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lusia (@lusia)

Weaning off zolpidem (Ambien)

Sleep Health | Last Active: 3 days ago | Replies (328)

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Hi Helen:
Thank you for taking the time to tell your story. I sometimes feel that I’m the odd one out having to rely on both antidepressants and ambien at the same time. After reading many posts here at Mayo Clinic Connect, I am realizing that I’m not such an odd duck. My doctors also don’t discourage me from taking the ambien, but my family doctor has suggested that I begin lowering my Effexor dosage and has been helping me with the process. I’ve been taking Effexor for 15 years and I am willing to cut it down or get off of it entirely just to see how I do without it. I always had a problem with insomnia but didn’t realize that there was a drug out there that would make such a difference in my quality of life. In 2001, my first husband died of cancer at age 54. I was his caretaker and held down a full time job at the same time. Sleep consisted of an hour or two before I had to get up to tend to my husband. Then I would try to get back to sleep for a while before it would start all over again. I was a hot mess before I ended up at the doctors office. He made sure I understood how important it was for me to sleep and prescribed ambien. I was lucky enough to have my mother in law spend some time helping me and I was able to try the ambien. It was right then and there that I realized that I didn’t know what a good nights sleep was. I’ve been taking it ever since. I wonder if I could live without the ambien now, but I am so afraid to try. They say, if its not broken, don’t fit it, but in this case does that still apply?

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Replies to "Hi Helen: Thank you for taking the time to tell your story. I sometimes feel that..."

Hi there, I was taking ambien for several months, however believe it was messsing with my mind. I don't really know if it was just ME….but it scared me that I needed this to sleep…and sleep I did.
Because I do like to have drinks several times a week, it truly is not recommended to take ambien with alcohol, therefore….that is what I believe is what was happening. Strange mind things going on.
I am exhausted every day now, trying to decide what to do.
Thinking of going back on trazedone, which helped with sleep for a couple years but I seemed to reach a tolerance level and kind of stopped working.
Why do we hear such bad things about ambien, if Dr's keep prescribing?