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Lunesta Vs Ambien


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#1 In_Remission_maintainin

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 07:17 AM

Can I get some thoughts from folks who have taken both of these? I've already heard about the horrific taste from lunesta. I've taken ambien before and I swear I feel more depressed the next day after I take it. But I'm having a real hard time sleeping lately and I need something in the short term while I start up on cymbalta. Thanks!



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#2 In_Remission_lymom3

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 09:19 AM

Can I get some thoughts from folks who have taken both of these? I've already heard about the horrific taste from lunesta. I've taken ambien before and I swear I feel more depressed the next day after I take it. But I'm having a real hard time sleeping lately and I need something in the short term while I start up on cymbalta. Thanks!



There is an aftertaste to Lunesta when it starts dissolving and working for me. I found that Ambien left me too hungover the next day and I felt dazed all the time. Lunesta is much better in that aspect.

#3 firedancer

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 09:35 AM

i never noticed an aftertaste with the lunesta (some described it as a penny/copper taste). for me, ambien cr worked much better. but because of money issues, i am trying to stop using it and trying to depend on just my xanax and elavil to do the work, so far so good.
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Dx: Bipolar, Intractable Migraines, Social & General Anxiety, Idiopathic Seizures

Current Rx: Lamictal, Xanax, Seroquel XR, Nuvigil, Ambien

Past Rx: Prozac, Paxil/CR, Lexapro, Cymbalta, Ambien/CR, Wellbutrin XL, Effexor/XR, Depakote/ER, Keppra, Topamax, Neurontin, Zonegran, Trazadone, Klonopin, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Lyrica, Trileptal, Risperal, Ablify, Geodon, Lunesta, Skelaxin, Doxepin, Flexiril, Zanaflex, Verapamil, Lithium Carb, amitiptylin, triptans (can't take 'em), pain meds

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#4 In_Remission_tinker683

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 10:37 AM

I have been taking 3mg of Lunesta for two nights now for insomnia due to Seroquel Withdrawal (I've been off my Seroquel for a month now. Whee!).

So far, the side effects seem kind of mild to me. I get the yucky taste in my mouth, but it's very minor. More than the taste itself, my taste buds feel a little num/funny after I take the Lunesta.

The more noticeable side effects are how I feel the next day: I feel awake, refreshed, and giddy...but also slightly depersonalized, like everything is slightly 'off'.

I don't know if what I'm feeling is the Lunesta or the fact that I'm getting a solid 7 and 1/2 hours of sleep instead of 1-3 hours of sleep.

Having gone off Effexor XR and Seroquel, I am concerned about staying on these things for too long and developing withdrawal symptoms. I was very resistant to the taking the Lunesta because I wanted to actually be MED FREE for the first time in 6 years.

Only time will tell I suppose.

#5 Wooster

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 09:19 AM

Just to weigh in...

Lunesta knocked me out for about 2 hours. A surprisingly and disappointingly SHORT period of time when I was having ridiculous sleep issues/insomnia from hell/generally pestered 24/7 by intrusive ptsd symptoms. I put Lunesta in the same category as restoril, trazodone, and a double shot of wild turkey. :mad:

As for ambien, it's been amazing. First, it's now generic (zolpidem) so it's cheap cheap cheap even though my insurance will STILL only give me 14 pills and the Rx is written for 2 a night in a month's supply (that's crap, but it's another story). Second, I finally sleep, as my sweetie put it ever so eloquently "like a log" when I take it. Initally in the really really crazy insomnia period, I took 10 mg every night. Have since stepped it down to 10 mg every other or every 3rd night and now am at 5 mg every 2-3 nights. The "sticky wicket" though, is rebound insomnia... I sleep really really well when I take it, and really really crappy when I don't. Thus begins the saga of my love-hate relationship with sedative-hypnotics/benzos etc...

And on to ambien CR... well, it's a controlled release so it's supposed to help one stay asleep longer throughout the night instead of hitting you all at once. It's otherwise the same medication... just in a different package. One way for sanofi-aventis to keep making money off the patent process, I guess. They're currently offering a free 7 day trial. Sanofi-aventis participates in a prescription assistance program. It looks like you could get abilify, but not ambien CR through that program.

