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Disappointed with Generic Sleeping Pill

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Q. I have suffered with insomnia for years. My doctor prescribed Ambien, which gives me eight hours of restful sleep. Then the pharmacist switched me to generic zolpidem for under $15. He said it was identical to Ambien.

It wasn’t! I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep since switching. If I do fall asleep I have horrible nightmares. I cannot afford $130 for regular Ambien. What else can I do? I need my sleep to be alert at work.

A. Dozens of other readers have also reported problems with generic Ambien (zolpidem). If your insurance company won’t cover the brand name medicine, you may wish to consider some non-drug options. They include a small high-carb bedtime snack such as milk and graham crackers, dietary supplements such as magnesium, melatonin, passionflower or valerian, a hot bath an hour before retiring and acupressure wristbands.

We describe these approaches and others in greater detail in our newly revised Guide to Getting a Good Night’s Sleep. We also discuss OTC sleeping pills and prescription drugs such as Lunesta, Sonata and Rozerem.

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I'm surprised you didn't recommend melatonin for this person. It's a herbal capsule that enhances relaxation and sleep. My wife and I have used it for years, always with positive results and no after effects. It's also very effective to combat jet lag.

I have the same problem with generic Ambien, And guess what ? When my Doctor prescribed the generic, I took it to Wal-Mart to see if I could get the $4 prescription & it wasn't listed. I just had to pay the copay.

When I asked about the Ambien cost, The generic actually cost me about 20 cents more per tablet than the name brand Ambien. I asked my insurance company about this & was told that the copay is not based on per tablet prices. So the next time I will ask for something that doesn't have a generic version, If possible.

How can I learn where the generics are manufactured -- India, China, or where?

I use a calcium/magnesium/zinc pill when I'm having a problem sleeping. I sleep all night long after taking one.

I had tried all the conventional sleep aids, both prescribed and over the counter, including the solutions mentioned above. Melatonin was the only one that worked and that eventually lost its ability to affect my insomnia. I eventually tried Fatigued to Fantastic Revitalizing Sleep Formula, which has continued to be helpful for 3 years now. It has ingredients which are not normally mentioned in alternative sleep aid articles - such as Jamaica Dogwood.

I too have had bad experiences with generic Ambien. I have a tendency towards depression and whenever I take the generic Ambien, I find the next day I am more emotional and sometimes have suicidal thoughts.This is not the same as regular Ambien and doesn't even look the same. I never had these problems with regular Ambien.

Diphenhydramine works very well for me as a sleep aid. It does not require a prescription.

I was also switched to generic Ambien but have not noticed any real difference. A difference I did notice once was between Ambien and Ambien CR, the CR seemed more effective. My doctor said there is no real difference but I swear it worked better.

I've had the same problem with the generic of Ambien. Also what irritates me is that with my copay, I pay about 20 cents more per tablet for the generic than the actual Ambien. Insurance tried to explain, But got nowhere with them.

I had knee replacement 6 months ago, with post surgery sleep loss. Physician suggested that instead of 'sleep meds' I try OTC 2-25mg caps of diphenhydramine hydrochloride (non-addictive), active ingredient in antihistamine (allergy med), similar to another post here. I use house brand @ about 50% less than name brands --- has worked fine. Still taking it, tho planning on going to 1-25mg cap and determining how that works.

I think that diphenhydramine works well, but causes severe thirst that can wake you up from your sleep, causing again, restlessness. For about the past year, I've been taking NatraSleep from GNC. It's inexpensive, doesn't cause restlessness and has the typical herbal ingredients that help to induce sleep. I've found it's the only thing that's helped me, and hasn't lost its effect over time.

I recently had to take a decreasing dose of Prednisone which kept me awake. The Dr. prescribed Ambien, but my drug plan made me use the generic. I tried it two nights and it did not work. Only made me dizzy when I got up to the bathroom. The brand name Ambien does work.

