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Ambien 10mg - possibility of helping with anxiety/depression

To start this coversation off I would like to let you know that I have been diagnosed with a 4mm non-functioning pituitary tumor.  The 40 sum doctors I've seen, believe that I just have anxiety/depression, chronic pain disorder and there is nothing they can do to treat the tumor, as they believe it's not causing any of my symptoms.  My symptoms are (for me being a 30 year old male); anxiety, depression, chronic debilitating fatigue, headaches like you would not believe, unable to wake up in the morning, but can't sleep at night...it's as if my cortisol levels are completely backwards.  (Cortisol levels are supposed to rise in the morning so you can wake up.  Then continue to rise so you can have a good day.  When it gets to be later in the night your cortisol levels start to go down allowing you to sleep.)  I'm tired all day, but after 8:00p.m. each night I am wide awake.  I take so many sleeping pills to try and sleep, but nothing gives me a consistent sleep.  I see two spots out of the right side of my eye (always in the same spot) and lately I'll have episodes where my left eye will completely go dark and I become disoriented.  I have trouble walking around things as I have to take an extra step around the object so I don't hit it.  I can go 6 days without having an appetite and not eating, but yet I gain ten pounds.  If I eat for 6 days non stop, I will lose weight.  I have so much pain behind my eyes that it actually feels like someone is behind them trying to push them out.  When I start to get a little fatigued, my left eyelid droops.  I often have palpitations in my heart and my heart flutters 3 to 4 times per day.  I've also developed some type of low or high blood pressure.  As I stand up, all of the sudden my heart and the blood in my body just drops and I start to faint or pass out.  I can rarely get an erection and when I do, it's very hard to maintain.  During the act of sex, my body shakes, my arms and lakes shake so bad that I can barely continue having sex and sometimes I actually have to stop.  While having intercourse I sweat as though I have just got done running a marathon.  I shake or tremor when lifting even the smallest thing such as a half gallon jug of milk.  I almost always have diarhea and have had maybe two solid stools in the last couple years.  I sometimes have to change my shirts 2 or 3 times a day because I sweat so bad.  I cannot tolerate the cold, but I also cannot tolerate the heat.  The worst takes place at night...I will be sweating like crazy under the blankets, but if I take them off I get cold.

Here are my two main questions I'm hoping anyone on this forum might be able to explain and help me out with:
1.  Why when I take a 10 mg Ambien during the day (which my doctor wanted me to try) do I no longer have  
     anxiety or depression and I am no longer nervous, I get my confidence back and I no longer sweat like crazy
     when shoveling or racking something up?

2.  Is there anyway doctors can inject sometype of dye or something indirectly (by drinking or through an IV) or
     directly (which I don't know how they do that) into your thyroid, pituitary, hypothalmus, adrenal glands, etc...,
     that would allow them to know if one or the other isn't working properly.

Here is the list of medications I've been tried on and some of them I've been up to the highest dose allowed by law and I've tried them all more than once.  I would try just taking 30 mg of cymbalta for 2 months and it didn't work, so I tried 60 mg of cymbalta for 2 months and it didn't work, so they tried me on 120 mg of cymbalta for 2 months and it still didn't work.  (That is just one of the examples that I've tried every dose available and tried it many times).  Alot of these medications I've been on four or five times and even mixed with other drugs.  After awhile, wouldn't someone assume that the anxiety, depression, etc... are secondary causes to something else.  I've never had a thyriod scan or any dye put in to see if it could be my pituitary, hypothalmus, thyroid gland or something else that is not working or misfiring.

