpy ride I suspect  I never even slept more than 4 hours with Ambien anyway--Yikkes
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I saw your post regarding Ambien and memory loss from years ago. My husband only took Ambien for 2 days and decided not to continue on it, and he has been having trouble for the last week with memory lost and not being himself. How long did it take you to feel better and is your memory better today?

Thanks so much!
***@****  
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Almost 20 years on this drug due to Fibromyalgia. I'm 64 and feel like I have a clogged up brain. Can't remember conversations ,names, and just pray I won't get up and raid the frig. Has anyone tried Matram?  I have taken 5 mg  zolpiden a night and sometimes a little more. Never more that 10 for fear of being stuck there forever.  It does work but now I fear I will never be back to normal. I would say get off or don't start if you are young. It has really left me in a fog.
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I noticed all of these things...quit and started taking Nyquil..It works and it now has a just the sleep kind.
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I'm 17 and have been taking ambien for going on 3 years. I really don't have short term memory loss unless I'm under the influence of the drug. In my opinion, this might be age related. I could be wrong. The worst of the side effects, for me at least, are the horrible migraines. The only withdrawl symptom I get is rebound insomnia, which is absolute hell.
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I am experiencing the same problem. I took it for two years straight. Even while pregnant as the Dr said it was safe. I suffered from insomnia so this was heaven to get me to sleep. However, I also did things while I was on ambien that I dont recall....sometimes cleaning my house and then waking up to find a beautifully clean home! Sometimes my ambien episodes were good ones! However, now that I have been off of it for a while....4 years I now have short term memory loss. I will literally forget where I put something 5 min before. It is quite scary. And the memory loss is affecting my daily tasks. I am scared that this is now permanent.
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I have had problems with short-term memory from Ambien use as well. I use it only occasionally now, or while I'm traveling. It also makes me feel more depressed, so I avoid it. For memory improvement, I take gingko biloba, a common OTC herb. It works fantastically. I also supplement with iodine and fish oil. My brain functioning is better than ever. I'm in my mid 50s, and was worried about my loss of memory. With these supplements, it's no longer a problem. I feel mentally very sharp.
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I have been on Ambien 10 mg since I had a car accident in 1995 started taken it in 1996 and 17 years later here I am. I do believe I do have some of the memory loss an I know its true because I have one of the best memories in the world and I am forgetful. My doc has just now changed me to Halcion from the Ambien and I told him I hope this works. I dd all the crazy things they say you do with Ambien when I first started takin it many years ago but now it does not do that anymore. I also have depression and anxiety disorders as well which does not help. I really wish it did not take all these meds to feel right. I just want to feel normal again if I even know what that is anymore?
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Have been on Ambien for almost 6 years. I was briefly (for about 2 mo) put on a low dose of seroquel after my daughter was born. I was having post pardom along with anxiety. I couldn't function on this medication & when taken off I could not sleep. Dr. put me on Ambien. A couple years later, we were really wanting to have another baby. I didn't want to be taking medication while trying to get pregnant, Dr. told me that my body would adjust & wouldn't take long & I would be sleeping again. WRONG! I went a year with at the very most sleeping 3 hours in the am typically 2 hours (between 6:30-8:30), often not at all. Went to a sleep Dr. & had a sleep study- told me what I already knew, I slept for 3 hours in the AM. Was told I have chronic insomnia-duh! Even though I had not been on Ambien for some time my previous dosage of 10 mg did not work well. In order to get a decent night sleep I am now taking 12.5 mg CR & 5 mg regular ( that's 17.5 mg a night). Typically I wouldn't have waited an entire year this way but am quite strong willed & was really wanting to get pregnant, to no succcess. I think lack of sleep could have been a contributing factor because we had numerous tests done & there was no reason for not getting pregnant. As for all those with memory & brain functioning problems- believe me I know. I used to be a very high functioning person & now there is NO possible way that I could do the job I used to do before marrying my husband. I had been at that job for 13 years, a busy fast paced office. I worked full time & had a part-time assistant. When I left, the part-time person went to full time, & they hired another full time person & another part-time person. They would probably fire me now, it's a good thing I can work from home ( I do books for my husband's business & homeschool my daughter). Everything takes me MUCH longer then it used to. Reading comprehension is horrible- I have to reread same sentence to understand & then by the end of the page I have forgotten the whole thing anyway. I feel stupid, I didn't used to be this way. I don't have any answers though because honestly I function even worse when I don't sleep. All I can say is if you don't absolutely initially have to start taking this medication- don't. And for those who like me can't see any other way around it-hang in there & hang on to God. HE will hold onto you!
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I have been taking 10mg of Ambien once a day for 11 years now.  As with everything else in life t your body becomes immune to it.  I now take My Ambien, (1) 1mg Xanax and 2 Benadryl's every night before bed.  Seems like a HUGE amt to take at once but that is the only way I can get to sleep anymore.  My memory is failing so bad that it's affecting my job performance I had my yearly review on Friday and the exact criticism was "Brandie needs to work on her memory by taking memory training classes"  I was taken aback by that b/c I truly know this drug is NOT helping me; it's costing me my job. IDK what to do or where to go from here.
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Brandie, I'm sorry, I know it's a horrible feeling to not be able to do what was previously not a problem at all. All you can do is your best, pray & ask God to help you & ask Him to direct your path. He will do this, I have found in my own life that He doesn't always answer in the way we would like & it doesn't always seem like the easy way but He doesn't promise easy but He does ALWAYS promise to be with us through everything. We can't see the big picture but He can. "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him" Roman 8:28 .My prayers are with you!
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Well said!  Thank you for taking the time to record and report in detail your experience.  I have been in the middle of a sentence and can not remember a common word or place!  Very embarrassing.  I have introduced myself to the same person 3 times as well.  I thought I was losing my mind and I never knew Ambien had anything to do with it.  There must be many people on this drug.  Every one I know is complaining about severe memory loss.
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Jake, I have been taking 10mg zolpidem nightly for 10+ years.
During that time I successfully delivered series of very complex software system that were delivered bug free, I learned 5 foreign languages including Arabic, Russian, and Korean, and surpassed experts in memory testing.
I think there is more to the assertion that zolpidem causes memory loss and cognitive deterioration. Perhaps and in some people who may have pre-existing memory/cognition skills deficiencies. I am skeptical as there may other influencing factors that may be attributed to zolpidem cognitive deficiency. Bottom line: to keep your memory and cognitive skills in top form you need to practice, practice, practice as they are a skill that deteriorates over time especially as we age. I am 68.  A lot age-related memory issues can cured by learning some easy-to-learn memory tools. Read Harry Lorayne for a start.
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My friend, I can tell you that you are not alone. Nor are the many people on this thread.