Been taking Ambien for quite a while. The generic (Zolpidem) works just as well for me. I think its all in the head. You figure, new pill made who knows where won't work. Try not thinking about it. Herbal pills are not good for everyone. I have a cardiac condition. An herbal could affect me conversely.

I switched to the generic for Ambien and had some bad side effects. I would fall asleep quickly but couldn't stay asleep. There was a heaviness in my chest and I had trouble breathing. I had trouble catching my breath. This happened for about a month. As soon as I stopped the generic, it went away. The problem only occurred when I started taking the Zolpidem.

I don't have any problem with the generic for Ambien but that doesn't mean it will work as well for other people.
Ambien CR has more of the active ingredient (6.25 vs 5 mg and 12.5 vs 10 mg) than the regular Ambien - that is the difference.

Generic Ambien 10 mg tabs are not scored, making it difficult to split when I just want to take a half a tablet after I have been sleeping for 3 or 4 hours without taking any before I begin to sleep.

I was surprised to read the info. about Ambien vs Zolpidem. I have complained to my Dr. and pharmacist ever since being switched, and they act like it is in my head. Now I know it is not after reading all of the posts. There is a difference.

I have been taking Ambien for years. My doctor switched me to generic when it became available. I have had several different generic kinds and they absolutely do not work!

I may or may not fall asleep. If i do it's only for 3 hours at max. I recently noticed a strange smell when i use the bathroom and now i can smell it like it's just emitting from my pores. Generic Ambien is the only med i'm on so i'm sure that's what caused it. I will pay the $60 my drug plan requires for name brand and never ever try generic again. I don't know how they get it past FDA

the generic ambien is a very poor generic of the original. i'm not sure if it's the fillers or what but i am awake 2 hours after taking the pills? i think they need to redesign the ingredients....especially if this is a concern. i recommend everyone having a problem with this to inform doctors, pharmacists, and even write the drug company.

I have tried name brand Ambien and the generic. Neither did anything for me. I tired 10mg and 15mg. Lunesta didn't do anything for me either. Benadryl worked but gave me restless legs so it was pointless since I wasn't getting a solid nights rest. Unisom worked but left me hung over the whole next day at half a pill. Rozerem was the only thing that has worked, granted I can only take half a pill or I feel hungover. I guess everybody is different. You just got to find the dosage and med that works for you.

I don't understand why pharmaceutical companies say generic is the same. It is not! Every time I refill my Ambien rx it's from a different manufacture. They all work different. With some brands I only sleep 2-3 hours.

I had been getting the generic version of Ambien from Target and it worked so well. Recently I switched to Rite Aid and have not had a good nights rest since.

My husband has been taking ambien for over 15 years. We just recently moved (in dec) and switched from wal-mart to rite aid. He was getting the generic at both pharmacies, but only in the past few months has he had any problems. He literally went from sleeping like a log to tossing and turning all night.

Today I made him call the pharmacy and the pharmacist actually told him that he (after 15 yrs) was probably just getting too used to it - NEVER was there any mention of this "problem" that I have only discovered since searching the WWW tonight! My husband called his doctor and he called in a prescription of the name brand ambien at a cost of $290!! for a 30 day supply!

That's $280 more then we normally pay - which to my husbands sanity is worth it, but seems unfair just the same. I can't believe what a problem this is - and I'm wondering if it is the reason why since moving I too have had problems with a prescription for birth control I've been taking.

I was taking 1 from from wal-mart and since moving the prescription to rite aid in Jan, I've been all messed up and even had a lump in my breast last month. Never had a problem before moving the prescription. I think back to how many generic prescriptions our kids and us have taken over the years never knowing what an epidemic this is and it scares the life out of me!

I hope someone takes notice and makes these pharmacies change - they should not be allowed to make all of their decisions based solely on "bottom line" when dealing with the health of their patrons.

I've been taking ambien for about 5 yrs, for the last 4 months they have been giving me generics.. I can't sleep, my tummy is so bad now, I get up throwing up all day from taking the generics the night before. My hairs falling out so bad I've developed alopecia areata, I've had test done to see if there were any other reasons why I would be throwing up or losing hair but everything looks beautiful as they put it.