I'll take a cruise through the college library databases to see if there's any efficacy studies comparing the two.


...so I haven't found any direct head-to head comparisons yet. But here's what I have found...

-Moen & Plosker (2006):

Efficacy of zolpidem CR was assessed in two 3-week, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase III polysomnography trials in younger adult (aged 18–64 years) or elderly (aged ≥65 years) patients with primary insomnia. Patients received nightly zolpidem CR (12.5mg in younger adult and 6.25mg in elderly patients). Efficacy was assessed objectively on nights 1, 2, 15 and 16. Patients who received zolpidem CR had significantly improved objective latency to persistent sleep, wake time after sleep onset and sleep efficiency on assessment nights compared with placebo recipients.▴ In subjective assessments of sleep quality on day 2 and nights 15 and 22, significantly more zolpidem CR than placebo recipients gave favourable responses on a Patient Global Impression scale in the study in younger adult patients. In the other study, significantly more elderly patients in the zolpidem CR group rated their sleep as improved compared with the placebo group.


-Cluydts (2004) has an interesting article on zolpidem "as needed" dosing. Essentially states there's good reasons for pdoc/primary care providers to negotiate a PRN schedule for zolpidem with their patients: 1) it limits the likelihood of physical and psychological addiction as well as "fear of dependence", 2) it better reflects the 'real world' effects of insomnia (varies from night to night but persists for a longer period of time) as well as how patients actually use sedative-hypnotics, 3) it resolves the "dilemma" that most patients take sedative-hypnotics for longer periods of time but most governmental health regulations indicate for short term use only. PRN schedules vary from every night for a short period of time, to every 2-3 nights regularly, to a total maximum number of nights determined by physician with the particular nights chosen by patient. The three studies Cluydts cites argue in favor of safety (no abrupt withdrawal issues), very little rebound insomnia, and improved time-to-sleep as well as increased total sleep.

-MC Miller (2005) on Lunesta:

Recently another medication class, sometimes
called “z-drugs” — zolpidem (Ambien), zaleplon
(Sonata) and zopiclone — has been replacing
benzodiazepines in the treatment of insomnia.
These drugs affect a subset of the receptors for
benzodiazepines. That may explain why they are
less likely to cause tolerance, rebound insomnia,
and withdrawal symptoms, and patients are less
likely to use them to get high.
Lunesta is a version of zopiclone, which has
been on the market around the world, but not in
the U.S., for about 20 years. Zopiclone molecules,
like many drugs, can be oriented two ways in
space (see the escitalopram/Lexapro story, in the
Mental Health Letter, July 2003). Like right and left
feet, the two versions, or “isomers,” of zopiclone
are identical but can’t be superimposed. And just
as a left foot only fits into a left shoe, only one of
the two isomers of zopiclone fits into the targeted
brain receptor. In this case, it is the left-handed or
“S” isomer that fits. Thus the name eszopiclone.
Despite the interesting six-month trial, it
is too early to declare Lunesta the first among
equals. There is so much experience worldwide
with zopiclone that it probably would have been
available in the U.S. long ago had it demonstrated
distinct benefits. All the z-drugs are rapidly
absorbed and leave the body quickly enough
to minimize daytime drowsiness. Of the three,
zaleplon has the shortest half-life, so it may be
best when the main problem is getting to sleep,
or when you don’t want to sleep for more than
four or five hours (for example, on a cross-country
airplane trip). Lunesta is more likely to help
you stay asleep the whole night, but its longer
period of action may mean more carry-over
effects the next day, particularly for seniors.




Peace,
Wooster

Edited by Wooster, 07 September 2007 - 10:49 AM.

