If you are taking Ambien or any other sleeping pill, anti-psychotic or psychiatric medication you should NEVER quit cold turkey. These drugs can produce dangerous withdrawal symptoms that can be worse than the side effects themselves or your original symptoms.
Ambien acts much like an anti-psychotic medication and is often prescribed for insomnia. Anti-psychotics are also called Major Tranquilizers or Neuroleptics. It is just horrific that doctors are prescribing these drugs for sleep problems. Anti-psychotics are not only an extremely strong medication, but they can produce severe side effects and dangerous withdrawal symptoms that can be fatal, including suicide.
This article lists the new and older, name brand anti-psychotics, lists their side effects, provides resources for a tapering off schedule specific for Ambien, a free online book “How to Get off Psychiatric Drugs Safely” and a free online white paper “Side Effects of Common Psychiatric Drugs”. If you are considering taking Ambien don’t! See the bottom of this article for natural sleep aids.
The side effects of older name brand antipsychotics such as Amidate, Arvynol, Dalmane, Demerol, Depakote, Doriden, Dormalin, Geodon, Haldol, Largon, Lidone, Loxitane, Mellaril, Moban, Navane, Nembutal, Neurontin, Nozinan, Orap, Permitil, Phenergan, Proketazine, Prolixin, Proscom, Quide, Repoise, Serlect, Seroquel, Sparine, Stelazine, Taractan, Tegretol, Thorazine, Tindal, Topamax, Trancopal, Triclos, Trilafon, Versed, Vesprin; and newer name brand antipsychotics such as Abilify, Ambien, Clozaril, Compazine, Lamictal, Resperine, Risperdal, Serentil and Zprexa are listed below:
Akathisia (inability to keep still)
Abnormal gait (manner of walking)
Death from liver failure
Fatal blood clots
Hyperglycemia (abnormally high blood sugar)
Hypoglycemia (abnormally low blood sugar)
Neuroleptic malignant Syndrome (toxic reaction that can be fatal)
Painful skin rashes
Pancreatitis (inflammation of pancreas, a gland near the stomach that helps digestion)
Swollen and leaking breasts
Tachycardia (heart irregularity)
Tardive dyskinesia (a permanent impairment of the power of voluntary movement of the lips, tongue, jaw, fingers, toes, and other body parts)
Ambien Withdrawal Symptoms include but are not limited to:
Abnormal extroversion or aggressive behavior
Loss of personal identity
Worsening of depression
GENERAL WARNINGS AND STUDIES ON ANTIPSYCHOTICS:
The Journal of Toxicology reported that the newer antipsychotics “will soon account for the majority of poisonings from antipsychotic agents that get presented to health care facilities in the U.S.”
It found “seizures are uncommonly associated with atypical antipsychotic agents following both therapeutic doses and overdoses.” And “the ingestion of a single tablet of clozapine (Clozaril), olanzapine (Zyprexa) and risperidone (Risperidal) may cause significant toxicity in a toddler. Ataxia (involuntary muscular movement), confusions, EPS (extrapyramidal symptoms-nerve damage), coma, and respiratory arrest have been reported following ingestion of 50-200mg of clozapine in toddlers.”
September 2003: The FDA requested the makers of six newer antipsychotic drugs add a caution to their labeling language about the potential risk of diabetes and blood sugar abnormalities.
June 2004: The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration published an Adverse Drug Reactions Bulletin reporting that the newer antipsychotics could increase the risk of diabetes.
September 22, 2005: Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman of Columbia University and other researchers published a study in The New England Journal of Medicine that compared the older generation of antipsychotics with several newer ones. Far from proving effectiveness, of the 1,493 patients who had participated, 74% discontinued their antipsychotic drugs before the end of their treatment due to inefficacy, intolerable side effects or other reasons. After 18 months of taking Zyprexa, 64% of the patients taking this stopped, most commonly because it caused sleepiness, weight gain or neurological symptoms like stiffness and tremors.
December 1, 2005: Researchers found that 18% of nearly 23,000 elderly patients taking the older antipsychotics died within the first six months of taking them.
May 2, 2006: USA Today released the results of an analysis of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data that showed at least 45 children died between 2000 and 2004 from the side effects of antipsychotic drugs (Clozaril, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Abilify and Geodon). Despite an adults-only FDA approval for these drugs, according to the USA Today, up to 2.5 million children have been prescribed them. As the FDA’s Adverse Drug Reactions reporting database only collects 1% to 10% of drug-induced side effects and deaths, the true child death rate could be between 450 and several thousand. The USA Today exposé ran on its front page and in a series of 5 other articles spanning 4 pages. Further, there were 1,328 reports of other side effects, some life threatening such as convulsions and low white blood cell count.
(Download the entire white paper entitled “Side Effect of Common Psychiatric Drugs” at www.cchr.org. See the right hand-side of the page.)
Source (above) www.cchr.org
You will find a free online book entitled, “How to Get Off Psychiatric Drugs Safely” at http://www.theroadback.org/workbook.htm. (Section 3 goes over nutritional supplements.)
Alternative Sleep Aids (when not on psychiatric medications are as follows:
Cal Mag or CalMax – a freeze-dried Calcium Magnesium powder added to water, juice or tea to aid sleep and relax sore muscles.
Melatonin (a good quality one, such as Melatonin PR – time release)
Lecithin – has a sedating effect
Niacin (Vitamin B3) – for mental health (see http://www.doctoryourself.com/review_hoffer_B3.html)
Vitamin B Complex – for stress relief and nerve function
Exercise – reduces anxiety
An additional reference on Ambien found after the writing of this article is http://www.addictionca.com/FAQ-ambien.htm.
Due to the age of the list of antipsychotics, if there should be any missing, please leave a comment so that we may research this as well.
All information posted in this writing is the opinion of the author and is provided for educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as medical advice. Only a licensed medical doctor can legally offer medical advice in the United States. Consult the healer of your choice for medical care and advice.
This website may contain some copyrighted material. We reserve the right to reproduce such material under the Copyright Act, Title 17 US Code, Section 107, “Fair Use”, as we believe the public should be informed of such information so they can think for themselves rather than rely on advertisements. We gain no profit from such articles.