Brand ambien was a life saver for me especially for someone who suffers with bad insomnia and horrible migraines from not sleeping well, but these generics are making me so depressed and ill. I'll discontinue use myself since my Dr. "Didn't know they were giving me generics" I'll suffer from insomnia for a while but hopefull my hair will grow back.

Brand name always worked great for me. Then I got Mylan generic about the first week generics were available. I took 1.5, then 2, then 2.5 tabs eventually over the first week or 10 days because of lack of potency. I actually took the pills back to the pharmacy because I thought there must have been a mistake because they did NOTHING. Nope. The stock bottle was used so much apparently it was right there an arms length away from the person I talked to at the counter and she poured a couple out and they were the same. She looked at me like I was some kind of nut job.

By the way, I'm a hospital pharmacist. This is the first issue I have ever had with a generic med of my own. I paid extra for the brand name until that rx ran out. I still get Mylan a year or so later from them. It works now about half as well as brand name this last year. I swear there was no active ingredient in the Mylan product the first few months I was getting it.

What many people do not know is that the FDA, in terms of "Bioequivelency"
allows a margin of error between 80 - 125 percent commensurate with the brand. The 80 - 125 rule has remained, sadly, very "hush hush" but if you do some research, you will find that what I am saying is correct. This is why generics may be less, or in some cases, more potent, than the brand.

Brand name Ambien worked well for me for a few years. When generic was available and I started taking it, it seemed to be okay. In the past few months, the generic I've been getting at Wal-mart makes me feel terrible. Their price actually went down recently and i was told that generic drugs can come from many different drug companies.

Walmart will buy it from the company who offers it the cheapest at the time. My guess is that because it's such a popular drug, more and more companies are making generic ambien (zolpidem). I'm convinced that my generic I have now is very different from brand name ambien.

I actually stay up later than I normally would and I feel really weird--almost like a strong anti-cholinergic effect. I also feel really weird and horrible mentally the next day. It took me a while to realize that it was like I was taking a totally different drug. I'm never taking it again.

These comments about generic Ambien are all over. I can't believe someone hasn't launched a class action lawsuit over this. The only reason I'm saying this is because at the moment I got up out of bed in the middle of the night because of that crappy generic stuff I just got from the pharmacy and now have nothing to do but read online that it's true.....

I've been using Ambien for years and my new doctor switched me to zolpidem. Under current regulation, there can be variations in potency with generics. Different pharmacies carry different brands of zolpidem. I currently get mine at CVS here in CA and I swear it doesn't work as well as what I used to get with Longs. There is also no scoring. One thing I have noticed, tho, even with Ambien, it's effect does diminish over a long period of time.

I went through the same thing. However a different brand of generic worked. I switched back to my old pharmacy generic and all is fine, in fact I take half a pill on their generic. All the generics are not the same, if one does not work switch pharmacies, find out what brand you are taking now, call around and see if someone in your area uses a different generic. They do make a difference. It is awful not to be able to sleep, I know... good luck

I have had insomnia problems for months now. I went to the doctor and he prescribed the generic Ambien called Zolpidem. I tried it for a few days and felt drowsy and could not function the next day. I became very depressed and will go back to Ambien CR 6.25. I tried to not take anything before bedtime but am not having good results along those lines, not getting enough sleep is making me miserable. I have tried Melatonin and am still drowsy the next day. I can't function very well with not getting enough sleep.

omg. I received Zolpidem yesterday to help with my insomnia - it literally did nothing, I tossed and turned all night. My finance said I woke him in the middle of the night (which I do not remember), I do not feel like I slept, I feel like I had a lucid sleep if that makes any sense. I got mine from Walgreens, I was so upset I called the pharmacy in the morning... and the only way for me to get the Ambien version was for me to call my doc, get a new Rx, and pay an additional $200+ since my insurance will no longer pay. I have taken Ambien before and whatever I took last night was not it - not even close... it is remarkable how this drug passed as generic.