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#6 Stacia

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 10:55 AM

Ambien gave me nightmares and weird sleep... until I woke up again and again. I haven't tried the CR yet because of the nightmares on the regular. Lunesta (1-3mg depending) usually keeps me asleep, or I'm only up once. I pop up pretty wide awake 8 or so hours later. No real taste issue. Unlike Ambien, Lunesta goes from no effect to conking you out quickly. Which is better is going to depend on which works best for you. My advice is to get some samples of both from your doc before getting a prescription. If that's not possible, just do a partial on the prescription. You can always go back for the rest of the order.
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#7 Bipolar Bear

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 03:34 PM

I've taken ambien a few times and haven't had any real issues with it, but lunesta gave me crippling headaches. I'd take it around 10 at night, and at 4-ish the next afternoon I'd get a raging headache and be done for the rest of the day.
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#8 In_Remission_spammylicious

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 03:57 PM

Only my experience...
I started on Ambien about 2 years ago. A month into it I moved and got another doctor, who switched it to Lunesta. Lunesta was not for me. I would fall asleep like 3 hours after I took it and the month I was using it I became VERY depressed. Once I switched back to Ambien, all was just fine.
I still take it every night and need that whole 8 hours, but feel fine the next day. I'm a little slow to start in the am, just need to sit with some tea for a few minutes, but having good sleep has been a godsend for me.

#9 VAL

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 04:45 PM

Ambien also made me depressed and very rapidly. I'm not talking about a hungover effect or being too sleepy but real honest to goodness depression. It occurred immediately and I stopped after four days because I was sinking further and further and as I stopped, the depression lifted.
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#10 In_Remission_La_Di_Freakin_Da

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 09:36 AM

Can I get some thoughts from folks who have taken both of these? I've already heard about the horrific taste from lunesta. I've taken ambien before and I swear I feel more depressed the next day after I take it. But I'm having a real hard time sleeping lately and I need something in the short term while I start up on cymbalta. Thanks!



Eck! Lunesta and Ambien! Bad bad BAD (for me at least). I felt like I went totally cukoo after trying them. Depression, panic attacts, paranoia...I ended up in the ER with chest pains after an Ambien-induced panic attack. I avoid them like the plague. For me, Trazadone works wonders and it's dirt cheap. I can get the generic for $10. I feel a bit groggy in the morning but it clears up pretty quick. Much better than an ER visit.

~Mindy

#11 In_Remission_Eric

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 11:37 AM

I've taken both of them, as well as rozarem. Here's my experience:

Rozarem: didn't do squat. I had six pills in a sample pack. First night, I tried one. Second night, two. Third night, three. nada.

Ambien: I, too, have a mild hangover effect after taking Ambien, for at least the first several nights. After a while, the hangover effect dissipates, or - at least - isn't as strong. Because of my cocktail, I have a reasonably high incident of the "ambien effect." In other words, the whole "sleep walking, sleep eating, sleep showering, sleep cleaning, and - in one case - sleep f*cking" deal. This is especially pronounced when I take Ambien with a benzo (klonopin, usually).

Lunesta: Lunesta has been a life saver to me. I've been taking it, now, for several months, regularly, and have yet to develop an addiction to it (as proven by my simply not taking it for a couple of weeks). I do not experience the after taste, but then again, I take it with some other meds at the same time. The medication works rapidly, usually within 30 minutes. It is not a pronounced "oh god I'm tired" or "oh man, I'm about to fall as*snore*"... I actually have to lie down and want to go to sleep, or I'll be able to stay awake through it, for the most part. When I lie down, though, I'm out rapidly, and stay asleep throughout the night.

A rather large contingent of people refer to Lunesta as a hypnotic. This is absolutely not true. Lunesta is actually a GABA booster(source). The effect can feel somewhat hypnotic, though, especially when combined with a benzo, or some other anti-anxiety meds.

I will make one caution. If you take Buspar, make sure you are in and down for the night the first time you take them together. I've found through personal experience that combining them makes for one interesting night (essentially, I got that freaky weird side effect where your eyes jitter from side to side, so it was virtually impossible to concentrate on anything, visually. Plus, I felt like I had been drug under water and help under hypnosis. It was strange. The next night I halved my dosage of Lunesta, and I didn't get those effects, I merely fell asleep quicker, and slept better).

-Eric

#12 Wooster

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 07:58 AM

I've taken both of them, as well as rozarem. Here's my experience:

Rozarem: didn't do squat. I had six pills in a sample pack. First night, I tried one. Second night, two. Third night, three. nada

Hey Eric,
Not surprised Rozarem didn't work 'quickly' for you. It's a melatonin agonist, and as my pdoc likes to say, "It's a dimmer switch, not a circuit breaker." In other words, it's a gradual effect both in terms of any given night 'the sleepies' just sort of nonchalantly wander in as opposed to driving their Harleys straight into the brain, as well as increasing effectiveness over time.

