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Old Sep 14, 11, 6:43 pm   #1
 
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Ambien VS Lunesta VS OTC Sleep Aids

Had some issues sleeping last Spring and was prescribed Ambien. Did not work so hot. Would knock me out, but I'd wake up 3 hours later and not be able to get back to sleep.
Doctor then prescribed Lunesta. Same thing.

I've tried Melatonin. It used to work, but lately does not. Just tried Walgreens Sleep Aid, the cheap Over the Counter stuff. It works the best for me. I get at least 6, if not 7 or 8 hours of good sleep. CVS, Rite Aid, or most large Grocery chains have the same stuff. Generic sleep aid, like Somenex, but generic.
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Old Sep 16, 11, 12:44 pm   #2
 
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Have you tried the sustained release Ambien?
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Old Sep 16, 11, 7:58 pm   #3
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I have had good luck with generic Ambien, but YMMV. I was advised, though, by a doctor at a recent conference in Aspen (7500 ft above sea level) that OTC sleep aids are contraindicated at that altitude b/c of respiratory depression (just when you need to be well oxygenated they depress breathing). Thought that might be good advice inflight as well.
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Old Sep 17, 11, 8:36 pm   #4
 
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http://products.sanofi.us/ambien_cr/ambienCR.html

Ambien CR (sustained release) has a 17% increase in half-life over Ambien only.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics
Ambien CR exhibits biphasic absorption characteristics, which results in rapid initial absorption from the gastrointestinal tract similar to zolpidem tartrate immediate-release, then provides extended plasma concentrations beyond three hours after administration. A study in 24 healthy male subjects was conducted to compare mean zolpidem plasma concentration-time profiles obtained after single oral administration of Ambien CR 12.5 mg and of an immediate-release formulation of zolpidem tartrate (10 mg). The terminal elimination half-life observed with Ambien CR (12.5 mg) was similar to that obtained with immediate-release zolpidem tartrate (10 mg). The mean plasma concentration-time profiles are shown in Figure 1.
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Old Sep 18, 11, 11:01 am   #5
 
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Except in relation to flying or jet lag, I think it is probably bad form to ask or give advice about sleeping medications on this forum.

Having said that, Ambien is designed to be short-acting. This makes it ideal for use on red eyes. It allows you to get to sleep and will wear off before landing. As a rule-of thumb, 5mg will last about 4 hours and 10mg about 6 hours. Ambien CR is probably not as good an option in flight. Of course, every person may react differently, especially if there are comorbidities. Never take a sleeping medication for the first time while traveling.

For the same reason, Ambien may not be ideal for jet lag, especially west-bound. OTC medications are benadryl or similar antihistamines. These will generally be effective for more hours but will have a greater tendency to leave people groggy.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 12:45 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobbieRunner View Post
Had some issues sleeping last Spring and was prescribed Ambien. Did not work so hot. Would knock me out, but I'd wake up 3 hours later and not be able to get back to sleep.
Doctor then prescribed Lunesta. Same thing.

I've tried Melatonin. It used to work, but lately does not. Just tried Walgreens Sleep Aid, the cheap Over the Counter stuff. It works the best for me. I get at least 6, if not 7 or 8 hours of good sleep. CVS, Rite Aid, or most large Grocery chains have the same stuff. Generic sleep aid, like Somenex, but generic.
Interestingly enough if you check the active ingredients in most of the OTC stuff it is just Benedryl.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 12:56 am   #7
 
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Here are some tips to help with sleep:
Sleep the same amount each night: avoid the temptation to "binge
sleep" on the weekends.
Avoid exercise at least two hours before you go to bed.
Watch fluid intake before you retire. Getting up to “go” may make it
difficult to fall back asleep.

I've taken an original Dramamine with a beer to help me sleep on red-eyes.
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Old Sep 21, 11, 12:55 am   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ltsisk View Post
Interestingly enough if you check the active ingredients in most of the OTC stuff it is just Benedryl.
Yeah, it is usually either diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or doxylamine (the antiihistamine in Nyquil); more rarely another antihistamine (like chlorpheniramine) or dimenhydranate (Dramamine)

As a general rule when buying OTC stuff, always ignore the brand and label, and look at the active ingredients ... figure out what you need, and then by on price/dose.

Personally, the sleep med I have had the best luck with is trazodone. It's a sedating antidepressant, and lacks the addictive properties of others, although it will lose its side effect of sedation if you take it too regularly. Knocks me right out, although it lingers enough that it's only useful for super-long hauls, or when I've got severe sleep trouble at home.
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