I have been taking Zolpidem 10 mg for over 2 years (I am very under-insured/self employed with little or no discount for medicines ...The Zolpidems do not work for me by taking just one so I cut a piece of another to hope that will work) when that doesn't work and I take the last bit of Zolpidem (which now means I have ingested 20mg's) and it gets me to sleep about an hour + later but I wake up in the night, etc. and takes me a long time to really feel awake and not groggy.

Sometimes I feel depressed the next day.... Recently I visited a friend and she gave me one of her brand name Ambien-CR.12.5... OMG... I could not believe the difference in how peaceful my sleep was.... I didn't wake up during the night and I felt fantastic and not groggy the next day. I was convinced these were not close to being the same drug. I called my Walgreen's and even the pharmacist took me to the side and said that his wife gets no response from them either. WHAT??

Now I am really mad.... what the hell is going on here? So, my doc changed the script to the Ambien CR12.5 and $312 is what they wanted. Even with the insurance it is still over 300. Needless to say, I sucked it up to settle for the Zolpidem (which still costs me $60. I went to get it filled today at Walgreens and took 20 mgs and am absolutely sure it's a different batch cause here I am at 4:06 am and WIDE AWAKE... Bitch all you want about politics, but these are the posts that everyone making decisions for us on health care should read.

Everyone is SO right! The generic Ambien (Zolpidem) is horrible! I am taking the 10 mg dose and it did absolutely nothing! Then, I started taking (2) 10 mg tabs at night just to be able to fall asleep (not stay asleep). I asked my doctor for an increase in the dose but he refused! Before I lost my insurance, I was taking the generic Sonata (brand is cost prohibitive) and got an excellent night's sleep but even the generic is out of my price range! So back to the generic rip-off Ambien....

The poster who mentioned "bio-equivalency" is correct. A generic has to be at least 80% of the ingredients of the brand. Never heard of a generic having MORE of the active ingredient and yes, there is a difference in generic drug companies! So guess what? For an insomniac, Sleep Apnea and narcolepsy patient, I guess I am at the mercy of the governmental regulations concerning generics. Even with insurance, most insurance companies won't pay for the brand without a high co-pay if at all.

If I did not think even a hour of sleep was worth it, I would pitch the generic Ambien and just wait until I can get or afford the generic Sonata!

RUTH..... Just because it works for you doesn't mean that when it doesn't work for me it's all in my mind. I always get generics, no matter what drug it is. To me there is absolutely no difference. Until today. I was prescribed Ambien and I asked for the generic Zolpidem. The doc said to take a half a pill the first couple of times. 2 hours later I felt nothing so I took a whole one (tripling the doctor recommended dosage). It's been 4 hours since then and I'm still awake, typing this.

I feel absolutely nothing. it made my hands and feet sweat for a little while but that is the only noticeable effect. It simply does not work for me. I have never tried Ambien brand or the controlled release. I'm wondering if they might work or if I should just try another medication entirely. Can anyone out there help me out and suggest some options or alternatives to Ambien? Is Lunesta better?

Ambien 5 worked great for me: after 30 minutes, 8 hours of restful sleep. HEAVEN! I was excited when generics became available. Money in my pocket!! I had no thought that it would have any result different than "real" ambien. Generic Zolpidem 10 has various outcomes based on manufacturer. Zolpidem 10 manufactured by Teva has zero value. No sleep. None. Zolpidem 10 manufactured by Northstar has fair value. 60 plus minutes until 4 hours of restful sleep. After my poor result with Teva zolpidem, I then decided to look it up on line. WOW!! I couldn't believe how many comments confirmed that this was a genuine issue. How can this go on for years?!?!

Target is now switching from Northstar to Sandoz. Does anyone have any experience with this manufacturer?
This is a list of manufacturers that I have found, and some input from collective comments.