A rather large contingent of people refer to Lunesta as a hypnotic. This is absolutely not true. Lunesta is actually a GABA booster(source). The effect can feel somewhat hypnotic, though, especially when combined with a benzo, or some other anti-anxiety meds.

Right, not a benzo-hypnotic, but anything that induces sleep is considered a "hypnotic" by the FDA in the US.

Peace,
Wooster
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#13 In_Remission_donewaiting

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 01:31 PM

I love ambien cr because nothing else worked. With lunesta I stayed up every night all night waiting for it to work.

#14 Bipolar Bear

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 06:23 PM

I have actually heard from a few people that lunesta just never kicks in for them. I guess it's an example of YMMV.
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#15 quiet storm

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 09:27 AM

Lunesta has treated me well. I really dont notice the taste much anymore, but I never thought it was that bad to begin with. I actually kind of look forward to it at night because when the taste comes on, I know its kicking in.

If you were on something more hardcore before you tried lunesta, like ambien, you will probably be dissapointed. Lunesta is milder. Ambien is like a sledgehammer(and it makes me feel like I got hit by one the next day). Lunesta is more like a rubber mallet. If you are a hardcore insomniac, its not for you.
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#16 netsavy006

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Posted 27 December 2007 - 02:23 PM

I've taken Lunesta and Ambien and I find lunesta to be better for me. Ambien CR gave me leg pains so I couldn't continue to take it, but lunesta never caused me such a problem so I've stuck with it.
- Andy -
Dx: Asperger's + Bipolar 1: Mixed Episode
Rx: Topamax 200mg + Valium 15mg + Zyprexa Zydis 5mg + Artane 6mg + Lunesta 3mg

#17 ClaudiaP

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 05:01 PM

I think people react differently to these. I used to have good results with Sonata, but some life stresses made that drug useless. I tried Ambien, but I was unbelievably rageful on the second day (Sonata affected me this way after several days, also, but initially I only used it occasionally and it was fine). Lunesta mostly works, 19 x out of 20. The taste is no worse than the taste I already get from Lamictal.

I haven't been able to go off the Lunesta or even nudge the dose downward from 3 mg, though. Bugs me. It's approved for "long-term" use, but technically that means months, not years. I worry about it a little, but worry about missed sleep more.

It just seems to me that if you're already having issues with Ambien, you should give Lunesta a try.

Edited by ClaudiaP, 28 December 2007 - 05:02 PM.

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#18 psychogeezer

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 08:58 PM

VAL said:"Ambien also made me depressed and very rapidly. I'm not talking about a hungover effect or being too sleepy but real honest to goodness depression. It occurred immediately and I stopped after four days because I was sinking further and further and as I stopped, the depression lifted."

never a truer word spoken. i had no idea of what knocked me into suicidal depression for six months. there was no stess factors involved, no external drivers that i could conjure up.

i had been taking ambien (zolpidem t.) for nearly 2 years and after 1.5 years it slam danced me into hell. no amount or kinds of AD's did anything to put a dent in the hell that i was confined to. third pdoc got a fix on it within the first 15 mins in his office. he lumped it in with benzos and insisted that they are depressants and will fix your wagon if used long term.

it took no time at all after dropping the stuff to regain my sanity. he has my eternal gratitude.
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#19 In_Remission_NotThatCrazy

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 09:09 AM

YMMV is definitely true.

Ambien gives me huge anxiety the next day. I have no idea why, just that it does.

Lunesta works best for me. The aftertaste isn't that bad, and I get a good 7 hours of sleep.

#20 In_Remission_Magnolia

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 07:49 PM

I've taken Ambien and Lunesta.

Ambien always works for me. Always, always. Take Ambien. Sleep. Wake up feeling okay. Yay!

Lunesta...well, I took one, waited for it to work, and I'm still waiting. I need the sledgehammer of Ambien, I guess.

Trazadone worked really well for me, too, but my current family doc isn't very familiar with it and won't prescribe it because of its side effects. I keep telling her that I'm really unlikely to suffer priapism.... :mad:


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