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When Ambien doesn't work?


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#1 Night Elf

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 04:50 PM

First, I could have sworn I wrote a post earlier today about feeling like I'm resistant to medication because the meds that some people talk about as kicking their rear ends hardly affect me at all. Maybe it got deleted? (If so, I'm sorry I'm bringing it up again.) Maybe I didn't hit submit? I wouldn't be surprised!

So, if you are like me and Ambien has no or little effect on you, have you found something that did work? I have Ambien, Sonata, Trazodone, and Lunesta. What else can I try? You know what would be heavenly? Taking something and feeling my eyes closing so I can actually lay down and fall right asleep. Ironically, that is the stuff of dreams in my reality. :tongue_smilie:

#2 Ria

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 04:56 PM

Have you tried Benadryl? (Brand is no longer available but generic is).

Is the problem falling asleep, or waking once you are asleep? From your post it sounds like you have trouble falling asleep...in that case, a dose of Benadryl (2 tabs of diphenhydramine) might help. Have you tried it?

#3 Tap

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 04:59 PM

Do you have problems going to sleep or staying asleep?

#4 Ria

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:00 PM

Do you have problems going to sleep or staying asleep?


Tap, you are a pharmacist, aren't you? I'll let you handle this one. LOL. I'm a lowly pharm tech. :)

#5 Tap

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:02 PM

Tap, you are a pharmacist, aren't you? I'll let you handle this one. LOL. I'm a lowly pharm tech. :)


LOL ..... I thought you were the pharmacist. I'm a tech too.

#6 Tap

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:03 PM

Do you drink any form of caffiene, or take any vitamins that say they are for 'energy or vitality'?

#7 Ria

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:04 PM

LOL ..... I thought you were the pharmacist. I'm a tech too.


Grin. :D

#8 Green Vixen

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:21 PM

First, I could have sworn I wrote a post earlier today about feeling like I'm resistant to medication because the meds that some people talk about as kicking their rear ends hardly affect me at all. Maybe it got deleted? (If so, I'm sorry I'm bringing it up again.) Maybe I didn't hit submit? I wouldn't be surprised!

So, if you are like me and Ambien has no or little effect on you, have you found something that did work? I have Ambien, Sonata, Trazodone, and Lunesta. What else can I try? You know what would be heavenly? Taking something and feeling my eyes closing so I can actually lay down and fall right asleep. Ironically, that is the stuff of dreams in my reality. :tongue_smilie:


Hi Night Elf,

Have you had a sleep study done? The results from that could help your Dr find a medication to fit your needs. I had one done and not surprisingly I was diagnosed with severe onset insomnia, I could have told them that :glare:. Most nights it took me 6 hours to fall asleep, and sometimes I wouldn't fall asleep at all.

My Dr and I tried everything under the sun to help me fall asleep. We found one med that kind of helped called Remeron. Unfortunately it can cause weight gain, and I was no exception. After using it for a year and a half I finally couldn't stand the weight gain anymore. We decided to try Seroquel which was for me the last resort. It has some scary side effects but was the first med where I actually yawned and felt sleepy. I've been on it for years and it still works! It is an anti-psychotic at higher dosages but I take 25-50mg and it works like a charm.

Good luck and keep searching! It can be a long process but once you find something that works it is worth it :).

Marisa

#9 Slartibartfast

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:32 PM

First, I could have sworn I wrote a post earlier today about feeling like I'm resistant to medication because the meds that some people talk about as kicking their rear ends hardly affect me at all. Maybe it got deleted? (If so, I'm sorry I'm bringing it up again.) Maybe I didn't hit submit? I wouldn't be surprised!

So, if you are like me and Ambien has no or little effect on you, have you found something that did work? I have Ambien, Sonata, Trazodone, and Lunesta. What else can I try? You know what would be heavenly? Taking something and feeling my eyes closing so I can actually lay down and fall right asleep. Ironically, that is the stuff of dreams in my reality. :tongue_smilie:


I take hydroxyzine. It helps me *stay* asleep but it doesn't really knock me out like you are describing

#10 littleWMN

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:36 PM

I second the sleep study. I had really bad sleep issues and it helped me. I'm on Lunesta and Requip (for bad restless legs). I went on the Requip about a month ago because I thought I didn't need it anymore. I'm not getting good sleep. I need to go back on it, once I figure out how to get it cheaper (cost skyrocketed).