Do you have a comment regarding any of the manufacturers listed below? Thanks!

Actavis Elizabeth
Apotex -- mixed results, more positive
AuroBindo Pharma
Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories -- Consistently found ineffective
Genpharm, L.P.
Mutual Pharmaceutical
Mylan Pharmaceuticals -- mixed results, more negative
Prasco Laboratories -- mixed results
Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals
Roxane Laboratories
Sandoz Pharmaceuticals
Synthon Pharmaceuticals
Teva Pharmaceuticals -- Consistently found ineffective
Watson Pharmaceuticals -- one positive comment
Wockhardt Americas

I deal with CVS. I did not know ambien cr had a generic until 4 months ago. My pharmacy said it was not out yet. Looking at the dates of your comments, zolpidem was out April of 08. Is Florida that behind???


Hi I've been trying to get off the generic ambien and just this past weekend got my refill and noticed walgreens switched manufacturers from teva to mylan, and the mylan doesn't allow me to sleep at all, I've done nothing but toss and turn for the last two days, anyway I bought some melatonin and was wondering how much do you take at night to help you sleep, I took one 5 mg last night and it did relax me and let me into a light sleep but not a deep sleep.

I've been taking Ambien for well over 10 years and when the generic, zolpidem, came out I began taking that. I guess that was a year or so ago. Over the past few weeks I have noticed problems falling asleep. And this morning, at 4:20, when I was still wandering around, completely wide awake it dawned on me that this generic was simply NOT working. The manufacturer of the generic I'm using is Sandoz.

I know I'm going to have to switch back to the brand, which is going to cost a fortune. I don't want to pay an arm and a leg for this med.

I used to defend generics as equivalent to brand name drugs, but lately I've been noticing that not only does the zolpidem not work, the generic zyrtec (cetirizing) and generic allegra don't work either. This is ridiculous.

This makes me sick, I have been taking Ambien CR for over 3 years now to help with my acute insomnia. I had to fight with my prescription service to get it instead of a worthless generic, for 90 pills I paid @$98.

Now our coverage has changed and I can only get 30 pills at a time for $101 from Costco. I've tried the generics two other times with absolutely no luck. It is horrible not to sleep. I don't know what to do because I cannot afford the $100 a month but cannot afford not to get sleep.
Sleepy in Northern CA.

My doctor told me to use a generic brand of sleeping pills because it would be a lot cheaper than what he would give me. I now use equate Nighttime Sleep Aid. it worked but only for a week or so and now it seems like it does nothing for me but just make me feel wide awake.

I have had terrible insomnia for years and was initially prescribed Ambien CR 12.5. My insurance company wanted the generic (zolpidem) prescribed instead. I have been taking the 10 mg. tablets for months now with no success. I'd rather spend the extra $$$ on Ambien (as much as I don't want to), but I think it's got to be better than typing at 4:45 a.m.

Why with so many complaints against Teva's version of Ambien is nothing being done? I am a nurse, another poster was a pharmacist. I also took my bottle back to the pharmacy thinking there had been a mistake. Something is terribly wrong with Teva's version of Ambien, and to prove it throw me into a sleep study and feed me as many Teva tablets as you like - I will remain wide awake. Give me one Ambien, and I will sleep like a baby.

I just got zolpidem ER from a local pharmacy in NJ. I don't know who the manufacturer is. They are round blue pills. They are HORRIBLE. Both Ambien and Ambien-CR were much better.

I was prescribed generic ambien for insomnia. I use Walgreens pharmacy in Massachusetts and they carry the Teva brand generic, for me it is not effective in inducing sleep. Finally I was visiting a friend who is also prescribed a generic form of ambien, he saw that I took my Teva brand and was still wide awake so the next night he gave me a half of his version of ambien.

His brand put me out in fifteen minutes, it was amazing that one brand was that much more effective than another. He uses Aurobindo 10mg pills and they work just as good as the original ambien did for me years earlier. The problem is finding a pharmacy in my area that carries that particular brand of generic.

