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Question
i have been taking xanax for 4 years with lunesta.lately there has been a flood of reports of long term ambien causing cognitive decline and memory loss from taking ambien and  lunesta.cbs tv in new york sited a scripps-howard report that says long term ambien and lunesta shorten life span.since most doctors are clueless about medicine side effects im sure you will give me right answer.my psychiatrist even thou im a non-epilectic switched me to gabitril.ive been on it 2 weeks,i get good sleep and no hangover next day

Answer
Howard,
I am aware of all the hype lately over Ambien and Lunesta, however, some of it may be just that, hype. I thank you for the confidence in me, so I will attempt to help you from "a nurses' point of view".

Lunesta appears to be safer than Ambien because there are lots of reports of problems with Ambien if you have any history at all of head trauma or seizures, especially seizures. Lunesta seems to have just a metallic taste in the mouth and some forms of bad dreams. Of course, these are not desirable effects either. If you are still on Xanax I would strongly suggest an over the counter medicine such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine) VERY safe, and also doxylamine succinate, which is found in Unisom. I have personally used both of these before, and Benadryl is milder, with the doxylamine being a little stronger, perhaps more effective.

As you well know, just because a prescription drug is approved doesn't mean it is safe. Today, far too few tests are being performed on prescription drugs before they are released into the public. The drug companies sink billions into this, and this is part of the problem.

Also, doxylamine and Benadryl are both antihistamines and therefore not addictive. Lunesta and Ambien are both controlled-5 substances, meaning that they can become addictive if used for long periods of time.

I do hope I've helped. Good luck to you. I am taking a few days off this week, but please get back to me if you need further help.

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Patricia Morrow

Expertise

I would like to bring a nurse's perspective to this area. If someone has a question about a medication, and feel more comfortable directing it to a nurse than a doctor or pharmacist, then I'll try my best to help. PLEASE NOTE: I DON'T USUALLY PROVIDE ANSWERS FROM FRIDAY NIGHT TIL SAT NIGHT AS THIS IS THE JEWISH SABBATH.

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Graduate in 1976 from nursing school. Taken extra courses in pharmacology due to great interest in this field. Actually considered going to pharmacy school for a number of years.

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Have volunteered with AllExperts in this field before, a few years ago.

Education/Credentials
Graduated nursing school, have taken extra CEU (continuing education units) in pharmacology due to interest in subject.

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only from volunteering with AllExperts before.

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