#11 Mommy22alyns

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 06:18 PM

When I run out of Ambien, I have one really bad night of bounceback insomnia. Then I can sort of sleep with a combination of melatonin and Benadryl. I take 2 3mg melatonin and 2 Benadryl. Ambien + trazodone makes me sleep better though.

Something that also helps is an a/d I'm on called Geodon. I take it with dinner at night and I think it makes me sleep more easily.

#12 Night Elf

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 06:44 PM

Okay, more information. :)

I have problems with both falling asleep and staying asleep.

Without any medication, I do have a difficult time falling asleep unless I wait to go to bed when I'm feeling really super tired. If I do not feel tired, I can toss and turn for over 2 hours. If I fall asleep during that time frame, it can't be for long periods because it's never more than about 15 mins. between me reading the clock.

Without any medication, I have a hard time staying asleep. I will wake several times during a 4-5 hr. period until I just get tired of doing it and I get up for the day.

With medication, I can sleep for 7 to 8 hours and my sleep is pretty good. I take my medicine when I start feeling sleepy and then try to get into bed an hour later. Going to bed immediately is bad because I'm not totally sleepy and my thoughts start jumping. See next paragraph.

My doctor says my sleeping issues are wrapped up in my diagnoses: bipolar 2, ADD, and OCD (pure-O, meaning thoughts only). If I get into the bed without feeling tired, my mind kicks into rapid gear because I do not have anything to occupy my mind like I do when I'm awake during the day. When my thoughts start spinning, they usually become negative. I become agitated and can't fall asleep, hence the tossing and turning. The best way for me to go to sleep is to be super sleepy when I crawl between the covers.

I would say half the week, not consecutive nights, I get between 4 and 5 hours of sleep. The other half I get about 7 hours. My doctor wants me sleeping at least 8 hours a night and fusses at me to get into bed at an earlier time. She said the latest I should be staying up is midnight. That is SO hard for me!

Benadryl doesn't make me tired.

I have an appt. soon with my psych, who administers my medicine. I will ask about the sleep study. Knowing Kaiser Permanente the way I do, I would be very surprised if they offered something like that. I might have to go out on my own. Where would I look for that?

#13 Night Elf

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 06:48 PM

Do you drink any form of caffiene, or take any vitamins that say they are for 'energy or vitality'?


The only caffeinated beverage I drink is coffee. I have 2 cups in the morning. I'm taking a multi-vitamin in the a.m. and a B-vitamin at dinner. I'm on several medications and if you think knowing those might help, I would be happy to talk through PM. I'm not sure I want to list all of those here. :D

#14 Ottakee

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 06:52 PM

Not to be nosy but what meds are you on for the bipolar? Is that stable? Mania/hypomania would certainly affect sleep. The ADD can also affect it and for some people actually taking meds for ADD in the evening helps calm down the racing thoughts, etc. so they can relax and go to sleep. Obviously though ADD meds and bipolar are a tricky thing that needs to be monitored closely

Here mine with bipolar and ADD take Lamictal, Risperdal and Dexedrine and one take Melatonin nightly and the other PRN (that one is also on Keppra XR).

Sleep is tough but the doctor is right, the better sleep you get the better it is for the mood side of things.

A sleep study would be good as that might pinpoint any other issues affecting your sleep that need to be addressed.

#15 KidsHappen

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 11:24 PM

I guarantee that I have probably taken every med that you have and then some. I m bi-poar I with ADD & OCD. I take Lamical, Trileptal and Seroquel for bi-polar. When I am stable on these it quelles the OCD tremendously but makes the ADD worse. I can't medicate for that because the meds don't agree with me. When I first started taking Seroquel it worked great for sleep and pain relief. After about six months those effects wore off and now I just take it if I am having a major manic spell or major insomnia spell.

I have tried Rozerum, trazadone, Elavil, Lunesta, Benedryl, Meletonin, hydroxyzine and a few more I can't even remember. I have had the most success with Ambien although it is not perfectly consistant. (I will PM you dosages). The CR doesn't work any better than the regular so no point in paying three times as much.

I have sometimes went two to three weeks with only a few hours sleep. It sets a negative spiral in motion in which I become manic, start hallucinating, my pain gets worse and then I have even more trouble sleeping. Anyone of the three can start the spiral. I have trouble falling alseep if I am having a lot of pain, I frequently have trouble staying asleep and then when I get manic I can't do either. I have been fighting this battle for five years now. I take a little meds as I can get away with and don't escalate past a certain point for fear of more problems.