The Sandoz generic version seems to work pretty well for me. Ask your pharmacist to order the next time from Sandoz.

On Zolpidem since 9/11/2001. Began taking generics through Rite-Aid (northeast) and found the round white worked fine and that I sometimes even cut them in half if I was going to bed after 1 AM so I do not oversleep. However occasionally Rite Aid runs out of one manufacturer and give me others; here is what I have experienced:
With Mylan, I can't even begin to fall asleep as I get a drug induced anxiety symptom, my heart rate increases in little bursts and its scary. So I don't take that at all. If they try to give me that I automatically ask for something different

With NorthStar, I need to double the dose for a solid restful nights sleep. Unfortunately I then run out of them before the insurance will pay for a refill.

With the (round white - I don't know the name) I seem fine and can sleep fine.

Remember that any medication will work differently on everybody, but that it also depends on what you ate, how much food is in your system? The pill will be absorbed differently especially if you ate a meal that taxes the digestive resources (steak, salad potato)at 8:30 PM and then expect to fall asleep by 11... also, did you consume alcohol? That affects the absorption too and sometimes renders the medication ineffective, for me....

Thanks for the interesting posts. I learned a lot about the generics and will check back for more information..

I hope all have a wonderful restful sleep if possible. Insomnia is relentless and it sucks because the pace of life does not slow down for any of us to "catch up" does it?

B Well.

The best medication for sleep (anxiety & depression) for me is TRAZADONE. I've used this for 15 years and have recommended it to many people. It is an old drug and very inexpensive. Some people report feeling "drugged" the next day. Fortunately, I feel amazingly refreshed. Without it, I don't get into a deep sleep. I just feel like I "drift" all night. I hope you will ask your physician for this. It has been a life saver for me.

I agree with Betty; I was prescribed Trazodone for depression and my Doctor told me to continue taking Zolpidem for sleep. The combination of the 2 works to put me to sleep, and keep me asleep for the entire night. Sometimes I am tired in the morning, but not often. Just be sure to take these meds when you are in the bed, ready for sleep.

I have been dealing with this issue also its nice to know I am not alone, but am sorry for all of you guys too, there is one generic that I have found that really works and I have tried almost all of them, is a lavender colored round pill larger kinda aspirin sized, its made by mylan and it really works, it's light purple and works as well as the name brand, walgreens seems to be the only ones I can get to special order them for me, but stay away from the ones that come pre-bottled in 30 count and are capsule shaped they are sealed and do nothing at all for me.

I've taken ambien and zolpidem in the past, and also noted that zolpidem didn't work as well, but found a remedy. I did not eat anything for several hours before time to take zolpidem and it worked. One drawback for me on either med was that it caused acid reflux every time I would take it for over a week or so.

Thank you, everyone, for all your comments. You have helped me a lot to understand what happened to me. Perhaps I can also help you.

First, let me suggest that each and every one of you insist to your doctor that generic brand such-and-such doesn't work for you. Be specific, and ask for something else. Also, ask your pharmacist when you leave the script, which manufacturer's generic they dispense. Tell them if that one doesn't work for you and refuse to accept the non-working pills. Take your script to another pharmacy, if necessary. But first, make some phone calls and find out what the various stores charge for your prescription and who manufactures it. Be sure you know the name of the drug and the dosage. The law now only allows Ambien/zolpidem to be dispensed in 30-day totals if picked up at the store.

The only way to get the drug companies to change is to hit them in the pocketbook, so don't give them your money! Pharmacists, too, buy the drugs and if they can't sell them, they will choose other manufacturers. But you won't get anywhere if you don't complain to those who can make a difference.

Write letters (keep a copy and register the letter with a return receipt so you know it arrived) to the drug manufacturers and to your insurance company telling them that their generic does not work for you, although the Ambien brand did. And if your pocketbook can handle it, ask your doctor to write to your insurance carrier for permission to use the brand name Ambien rather than generics. I've had good luck with that, and my copay remained the same. Perhaps you will have the same result.

