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Sleep thing again....ambien vs. ambien ER

Posts: 116
Joined: May 2011

Ok still going through steriods....one more week. Last Friday oncologist gave me Ambien worked a couple night slept 6 hours...then boom nothing lucky if I crash out and sleep maybe 4 up, wired and shaky all day. So yesterday I asked about extended relief knocks you out and keeps you to sleep...I had CRAZY dreams, slept 3 hours got up mad, cried and laid back down and slept for another 2.5 hours but STILL....anyone else going through this? At this point I am not sleeping because I wake up worrying about cancer I wake up cause I am anxious about not sleeping. Vicious cycle!! Ladies out there share your 'cocktails" with me as I head towards crazy train of no sleep. Thanks :) I hope that the steroids out of my system fixes this nonsense!!

Wish I Was Boating
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2011

The Ambien doesn't give me the 8 hours of sleep it promises either, although it does help. I don't see a big difference between the regular and the CR. I sometimes take a Lorazipam in the early evening to relax me and then I seem to sleep better when I take the Ambien at bedtime. I hate taking all these meds, but I think our sleep is one of the most important components to healing, so I look at it as a temporary just-until-treatment-is-over necessity.

New Flower
Posts: 4299
Joined: Aug 2009

As you on steroids, Ativan probably will work better for you. Ativan( Lorazepam) is used to relieve anxiety. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. Lorazepam comes as a tablet and concentrate (liquid) to take by mouth. When I was given steroids, my oncologist prescribed me this medication be ables to sleep. Ambien helps you to fall a sleep but cannot prolong your sleep as you are taking steroids. Please Call your doc and ask to try different medication.

Most of us have been taken different sleeping aid. I have several medications and herbal remedies including teas in my arsenal which I rotate on regular basis depending on my situation. They all on my night stand, just in case.
Good luck

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

Ativan worked for me. In addition to combating the anxiety and helping with sleep, it also works for nausea and can be taken under your tongue. It does have addictive properties, so you should be careful with it.

I hope you get some good quality sleep soon.



Posts: 1521
Joined: Jan 2010

works for me in general. I was on the plain old Ambien for menopausal night sweats long before my bc dx. After the dx, it didn't work as well and switched to ER. I get about 6 to 7 hours of sleep with it and have no problems getting up and off to work.

However, I'm not on steroids and, as others suggested, that may be the difference. I hope you are able to get a goods nights rest soon and nap when you can.


Posts: 3644
Joined: Aug 2009

I did Ambien during Taxol to get any sleep at all. Never had the ER but had 5 mg (lowest doseage available) and took 1 before bed and then when/if I woke up approx. 4 hrs later (usually) could take another one to finish the night. My Chemo Dr put me on something else - don't remember and don't want to go hunt out the bottle now) and it only gave me about 4 hrs sleep anyway but horrendous nightmares (nightmares are VERY unusual for me). So my PA is the one that put me on lowest dose Ambien and if necessary the second one. You might talk to your Dr. about trying this with the lowest level. I still have my script for Ambien after about 17 months since last Taxol and do take one occasionally - maybe twice a month if I'm having problems getting to sleep.

I had horrendous nightmares on another sleeping med but not on Ambien. That's me - not you! There are others taht use the one that was BAD for me with no problems. Talk to your DR.


carkris's picture
Posts: 4554
Joined: Aug 2009

I took ativan (lorazepam) as it is antianxiety and antinausea during chemo. afterwards I took ambien, but I find I cant sleep the next night after taking it. I wanted the ativan as i knew that i would be eaking up with anxiety. I find the anxiety is the worst kind at night as I cant seem to "reason" with myself. I dont like taking meds but sleep is important for your immune system.

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