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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Ambien

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Ambien and Pregnancy [posted 1/11/99]
Question: My ob doctor has prescribed Ambien to help with my insomnia and I am currently 28 weeks pregnant. I was just wondering is there any harm being done to the baby with my taking this prescription?

Answer: No way to say, but I wouldn't use this drug. Fairly new and untested, let some others be the guinea pigs.

Ambien side effect [posted 1/8/99]
Question: I have been taking this drug for over a year now and have slowly recognized a decreased sexual drive and difficulty obtaining and maintaining an erection. Is this a common side effect of the drug??

Answer: Pretty common.

Ambien [posted 8/11/98]
Question: I am disabled and take medications for pain, seizures and spinal muscle spasms. I am always concerned when taking a medication I am not familiar with.

Answer: Ambien is generally used for sedation, it is used with caution in patients with depression. Headache, nausea and vomiting are seen occasionally.

Ambien for jet lag
Question: I have taken melatonin as prophylactic for jet lag, and understand that some doctors now prescribe Ambien also for jet lag. The concern is that I have heard that such sleep-inducing drugs result in reduced circulation, increasing the likelihood of blood clot formation. Do you have a point of view?

Answer: As long as you get up and around you will not develop this problem. This does not matter if it is a car ride or a jet ride. Inactivity increases the risk, not the medications. Flexing your muscles to keep the blood flowing and getting up and ambulating periodically are important. Also, if you are concerned, take an aspirin for a day or two prior to the flight.

Question: Can this medication cause loss of taste?

Answer: One of the possible side effects is listed as "taste perversion". I have not seen this side effect with this medication, but it can occur.

Question: Does the drug Ambien have addictive qualities following long term use of 1-2 years?

Answer: So far, it does not.

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