I took ambien for three years, virtually every night, and I can tell you that it severely impacted my memory and my cognitive ability. I have zero doubt about it, and if you are experiencing the symptoms described here, you should definitely stop taking it. It does get better when you quit.

Like many of you, I lived in terror of a sleepless night, and I became dependent on ambien. But soon I grew more afraid of the impact it was having on my ability to function mentally. To remember. To think clearly.

It has been more than a year now since I quit, and I am happy to report that things have improved dramatically. I wouldn't say it's 100 percent yet, but it's close. It took a long time for me to get to that low point, so I figure it is going to take a long time to get back to where I was when I first started taking it. In particular, I believe there are certain memories, mostly memories from that hazy three-year period when I was taking ambien (10 mg Zolpidem/night), that  will remain fuzzy —  just be gone forever.

But I honestly feel like I'm returning to normal. It feels so good to be able to think clearly again.

Get off of it.

Do it.


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I've been taking Ambien for 5 years with very little side effects.  The benefits of sleeping far outweigh the tragedy of not sleeping.  I haven't had any problems.  They run like clockwork for me and I wouldn't be able to function in my life if I didn't take them.

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Yes. I have the same problem as your wife. My liver is sick because of Ambien. How is your wife? Did she recover after stopping the Ambien?
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I am glad you shared your story I am 47, and having the same struggle.  I have been taking Ambien 5 mg, sometimes 10 mg for 8 - 10 years also.  and I am really struggling with memory, and I never used to be this way. I saw a neurologist today- told me to get off the Ambien.  She didn't tell me why- Hmm.  now I am wondering what is going on with this drug.  I am wondering if these effects are reversible.  I am too young to feel like I have dementia.
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I've been on Ambian for abut 5 months now and I to have short term memory loss. I will have conversations with people with out even remembering it and also eating things at night and not evening remembering what I ate. I also post stuff on the internet and next day go in and say to myself when did I post that? Or who ate my stuff I was saving? Kind of scary but it does help with staying asleep thru out the night.
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My mother has in the past two years been diagnosed with primary lateral sclerosis(pls) after years of trying to find out what ailed her. She has been afflicted with constant numbness, hyperspasticity of her limbs (mostly toes) , constant back pain, slurred speech and an enormous lack of balance which has left her unable to walk without aid of a walker. She has been addicted to ambien for upwards of 10 years and is entirely unable to stop taking it. Her personality during this time frame has entirely changed. She has lost any filter between thought and speech and quite honestly has gone from a loving individual to a quite selfish, self centered nasty person, who lies constantly and is extremely extremely paranoid.