About a month ago I went to my doc and complained that I was having another particularly bad spell of insomnia. So she added Restoril and told me to cut back on the Xanax. I slept great for three weeks and then I was back to where I started. I am supposed to go see her again in about a week and then we will discuss whether I should stay on that or maybe consider klonopin. I really wonder why it took five years to consider other options though when this has been a consistant and severe problem. The thing that concerns me though is that none of these meds are meant to be taken long term and you can develope tolerance to all of them so no matter what you take you can eventually reach a point where nothing else will work. That scares me even more than the pain I think.

I have been sick this week and for some reason when I am sick, I sleep really well even without my meds. Like most of the day if I can. One thing that I have found that will sometimes help when nothing else does is Nyquil. I have to be sure to regulate it with my pain meds but for some reason it works when other things won't.

I saw the other thread and I didn't even bother to comment on it because I didn't feel that I had anything to offer people who thinking Ambien is the hard stuff. :001_huh:

#16 Heather in Neverland

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 11:30 PM

My dh takes xanax. It seems to work well for him but gives him nightmares. Sorry I don't have better suggestions as Lunesta is the only thing that ever worked for me.

#17 KidsHappen

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 11:39 PM

Okay, more information. :)

I have problems with both falling asleep and staying asleep.

Without any medication, I do have a difficult time falling asleep unless I wait to go to bed when I'm feeling really super tired. If I do not feel tired, I can toss and turn for over 2 hours. If I fall asleep during that time frame, it can't be for long periods because it's never more than about 15 mins. between me reading the clock.

Without any medication, I have a hard time staying asleep. I will wake several times during a 4-5 hr. period until I just get tired of doing it and I get up for the day.

With medication, I can sleep for 7 to 8 hours and my sleep is pretty good. I take my medicine when I start feeling sleepy and then try to get into bed an hour later. Going to bed immediately is bad because I'm not totally sleepy and my thoughts start jumping. See next paragraph.

My doctor says my sleeping issues are wrapped up in my diagnoses: bipolar 2, ADD, and OCD (pure-O, meaning thoughts only). If I get into the bed without feeling tired, my mind kicks into rapid gear because I do not have anything to occupy my mind like I do when I'm awake during the day. When my thoughts start spinning, they usually become negative. I become agitated and can't fall asleep, hence the tossing and turning. The best way for me to go to sleep is to be super sleepy when I crawl between the covers.

I would say half the week, not consecutive nights, I get between 4 and 5 hours of sleep. The other half I get about 7 hours. My doctor wants me sleeping at least 8 hours a night and fusses at me to get into bed at an earlier time. She said the latest I should be staying up is midnight. That is SO hard for me!

Benadryl doesn't make me tired.

I have an appt. soon with my psych, who administers my medicine. I will ask about the sleep study. Knowing Kaiser Permanente the way I do, I would be very surprised if they offered something like that. I might have to go out on my own. Where would I look for that?


I wanted to add that I have a delayed sleep schedule and if I try to go to sleep before I am naturally tired I won't sleep at all but when I try to follow my natural schedule I sleep more and better. Also, their is a small window of time after I take my meds during which I need to get to sleep or it won't happen. So if I take my Ambien and lay down within 15 to 30 minutes then I stand a better chance than if I wait longer.

#18 Unicorn.

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 11:41 PM

My dd's nuero put her on Valerian root. She takes something called Power to Sleep. It has 2 mg of melatonin, which helps her to fall asleep, and it has Valerian root (and passion flower, among others) to help her stay asleep. As someone who has always suffered from insomnia, I wish you luck.

#19 1GirlTwinBoys

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 11:45 PM

Doesn't B vitamins give you energy? Could taking that later in the evening be keeping you up? What about coming off all vitamins for 30 days and seeing if you do any better with sleep? :)

#20 Night Elf

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 11:54 PM

Doesn't B vitamins give you energy? Could taking that later in the evening be keeping you up? What about coming off all vitamins for 30 days and seeing if you do any better with sleep? :)


I don't know, does it? I forget now which doctor put me on the extra B-vitamin. That's bad isn't it? Too many docs and too many meds. I wish one doctor could look at the whole picture, but they don't really have answers for the meds they are not personally prescribing.

