The Ambien CR reps must be out in force…

This whole week, I’ve seen probably double the number of Ambien CR scripts as usual. Cutting into the usual volume of new Ambien prescriptions. This makes sense, of course. What with generic Ambien now available, we must educate those docs on the benefits of a controlled release zolpidem formulation!

What a crock of shit.

Also of note is that generic zolpidem is less than half the price of it’s name-brand counterpart — startling, given that new generic drugs typically run around 80% of the price of its brand competition for that first six months. I’m sure insurance companies are lovin’ it.

19 thoughts on “The Ambien CR reps must be out in force…

  1. I’ve only filled a few zolpidem scripts so far, but in every case, the copay was cut in half or more. One patient paid $50 for his Ambien last month, and this month his copay was $5. Needless to say, he was ecstatic.

    -Andrew, CPhT

  2. Actually, come to think of it, most of the Ambien scripts have been refills. Most of the new Ambien scripts have been for the CR…


  3. Generic, brand name, CR; makes no difference. I hate Ambien with a passion. Everyone asking for it either needs an antidepressant or a sleep study.

  4. Dr Dino,

    I don’t know that I agree with you entirely. For those of us with transient sleep issues, I think Ambien is probably a fantastic drug. Similar to taking a benzo periodically for the same thing.

    I think you’re probably spot-on regarding those who take the drug every single night for chronic insomnia, however.

    Personally, I’ve been battling sleep issues for the last two weeks, and I know exactly why: lots of changes going on in my life. As soon as I adjust to them and assimilate them and recalibrate normality, I’ll be fine. But damn if it doesn’t suck between now and then…!

    But I’m also crazy about not being dependent on any psychotropic drug. For instance, I won’t even drink coffee more than 3 days a week — and never more than two cups at a time — even though it’s probably my favorite beverage. I’d do the same thing with Ambien if I were taking it…

    But I don’t think this (healthy) paranoia is common in the lay population.

  5. Allow me to clarify:

    People with transient sleep issues (situational stress or travel, for example) ask for “something to help me sleep.”

    People who ask specifically for Ambien are the ones who are (or are going to be) dependent on it.

    (And yes, I’ll be around for the next 2 weeks.)

  6. Oh…hold on there…I haven’t slept since as long as I can remember…perhaps three-years-old…and I’m 47. It took the doctors (and I stress “doctors”) about six years to get me to even TRY Ambien. I hate taking it (I hate medication of any kind…period) – have been taking it for the last couple years…but if I don’t take it I don’t sleep more than 30 minutes and it takes me three hours to even get to sleep. If you haven’t had the problems…don’t even remotely try to judge people. Have been to a sleep study doctor and he told me, and I quote, “if it’s not a problem to you…and you seem to have dealt with it well since you’ve been three…it’s not a problem”…well, it IS a problem. Just because I’ve “dealt with it” doesn’t mean I LIKE it.

    What is a person like me supposed to do? I can’t turn my brain off to start to sleep without anything. So I am supposed to just “deal with it”?

  7. I thought it would be cheaper to get the generic version of Ambien at my pharmacy, but I was told it would cost over $100 (even with my insurance). WTH?

  8. I just began Ambien Cr and I will have to wait to see if it makes a difference in my sleep patterns. Ambien itself doesn’t seem to keep me asleep.

  9. I find Ambien CR to be very effective in helping me fall asleep and stay asleep. I’ve been using it for about a year and a half because I have a lot of anxiety about sleep due to several horrible bouts of insomnia.

    My fear is that there may be long term side effects that nobody is yet aware of yet because the drug is relatively new. Is there any awareness out there about long term side effects?


  10. I also hate taking pills but I do take the ambien cr. I love it I had bad anxiety disorders and didnt sleep not one freken minute for an intire week. Now I sleep (BUT) Not without it and beleave me I have tried. I have only been taking it for almost 5 months and fear that without it I will never sleep again and I do see a syciatris for my issues but if it is staying up all night cause i get the frame of mind that if I fall asleep I will indeed die!! Well then I love ambien because I forget about it and cant help but to fall asleep and stay asleep. So that being said I am sure I am not the only one helped by it so…. I SEE NOTHING WRONG WITH IT AT ALL!! Thank you for letting me give my opinion.

  11. I’ve been taking Ambien Cr for the past 8 months or so, the only side effect I’ve noticed is sometimes I see little black dots out of the corner of my eyes, my Dr tells me that’s not a listed side effect but 3 other friends of mine also take ambien and have noticed the same thing.

  12. I have taken both Ambien CR and the generic version for more than two years, since my wife passed away. The CR is easier to wake up from than the generic(in my opinion)but definately cost alot more. I try and negotiate price since I pay cash, sometimes checking around is well worth it.

  13. I must say..for nearly 13 years I slept only 3-4 hours a night because I have a son with cerebral palsy. Finally, I decided it was okay to sleep, but found that was too difficult on my own. Thanks to Ambien, I can actually get some much needed and well deserved sleep!

  14. I’ve been taking Ambien CR for about four years, almost nightly. I have restless leg syndrome, which usually kicks up (pun intended) around 11:00 PM and won’t quit until about 4 or 5 AM. Because of the side effects with Requip, my doctor and I agreed to try the Ambien. It works superbly. I’m sure the restless leg is still there, and I know I kick the heck out of the bedclothes, but I sleep through it. However, Ambien CR is horrendously expensive, and I don’t have prescription insurance. I have severe asthma, so my doctor doesn’t really want to prescribe Ambien for me — he’s afraid I might not wake up for an attack (never have had an attack while sleeping, so I don’t know). He’s also more worried about addiction with the regular Ambien.

    Here’s my question(s): If I can sleep through the restless leg and limb movements, wouldn’t I also sleep through an asthma attack (and possibly wake up dead)? And, is the generic Ambien really any more addictive than Ambien CR?

  15. I sit up in bed and read each night. After 20 minutes or so, things occur in my peripheral vision. Objects on night stand and in open closet seem to move about; however, if I look directly at them they are stationery. Then, had to get up and go to bathroom. My plaid pajama pants were on the floor and as I gazed at them, they seened to be ‘moving’ as if a small animal was under them. Weirdest thing, but so very real. It has to be the Ambien causing something in my ees.

  16. Janice, I was so glad to see your post. I have a 6 ft Santa holding a lantern. Every night I’d see that lantern swing. Wasn’t scary or anything but I couldn’t imagine why it only moved at night. It was the Ambien causing it.

    For the person who mentioned depression or sleep study…….there are many uses for Ambien. Some of them physical. Do your homework before posting. When I fall asleep I sleep 7-8 hours with or without the Ambien so I am not a candidate for a sleep study and I’ve never had depression issues.

    Same goes for addiction. It’s non addictive for most people including me thankfully.

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