I know im grasping at straws, i can only imagine what tolls on a person's psyche it must take to entirely lose one's independence of movement, but something deep down in me tells me there is a high likelihood that ambien which does such drastic work on the nervous system might be to blame here. She has been to the mayo clinic among other great institutions in nyc that specialize in movement disorders as well as every other specialty. These institutions really could never pin down her disorder as pls(one finally did) but to me its almost as if its a default diagnosis since they keep ruling out anything else. I was always shocked that none of these doctors (except finaly the last one she saw) insisted that she get off of ambien since as all at this posting know it is not meant for more than temporary use. My mother keeps saying she will try anything to try to help alleviate her symptoms yet getting off ambien is the one she never will try. She consistently lies to me telling me she will stop but every couple of weeks she says the same thing.... "o yeah i am going to go to the pharmacist and have him cut my pills".

I guess my question here is...  has anyone ever experienced similar problems with ambien ?
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I’m 31 and I’ve been taking Ambien daily for nearly 8 years. I’ve tried getting off it a few times, however I find the leisure of being able to fall asleep when I choose and wake up refreshed after 7-8 hours out-weigh the drag of being sluggish all day. Over the last several years I have noticed my memory and recall begin to decline somewhat, although I’ve mostly attributed this to a lack of stimulation. No more school, a not so exciting job and diminished social life might play a big part. Just like a muscle the brain needs to be challenged for it to grow or it’ll begin to atrophy. Whether it’s the Ambien or environmental factors....dunno.  
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I have taken Ambien (10Mg) for over 2 years. I used to take Xanax but they made me too tired during the day. The Ambien does help me sleep, but not a full nights sleep, at least I can fall asleep with however. I have noticed in the past 3-4 months, that my mental and communication capabilities have become a concern. I am 56 and above average intelligence and highly organized. What has begun to happen is related to communication skills, they have diminished noticeably. I have problems pulling my thoughts together and it seems they are there, but more of in a cloud that I cannot grab a hold of. Being in sales and having a job where communication is important, this is becoming an issue. I always was good at talking and connecting the dots in my conversations and cannot do that unless highly rehearsed. Sometimes taking a Xanax helps in those cases since the anxiety adds to the communication problem.I had an MRI last week and am awaiting the results, but assume nothing is there. I then started thinking if it could be Ambien or perhaps my blood pressure medication. Glad to find this blog, as it sounds like a lot of people have similar situations. I can perform my job since I am highly organized and can still do that part of the work, computer spreadsheets, planning, problem solving, operating programs, emails, etc the problem comes when I have to verbally communicate or present my ideas and interact with others. There is also some anxiety I have developed over this and who knows what plays into what. I don't forget things any more then I used to, that is good, but I do notice that I am misspelling words much more often, struggling with how to spell them, thank goodness for spell check. I am going to get myself off of it slowly, going to an Ambien every other night for a while. Also, I had read about a supplement called Choline that sounded worth trying. I hope I see some positive signs, just am worried about lack of sleep, but I would rather deal with that then have trouble communicating especially since my job depends on it. Thank you for all of the great information on this blog.
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I am suffering from severe memory loss, menier's disease and several other things that I simply cannot recall. im scared to death that this medication has caused early dementia or alzheimers. I cannot remember simple things, daily things and cannot keep my balance. this has disrupted my life as I have bipolar disorder and cannot keep appointments such as counseling and med checks as I cannot drive anymore. I am so afraid that soon I will not remember my children, my grandchildren and all of the rest of my family. I know that this is not a forum for medical help or diagnosis. I just wanted to tell someone how afraid I am. thank you for listening. good luck to everybody.
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I have had a long history of insomnia but never thought I could do anything about it. As an adult, and in high stress jobs and in life, I sought out a doctor and he was kinda "old school" and put me on Ambien. Me being negligent and not finding out it was a "sleep aide" not a longterm prescription for insomnia, I took it, for 6 plus years. I have noticed that I was not sleeping completely for 8 hours, which is recommended and then began having mood swings severely, foggy memory and problems with cognitive thinking. I have always tested well, made great grades, went to college in my 40's, graduated with honors and have heard that intelligent people have forgetfulness. So I just attributed my short term memory loss to that. In the last few weeks, an old traumatic event in my life in my teens, came out in counseling. A lot of things in my life, led up to this confession that no one in my family ever knew. I have consulted a new physician who has an abundant of knowledge about the long term use of Ambien or a prescribed narcotic. He has done a CT, blood/urine testing and after several appointments for him to talk to me and see if I'm ok, we have concluded, together, it is AMBIEN USE. I went through a rough 3 evenings of detox, I just about pulled my hair out. He put me on a very mild dosage of Xanax (5 mg), I take 1/2 to go to bed, if I wake up in the middle of the night, I get up drink a glass of water, and then take the other 1/2. I also may skip the 2nd 1/2 and take a 1/2 of a melantonin tablet. I am watching my caffeine intake and having none after 6 pm. I am also drinking hot tea and having a hot bath to wind down. I am turning off my electronic devices earlier than normal and try to have a "NO BRAINER" hour before I take my sleep aide. It seems to be working. I am now sleeping at least 6 hours before I wake up and do not have the "foggy" days I was having. Do I still have memory loss? Yes, short term only. But it is definitely better and I feel like I'm on the right path. Try this on a weekend when you have no responsibilities and make sure someone is there with you. I promise, if you can handle the first 3 nights, you can more than likely conquer this and begin a new healthier you.
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I have been on Ambien for over 10 years now.  I recently started a new job and am devastated that I can NOT retain any of the information given to me.  I am 60 and honestly thought I had Alzheimer's.  It is soooo embarrassing to have 20 year olds help me remember my EMR passwords.  I have trouble finding words, names, directions etc.  I also take amitriptyline for migraines and tramadol for arthritis pain.  I just contacted my doctor about lowering my Ambien dose.  I will stop the amitriptyline, will stop the antihistamine (Benadryl) and will only use Tramadol when the pain gets out of hand, instead of nightly.  I am aiming for getting totally off the Ambien and it scares me.  I know I am dependent on it but MUST change.
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I have the act same memory problems. I know this is a post from 2010 but have you gotten any better? Have you stopped taking the Ambien? Thanks.
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I am 43 and have been taking 10mg Ambien nightly for about 14 years.

