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  1. #1
    Opie is offline Member
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    Default Ambien vs. Xanax

    I have been using Ambien as a sleep aid during WDs, but I know that prolonged use can cause some form of dependence. I also used some Xanax when my Ambien had run out.

    My question for everyone is, while Ambien is technically classified as a non-benzo, does it work in a similar enough fashion on the brain that cycling between the two medications will cause a benzo dependence anyway? That is the last thing I need or want in my life at this point.


  2. #2
    chic is offline Senior Member
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    i don't think the two are alike.... ambien is a sleeping pill & you shouldn't use those DAILY.... just when you can't sleep.. i take ambien myself, but not everynight... i also take 10mg valiums.... my doctor gave me both at the same time & told me to take the ambien RIGHT BEFORE bed...if you don't, you will lose your window...then told me to take the valium once in the morning & once in the evening.... so from what i gather, the two are not alike...i wouldn't think she would give me both if they were suppose to do the same thing.... i'm not a doctor, but xanex is for a different purpose than ambien...

    God Bless, Chic

  3. #3
    mirage75 is offline Senior Member
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    Xanax and ambien are quite similar.
    Both act upon the same receptor sites , the only difference is that ambien and the other "z" (ambien is zolpidem tartrate , there is also zopiclone [Immovane I believe] and others) drugs are supposed to be selective , and only bind to the gaba receptor class responsible for inducing sleep.

    Cycling between these two drugs will NOT prevent dependency.

    It is my personal opinion that the "z" drugs are not classified as benzodiazepines for financial reasons. The drugs are more alike than they are different.

    Take care
    -Chris

  4. #4
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    Lisa_o1 is offline Senior Member
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    Hi All,

    Very glad that question was asked. And very glad it was answered.

    I hear so much about ambien but yet i didn't know what the heck it was.

    Best,

    Lisa




  5. #5
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    slingblade is offline Senior Member
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    Everyone is correct. Zolpidem targets GABA sites exclusively. GABA site are, like seritonin sites, vulnerable to oversaturation. But unlike seritonin receptors, cannot reproduce themselves and increase their population. That's why GABA specific medication are effective at recommended dosage, short term. Increasing the dosage beyond reasonable does not increase effectiveness. And, GABA receptors don't overcome stimulation as quickly as seritonin receptors. That is why preperations such as Ambien are effective for a limited time.

    Can you overdose on it? I don't know. I will do toxicity research if someone espresses desire.

    But overdose is unlikely because patients quickly learn that increasing dose does not increase or prolong effectiveness.

    Ambien seems relatively safe. It is not a long term solution to sleep problems.

    Even for longterm drug abusers, abuse of Ambien and related preperations is short-term, because there is no point.

    It does what the advertisments say it does. Short term.

    Personally, I won't discourage any recovering addict from using Ambien or the newer related preperations.

    I want to remind everyone that sleep problems are of a phychological and sometimes a physical nature, but temporary. If they continue beyond tolerable, then the root cause needs to be addressed.

    All chemical sleep preparations are short term solutions. Stop gap measures. The root problem has to be discussed.

    All sleep aids attempt to suppress natural alert, defensive, and aggressive responses. There are no known sleep inducing receptors to target. In spite of modern science, sleep is still a mystery. All sleep aids may induce sleep in individuals. But all disrupt natural sleep paterns and sleep cycles.

    Benzodiazepines are a major problem because increasing dosages continue to induce drowsiness and sleep. But it's not natural 'real' recuperative, restorative sleep.

    I've taken up way too much space trying to say Ambien, short term, is IMHO ok.
    Benzos are not.

    I'm not an expert. I'm reading from two books, trying to paraphrase and include personal experience.

    Everyone experiences sleep problem during withdrawal. If a GABA targeting preparation helps not just with sleep problems but with ultimate sorbiety, OK. But not benzos.

    Mike


    "What lies before us
    and what lies beyond
    are tiny compared to
    what lies within us."
    --Henry David Thoreau

  6. #6
    slingblade's Avatar
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    Chris,

    Tell me more. I'm really interested now.

  7. #7
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    I won't even pretend to know much about all this technical jargon you guys are talking about.lol..I'll just say what my experience has been....I've been Rx'd both xanax and ambien for probably four or five years now...I don't abuse either, with the exception of an extra xanax every now and then..

    I normally take at most .5 to 1mg of xanax a day, and ambien at night...If I skip the xanax for more than a couple days I do begin to fidget and wig out a bit...If I skip the ambien for more than two or three days I have a hard time staying asleep through the night...I can fall asleep, but 3 hours later I'm staring at the ceiling...

    I try to maintain a constant level of xanax all the time, and I try to skip a day from ambien each week or it seems to lose its' knock out punch for me...I've had no problem with my Doctor as far as long term ambien use...She will only call it in once a month and knows I don't abuse it....

    So that's my story with xanax and ambien...I find they each serve me well, although be it in different capacities....

    Kenny
    PS...Chris, do you see harm in .5 to 1mg max of xanax a day?? If so, what ??? Thanks guys....

  8. #8
    Mic Guest

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    I appreciate all the technical info on the Ambien vs. Xanax.
    I have used Ambien, but ended up abusing it. I cannot even IMAGINE taking Xanax! So, even though they are related (according to our guru and others) what is it about the Xanax the scares the chit out of me, whereas with the Ambien, it was kinda like (OK, taking it during the day, and drinking a lot of coffee). So, I very simply just stopped. Didn't even get any refills. Anyhow guys, just curious more than anything else...
    Mic

    "It takes what it takes"

  9. #9
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    Hi All,

    Two questions, if anyone's inclined:

    1. Whats the difference between Ambien and Restoril?

    2. Whats the difference between Restoril and Xanax?

    Best,

    Lisa

    * Chris/Mike, if you find these two questions very similar to what you already answered in your post about Ambien v. Xanax, then disregard.

  10. #10
    chic is offline Senior Member
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    Lisa,

    couldn't tell ya... i have never heard of Restoril... i know what ambien is, a sleeping aid, i'm sure you know that... and i know we all know what xanex is...

    why you asking? are you taking restoril & wondering if ambien & xanex could be a problem mixing with the restoril...

    be patient, someone that knows will be along shortly to answer your question.. if not, start your own thread, that is the quickest way to get an answer... good luck girlfriend!!!!!!

    God Bless, Chic

  11. #11
    Lisa_o1's Avatar
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    Hi Chic,

    If anyone hasnt told you yet today, youre a sweetheart :) Thanks for your concern, very much.

    Nah, I used to take restoril and ativan for a sleep situation seemingly identical to Kenny's.

    I dont take it anymore... more curiosity than anything. And... I cant find my pdr :P

    Love,

    Lisa

  12. #12
    Ratch's Avatar
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    Hey Lisa,
    Ambien vs Restoril-
    Restoril is a benzo like xanax, and Ambien is a imidazopyridine (kinda semi/partial benzo) Need to do like 20x the normal dose for benzo like similarities

    Restoril Vs Xanax- Is like benzo vs benzo(valium vs xanax)or oxy vs hydro, its basically the same sh!t with a different stink.

    Benzo's was never my cup o' tea luckily, but I know that Mike and Chris have this stuff covered inside and out if you want specifics.

    I just cant resist flipping through the PDR-

    Ratch

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