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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sleep Aides: Ambien Withdrawal | Ambien May Worsen Acid Reflux or GERD

Rose knows that Ambien is the most prescribed drug in the world for those that suffer from insomnia. In the USA it was reported that 11 billion Ambien pills are consumed each year. In which, 30 million people in the USA take some sort of prescribed sleep medication - a nearly 50% increase since 2000. As more and more people are facing stress due to work or family issues, they are looking for a way to escape by using a prescribed sleep aide, like Ambien. However, many weren’t forewarned about the addictive properties of Ambien and now have to go through the withdrawal process.

Before they can deal with their insomnia they have to clear the drug out of their system. Many professionals feel the best way to go through an Ambien withdrawal process is cold turkey. Like any addiction or habit you must have the mind set to quit as your brain will continue to send you a signal to continue to use the drug again. In order to prepare your mind and body, you must understand that you will have a higher level of insomnia during the initial withdrawal period.

It can take up to seven days before you have fully detoxified your body from the effects of the Ambien. Establishing a sleep routine and using natural sleep aides will benefit you in the long run, so you won’t have to use a prescription sleep aide any longer. Prescription drugs like Ambien are so highly addictive many people struggle to stop taking it as most people weren’t aware of the risks until they try to stop. Start the Ambien withdrawal process on a weekend so you can focus fully on the situation. You may want a family member or friend to stay with you for the first few nights for support. Make sure you talk to your doctor and he is aware of your decision, as he may have alternative methods to help you go through the withdrawal process. Some doctors stress that a patient should not stop taking Ambien abruptly, the process has to be gradual, otherwise there are risks of serious problems, including seizures.

Other side effects of Ambien are sleepwalking and short-term memory loss. However, as the company has no statistics on sleepwalking it is unlikely to know how often this might occur. Reports are growing of patients taking Ambien, getting up at night, eating loads of food, going back to bed, and remembering nothing of the event next morning. There have also been more patients reporting short-term memory loss. A rising number of patients are getting up in the morning, still feeling the effects of the drug, getting behind the wheel and crashing their vehicles.

Those that have an understanding about the Ambien withdrawal process and are successful will get their insomnia under control in their own terms. Trying non habitual supplements, natural sleep remedies and maintaining a sleep routine will allow you to get a good night sleep and wake refreshed in the morning. ready to take on whatever the day may bring.

Warning: Ambien May Worsen Reflux Symptoms
New studies in the Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology show that as many as 15% to 30% of patients wake up during the night due to undiagnosed Acid Reflux or GERD. In a controlled group of 16 GERD patients some were given Ambien while the rest took a placebo and the researchers recorded the number of reflux associated episodes during the night.

Ambien allowed the patients to sleep through the reflux events causing them increased acid exposure thus facilitating an increased risk for complicated disease, like Barrett’s esophagus. Barrett’s esophagus is a precursor to developing esophageal cancer. Those patients that received the placebo woke 89% of the time when experiencing acid reflux while those that took Ambien only awoke 40%. The GERD patients in the placebo group also experienced an acid reflux episode 20-55 seconds, while those that took a sleeping pill lasted 4 – 8 minutes.

The conclusion being that Ambien doesn’t cause acid reflux, but it allows a person that has acid reflux to sleep through an episode which may cause additional health concerns. Doctors should think carefully before giving a GERD patient a prescribed sleep aide. If you have acid reflux or GERD and you feel you need help getting to sleep, talk to your doctor about alternative sleep aid remedies.


ambien said...

I had trouble sleeping due to chronic pain from arthritis in my back and hips; I have been using plain Ambien 10 mg.almost every night for several months. I have not had any bad effects from it so far. Usually, I am able to sleep at least 5 hours.

zolpidem said...

I have been taking ambien for two months now and I find if I don't take it one night that when I wake up at say 12:30 a.m. that I can't get back to sleep and will stay awake until sunrise.