I have had significant memory problems for nearly this entire time. At first I kind of laughed it off, telling friends and family that I'm "notoriously forgetful," and listening to my friends and co-workers joke about how scatter-brained I am. I've seriously worried that I have early onset of dementia, and at times the memory impairment is so bad that I'll watch a movie and a week later I can't recall whether or not I've seen it, or who I watched it with.

I'm not talking about the typical blackouts while on Ambien... I have those too, but I'm talking about continued short-term memory impairment a day or two after I've taken the Ambien.  

I'm concerned because I've recently been promoted to supervisor at work, and the memory problems are definitely causing me issues. People will pass along a problem to me, and minutes after I've hung up the phone, I can't remember what they told me! I've learned to compensate somewhat by keeping piles of scribbled notes, but it definitely makes it harder to do my job well, because I have to keep track of a dozen ambulances and over a dozen crew members...

I do not feel that I am "addicted" (although I am open to the possibility). I tend to think I am not however, because at various times I have quit taking it for a couple of weeks without any significant issues, aside from my underlying insomnia. This week though, I have switched to a day-schedule for the first time in decades, so I am going to stop taking the Ambien tonight, and see if the memory improves.
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I am 43 and have been taking 10mg Ambien nightly for about 14 years.

I have had significant memory problems for nearly this entire time. At first I kind of laughed it off, telling friends and family that I'm "notoriously forgetful," and listening to my friends and co-workers joke about how scatter-brained I am. I've seriously worried that I have early onset of dementia, and at times the memory impairment is so bad that I'll watch a movie and a week later I can't recall whether or not I've seen it, or who I watched it with.

I'm not talking about the typical blackouts while on Ambien... I have those too, but I'm talking about continued short-term memory impairment a day or two after I've taken the Ambien.  

I'm concerned because I've recently been promoted to supervisor at work, and the memory problems are definitely causing me issues. People will pass along a problem to me, and minutes after I've hung up the phone, I can't remember what they told me! I've learned to compensate somewhat by keeping piles of scribbled notes, but it definitely makes it harder to do my job well, because I have to keep track of a dozen ambulances and over a dozen crew members...