It's too late tonight, but I'll try taking the B-vitamin in the morning instead of at night and see if that helps at all. Thanks.

#21 littleWMN

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 12:14 AM

I don't know, does it? I forget now which doctor put me on the extra B-vitamin. That's bad isn't it? Too many docs and too many meds. I wish one doctor could look at the whole picture, but they don't really have answers for the meds they are not personally prescribing.

It's too late tonight, but I'll try taking the B-vitamin in the morning instead of at night and see if that helps at all. Thanks.


Yes, B gives you energy!

#22 Karen in CO

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 12:20 AM

It's too late tonight, but I'll try taking the B-vitamin in the morning instead of at night and see if that helps at all. Thanks.

Good night.

I've suffered insomnia since I was a teen. I have found that listening to Jim Weise read SToW puts me right to sleep.:001_huh:

Also, exercising during day the helps. A good set of vitamins with B and magnesium (plus some melatonin and valeran) helps. I found that the medication I take to prevent/lessen migraines makes my insomnia worse. Reading a complex book before I try to sleep helps. I read until I can't make sense of it anymore, then I sleep better which is how I got through Moby Dick four times in the last year.

Again, good night. I'm off to read then try to sleep.

#23 wapiti

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 12:28 AM

I thought that some of the B vitamins can keep you up. I'd try switching it to the morning.

:lurk5: (looking for ideas for my DH, who doesn't sleep much even with ambien; lately he's been having a little luck with niacinamide)

#24 1GirlTwinBoys

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 07:24 AM

Too many docs and too many meds.


I would definitely look at what you're currently taking BEFORE adding another med, such as a sleep aid. You really might be surprised that it's just something simple like a vitamin or med that's keeping you up at night.

I personally can't take ANY vitamins as I have very negative side effects from them. My Dr. told me not to take anything and just try and meet my nutritinal needs through food. Have you had your levels checked to see if you even really need the supplements you're taking? You may already be in the normal range.:)

Good luck in finding the answers. It's no fun not getting a good nights rest.

#25 klmama

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 07:39 AM

Another vote for Bs in the a.m. Also, you might cut the coffee down to one cup and get outside for a walk in the a.m. to boost your energy. Exercising early helps reset the body clock for sleep at a reasonable time at night. Nutritional supplements some people take at bedtime for relaxation to help sleep include inositol, magnesium or cal/mag, and GABA. Have you tried melatonin? Some people take a low dose (1-3 mg) - the amount needs to be low or it may cause weird dreams.

#26 Night Elf

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 09:11 AM

Another vote for Bs in the a.m. Also, you might cut the coffee down to one cup and get outside for a walk in the a.m. to boost your energy. Exercising early helps reset the body clock for sleep at a reasonable time at night. Nutritional supplements some people take at bedtime for relaxation to help sleep include inositol, magnesium or cal/mag, and GABA. Have you tried melatonin? Some people take a low dose (1-3 mg) - the amount needs to be low or it may cause weird dreams.


Give up some of my coffee?? Ack! It's my morning pleasure! How about I switch to decaf?

Yes, I've tried Melatonin before my doctor prescribed the first sleeping pill.

I've been walking on the treadmill in the evenings. The first two nights I walked (8pm'ish), I was actually sleepy at a reasonable time. Well, reasonable for me: 1am. :tongue_smilie: That hasn't been the case for the next 2 nights.

Exercise does not boost my energy. I am always amazed when I hear people talk about it making them feel good afterwards. I have negative feelings about exercise and that probably doesn't help. I'm the girl who point blank told my high school P.E. teacher that sweating was for boys. I knew exactly how many days I could skip out of dressing out, a requirement for participating in the class. No dressing out meant a 0. I was happy with the 'C' I made each quarter.

I got 2 hours sleep last night.

Thanks for reminding me about the B-vitamin. I'm going to take that now.

#27 Night Elf

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 09:27 AM

Have you had your levels checked to see if you even really need the supplements you're taking? You may already be in the normal range.:)


What specifically? Vitamin B levels? I finally remembered that my doctor added the supplement to my meds for my mood disorder. I'll talk to her about it and see what she thinks.

I just had a blood workup and included a Vitamin D 25-hydroxy (which was low actually.)

I'm looking forward to my next appt. I have lots to talk about. Thanks ladies!


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