1.  Paxil (25 mg, oncer per day, had a bad reaction)
2.  PaxilCR (25mg, once per day)
3.  Xaxax (1 mg, take one tablet daily)
4.  Zoloft (Various pill sizes, the most I was ever on was 250 MG)
5.  Risperdal (1 mg, take 1/2 to 1 tablet each day)
6.  Lexapro (20 mg, taken once a day)
7.  Clonazepan (1/2 to one tablet daily up to 3x daily)
8.  Wellbutrin (I believe I was taking like 150 mg once a day)
9.  Seroquel (Unsure, but I believe the largest dose I took was maybe 100. Used these for sleep)
10.  Zyprexa (10 mg, take one tablet daily at bedtime)
11.  Buspirone (15 mg, take one tablet daily at bedtime)
12.  Clomipramine (50 mg to take 2 tablets at bedtime, sent to ER following morning, as I couldn't                    
                           walk, talk or function).
13.  Lorazepam (2 mg, one tablet at bedtime, then take 1/2 to 1 tablet every 6 hours as needed)
14.  Cymbalta (got up to taking 60 mg 2x per day or 120 total)
15.  Ativan 0.5mg, up to three times per day)
16.  Invega (6 mg)
17.  Lamictal
18.  Alprazolam (0.5 mg up to four times per day).
19.  I was even told to try taking 10 to 20 mg of Ambien(Zolpidem) in the daytime to see if it helps.
20.  Abilify (5 mg, once at bedtime).
21.  Prozac (40 mg 1x per day)
22.  Doxycycline (100mg 2x per day for 45 days)

Below is a list of other medications they have tried to figure me out:

23.  Prednisone
24.  Hydrocortisone
25.  Testosterone injections
26.  B12 shots (I was at 253 total and after 4 shots I was up to over 1900 so I was told to quit).
27.  Donate blood as I was told I have high iron.
28.  Ru-Tuss
29.  Amoxycillin
30.  Toprol XL
31.  Topamax
32.  Naproxen
33.  Maxalt
34.  St. John’s Wort
35.  Nasal rinses (2-3 times daily)
36.  Avelox
37.  Prilosec
38.  Prevacid
39.  Kapidex
40.  Protonix
41.  Zantac
42.  Cytomel (5 mcg, 1-2 pills 3 times per day = 30 mcg, however I only got to try 5 mcg, had a  
       bad reaction with Paxil and stopped everything)
43.  Taurine (500 MG, taking 3 throughout the day)
44.  Nasonex (10g, 2x per day, 2x in each nostril)
45.  Flonase (50mcg, not sure how many times per day)
46.  Took vitamins B12, B6, Multivitamin, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, multi-vitamins, Lysine
47.  Temanepam
48.  Amitryptaline
49.  I also took something for high blood pressure
7 Responses
968908 tn?1274874715
WOW!!!!!! Goodness gracous me, you seem to be a medical mystery.  Well regards the Ambien instead of acting as a sleeping pill its acting more like a anti-d or benzo....strange?  Does the Ambien actually help in giving you a restful sleep?  Cause maybe if your managing to sleep well on it then your body is rested and feels more able to cope with everyday life, hense all the improvement in symptoms.  

WHy though wont they remove the tumour? this makes no sense.  If it is in the P-gland then it must be playing an influence on your body and causing most if not all these symptoms.

Also they measure levels of certain hormones in the blood to see if your thyroid etc is working properly, there is no injection etc as far as im aware.

Maybe you should demand an operation to remove this tumour or at least discuss with the doctor a thorough explaination as to why not.
Avatar universal
"2.  Is there anyway doctors can inject sometype of dye or something indirectly (by drinking or through an IV) or
     directly (which I don't know how they do that) into your thyroid, pituitary, hypothalmus, adrenal glands, etc...,
     that would allow them to know if one or the other isn't working properly. "


Certainly. A radioisotope tracer tagged with Glucose. But let's make this easier and narrow it down. You provided a stellar history. Firstly, just because the pituitary adenoma isn't functional does not mean that it isn't secreting various neurotransmitters. After all, the majority of pituitary adenomas are non-malignant.

First, find a good endocrinologist. A damn good one. Once you do, request the following laboratory work:

-ACTH (plasma)
-Aldosterone, 24-hr urine
-Cortisol, 24-hr urine
-Cortisol, Random (plasma)
-Dexamethasone suppression test
-PTH (parathyroid hormone)
-Plasma Metanephrine
-Fractioned Catecholamines and Metanephrine, 24-hr urine
-Anti-diuretic Hormone (Vasopressin) - Frequently overlooked!
-Serum Ferritin Level (for #27 above)

To rule out a concurrent autoimmune etiology, I'd add an ANA titer w/pattern to that list.

