Ambien can cause dissociative amnesia (DA), which is similar to what's known commonly as a "blackout." A person having an episode of DA may sleepwalk and talk to family members while still asleep, but remember nothing of the incident the following day. (One night taking ambien I woke up the house playing old Steely Dan records -- I remember nothing of it the next day. Needless to say, I no longer use ambien. Are you reeling in the years?)
DA only effects the time when under the influence of the medication. It does not cause one to lose memories, like full-blown amnesia. Your mother's loss of memory is probably from a different source.
Thanks for your comments! It's definitely from the Ambien. It's distinctive and unique for her and she can tell you went it started and track it to it. I can tell you when I noticed, and it matches. My father too. It as sudden onset, mild at first and getting worse as she continued, and it's with memory with no evidence of anything else being effected.
There are tons of posts on the internet from people who've experienced the same thing, including younger adults. Unfortunately none of them report it resolving. I'm hoping that for the users where it resolved just haven't posted about it. I contacted the manufacturer and they have a pharmacist assigned who will be looking at the research and reports that have come in, and will get back to me. They aren't saying it must be something else at this time.
For drugs there can be effects that happen to only 1-2 people, or 1-2%. It's important in life to listen to your own body. Research is about what's inside 2 standard deviations of norm, not about including what happens to everybody.
Glad you were able to get off the Ambien. That's quite an experience!
In case someone else is searching. ...by about another month, the memory losses improved. She's still having some types of poor memory but it's likely due to other medical conditions. However the dementia-style losses that were so worrisome, seems to have stopped. Maybe she'd be better off now if she'd never taken Ambien, but it's less certain. She's taking Halceon sleeping med instead. It's working (no need for increasing doses, and does put her to sleep), and she's used it before without noticing ill effect.
Philnor - your claim is false that it's only while on the meds.
That was my point to begin with - that it was happening while off it! I got more belief and credibilty when I called it's manufacturer than from your comment.