QUESTION: mary,im a 79 year old insommnic.i need 2 meds to put me to sleep.currently on xanax and remeron.after 4 years the xanax is really not working.i will wean off xanax and try ambien and remeron.ambien is supposed to be used short term,but my cousin who is a pharmist said studies shoe ambien taken long term had no bad side effects.

ANSWER: Hi Frank,
There are now studies that show there have been an increase in ER admissions in people on Ambien, especially in the elderly.If you are not getting relief from the meds you are on, I would suggest making an appointment at a sleep clinic.  Hope this helps, Mary

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QUESTION: old people go to er not because they take ambien,they go to er because  they take wrong medications,or get them mixed up or just sick.todate the fda has found no creditable evidence that ambien caused the side effects that these phony stats.many nursing facilities give ambien to seniors regurally with no problems.think you jumped the gun  mary

Hi,Frank, I don't want to argue with you but I've been a consultant for over 25 yrs in nursing facilities. Drs do prescribe Ambien to residents in nursing facilities but they are in combination with a sleep evaluation and they are gradually weaned off. Ambien in most cases is not meant to be used long-term. Mary


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Mary E Scott, RPh, CGP


I am a certified geriatric pharmacist with over 23 years experience as a long-term care consultant to nursing homes. I also do community-based consulting on an individual basis. My facility-based monthly newsletter on pharmacy topics is read by nurses in over 200 long-term care facilities in 5 states.


I received a BS in Pharmacy in 1980 with post-graduate work in public health. I have had a Consultant Pharmacist license since 1984.

American Society of Consultant Pharmacists
.I received certification in geriatric pharmacy in 1998.

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