I do not feel that I am "addicted" (although I am open to the possibility). I tend to think I am not however, because at various times I have quit taking it for a couple of weeks without any significant issues, aside from my underlying insomnia. This week though, I have switched to a day-schedule for the first time in decades, so I am going to stop taking the Ambien tonight, and see if the memory improves.
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It's 1:34 AM , I took my 5 mg dose at 11:00 because I have a long drive to tomorrow. But I'm still up. I've been taking Ambien for about 16 years now. Now I'm down to 5mg. per night which obviously doesn't work for very long. The real problem is I can't remember squat anymore. I've always been a big country western music fan, and a few weeks ago, my nephew was playing songs on my iPod and asking me to guess the artist names. I could picture their face, but was horribly embarrassed. My nephew kept saying "Uncle Kenny, your slipping big time". I would have conversations or face to face meetings with clients and two weeks later get my feet held to the fire and I'd have to apologize and say "I'm sorry, I just don't recall all of the details". I'm 58 years old, and my Mother died of Alzheimer's. I had broken that curse off my life, but I think I let it back in with these dang drugs. I was coming home from work one night about a year ago, and while only being about a half mile from the house, I drew a blank!!! I was driving my car and asking myself "where am I, and where am I going? It wasn't until I came up to the 4-way stop that I recognized where I was. I need help, and I don't know who to go to!
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I had a hip replacement at 65 and had taken Oxycodone, half of the lowest dosage, for about 4 months mostly before the operation. I asked the doctor if I would become addicted to it and he said no. 1 week after the operation I didn't need pain meds anymore and decided to quit it. Wow! I had a full blown windrawal! It was terrible, just like long term addicts had described their withdrawals being. Not sleeping was a major problem. I tried Valium and a few others that did not work. Then I tried Ambien and it worked great. I quit taking it after 1.5 weeks because my mind was doing funny things - the last straw was when I couldn't tell the difference between the gas and temperature gauges in the car I've had over 10 years. My memory has never been as keen since then. It's been 2 years and I needed an MRI so I decided to take an Ambien because you must lay still. Big mistake! I can't remember anything 10 minutes after taking the pill 3pm in the afternoon. The entire experience is a blank. My memory started working again about 2 hours later. I feel sorry for you long term users because there must be permanent damage. Ambien is great for sleeping, but losing your memory is not worth it.
I believe our society is being badly damaged by the drug companies.
Is Ambien and similar drugs causing the large number of cases of Alzheimer's? Clearly, a study must be done, but since the FDA is run by the drug companies I doubt we will see it happen.
Prozac type antidepressants kill the sex drive and it does not come back. I had a girlfriend that lost her sex drive from Prozac and it didn't come back when she got off it. I did some research and the same problem happened with others. The doctors prescribe these drugs by the millions. Did you know that America is not having enough children to sustain the population? I say it is these drugs that kill the sex drive - it is only logical that a dead sex drive will lower births and they are prescribing these drugs to young people. When will others make this connection of antidepressant drugs to lower birth rates. They don't have these drugs in third world countries and no birth rate issues there! Due to mass shootings and the connection to the side effects of psychotropic drugs at least this has been talked about somewhat even though the anti-gunners are focusing on guns rather than the drugs. There are videos on youtube showing people who have had feelings of killing people and themselves while on these drugs. When will the public demand research be done? Since drug companies are about profits they will continue to harm people for money until some changes are made.
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I am a 38 year old male, and have been taking Zolpidem for 4-5 years. Started only taking 10mg a few nights a week, to now taking a 12.5CR and a 5mg regular at least 5 nights a week. If I do not take Zolpidem, I do not sleep. I mean, really do not sleep. I will literally lay in bed for 8 hours, and maybe get 20-30 minutes of actual sleep. I too, am suffering from short term memory loss. Not just just a few hours the morning after, all day, everyday. I used to be very outgoing, very social and confident. I now dread conversations and social interactions, because my memory is so bad, I cannot hold a normal conversation. I really feel "dumb" now. It has gotten progressively worse, and is now to a point where I am actually worried. I would not wish this on anyone, but I am glad to see others that are experiencing the same issues that I am.
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Thank Goodness!!!! I thought I was alone, I sufferd from all the above symptoms, got off Adco Zolphidem 1 month ago, and replaced it with Dormonoct 2mg. I sleep some nights? 6 hours. and am exhausted most of the time. The memory loss and Amnesia was gone immediately.Guess that is a good thing. am always in a bad mood, and actually described  as a *****...I am 51 , and was on this Horrific drug for 14 years.. will I ever feel normal again? or is this just it???
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