As for that stew of psychotropics...that's just wrong. Keep looking, man.

Good luck.

Avatar universal
was checking your comment re ambien.  I had a pitutiary tumor removed in 2003.  Symptoms sound just like mine were.  I was told it was a prolactin secreting tumor and i had the backwards cortisol too.  A long term effect was crashed adrenals, you do need a very good endocronologist.  Dr. Ludlum at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle Washington is one of the top in the country.  He was mine when he was located at OHSU in Portland Oregon.  He has since moved to Swedish and is the head of Neuro Endocrinology there.  Good luck, it was a rough 6 years for me.  My psychiatrist put me on all kinds of things and in 2005 i got diagnosed as bi-polar from some tests, but no interview with anyone. Be careful, go the endo route.  Best of luck,God Bless
someone who cares
3155087 tn?1343709718
Get your thyroid checked. ASAP if your really hungry yet losing weight, dizzy, weak, diarreah, anxiety, headaches, increased cortisol levels, serious serious fatique and sweating i'm betting on Hyperthyroidism. if not that Hypothyroidism, both increase inter-cranial blood pressure which would cause pain behind the eyes and headaches, even severe migraines. If you have a thyroid disorder then it is not one bit strange that ambien helps you. Ambien is a hypnotic drug and works like a benzodiazapine i think it feels like a more sedating mind numbing Valium or Xanax.. also it relaxes the mind, and body. It probably works a little bit on muscle relaxation as well.  benzodiazapines are used for anxiety, overstimulation, panic attacks. I have had both hyper and hypo thyroid and you sound about like i did. As far as the erection and sexual stamina go anyone with an affected thyroid(both hyper and hypo) is going to have major problems down there. orgasm may be difficult definately holding yourself up. I feel for you. I am not a doctor but I can assure you that all of my info is without fault. Just get your thyroid checked, then liver and blood. essentially if your metabolism is out of whack everything is outta whack. including the bowel movements. I really hope you follow my advice. and wish you the best!
5685268 tn?1372347218
If I were your doctor I would issue an MRI and a cat scan and some blood tests to see your CBC levels and is your blood pressure okay? You should also get a EKG and see a cardiologist. This could be an early sign of heart disease. I'm not a licensed physician so please don't be alarmed but it is always better to be safe

Anxiety can play a MAJOR role in this also, though. The Ambien is acting as  benzo and the sleepiness is calming you. So I would see about getting prescribed some anti-anxiety medication such as Xanax, Valium, Klonipin, etc.  Then see if those symptoms start to disappear.
Avatar universal
I hope you're still watching this thread, or, if not , that you've found your cure!  First of all, those suggesting MRI's of your pituitary probably don't realize that this gland is so far beneath your brain that the results might be only 30% accurate AT MOST!  So basically, an MRI of your pituitary would be useless.

Back in 1993, the National Institutes of Health developed and experimental diagnostic procedure which has since become state-of-the-art.  I had it done while it was still experimental -- and it was a life saver for me.  

It's a Petrosal Sinus Sampling and it does pretty much exactly what you asked for!  It uses CRH (Corticotropin Releasing Hormone) injected next to each side of your pituitary gland.  The catheters to get the CRH up there are routed from your groin, up through your carotid arteries, then through your Petrosal Sinuses and then to your pituitary gland.  A baseline draw will be made before the CRH is introduced to show what your "usual" output of ACTH is on each side of your pituitary. Once the CRH is introduced, another draw is siphoned off from each side of the pituitary,  If either side of your pituitary excretes more ACTH than the other upon the introduction of the CRH, in all likelihood, that is the side where your pituitary tumor is.  Mine was a textbook case.  After the results of the Petrosal Sinus Sampling I was scheduled for surgery to remove the tumor -- a Transsphenoidal pituitary adenomectomy -- also experimental at the time.

Today, they perform both those procedures routinely, even showing them done on the TV Series "House!"    
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