I do hope you can find a way to sleep. Doctors know that the body and brain need sleep. Sometimes you have to keep calling the doctor back to tell him how a new med is (or isn't) working. Many will change the medication without requiring an office visit (except perhaps to pick up the script at the front desk). Keep at it until you find something that works. It's your life! And remember that each person's body uses meds in their own way. What works for one may not work for another. Good luck, and deep sleep to you!

I have been taking ambien for several years now. I have trouble sleeping at night since being hit by a drunk driver. Recently my script was changed to generic. Now I do not sleep or rest as well. I only get about four hours of sleep at night and do not wake up feeling well. I wake up either sick to my stomach or vomiting. I do not like the emotional swings that come along with it either - depression. This makes it very hard to function at work.

I was not having any problems until I started taking this generic med. I had severe bone and nerve trauma due to my wreck and deal with the effect from that daily. I do not care what anyone tells us about this being the same med, it is not. This is a horrible excuse for a generic. I take other generics and do not have any problem with them. Anyway, I just had my script renewed for only Ambien brand and had to pay 205.00. My insurance paid zero, but I refuse to pay for something that does not work and gives me horrible side effects. Thanks for reading. Zolpidem was the generic I was taking.

My generic ambien varies month to month. I wonder if these pills are made in China?

Update for Lab Effectiveness:

From my experience, I got stuck taking the generic Ambien (insurance mandate) and can tell you there is a HUGE difference in two of the manufacturers I received:

Roxane Labs - COMPLETELY ineffective... I was taking 2 and 3 10mg and no effect
Aurobindo Pharmaceuticals - Kick your butt EFFECTIVE...1 10mg and I was out!

The pills from Aurobindo were even shaped different - looked a lot more similar to the name brand Ambien. From now on I will double check to make sure my pharmacy (Rite Aid) is filling from this generic Ambien distributor before I turn over my script from the doctor.

Used the generic zolpidem ER for almost two weeks with no sleep, before I noticed that my script had been changed to a generic brand. Seems that everything that doesn't work is always in someone's head. Is it doctor ego, or just bad medicine? My doctor had the old FU attitude (forget you in polite terms), when I complained about the generic not working.

He made it clear that the insurance would no longer pay for ambien and that if I wanted an effective prescription that I would have to pay. Wow! What a doctor patient relationship! Best we stick to not saying that something is not working, otherwise you must be crazy. At least that's what most comments here are saying about doctors and pharmacists. You know, those people that are on our side for health care. Probably more sleepless nights until I can find an alternative. But what's more important, your health or your wallet?

I had been taking generic Ambien from the manufacturer Roxane for years and it worked perfectly. On my latest mail order from my insurance company, they sent me the manufacturer Lex. It is useless. 5mg of Roxane knocked me out quickly. 10mg of Lex does nothing. So, my advice would be to avoid the manufacturer you have and see if another one works.

I am too experiencing very different reactions from the different manufacturers. I have been on Ambien for about 12 years and all was working fine..then the price went sky high so I opted to go the generic route. Zolpidem- can usually get me to sleep but still wake up 4-5 times a night. I dealt with that as money was a big factor. Now this last refill I found a totally different looking pill, very small white round from Northstar. This pill did nothing for me at my usual dose. Will take double dose to see if I can get it to do something.

I am thinking of going back to my original Ambien but need to check cost. If that's not available then I want to take the Zolipem that I had been taking quite regularly. It is the lesser of the two evils, and I could live with that.

These Drug Manufacturers should be held liable for the medicines they produce. If enough people like us complain maybe something can be done. I would be willing to spend a fair amount of time on this project. Is anyone willing to do the same? At least gain some knowledge about the way these things work in the highly opaque business of drug manufacturing and distribution. C'mon, we can solve this thing together. After all we all want the same damn thing!!!A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP. Let's unite.

Were the generic ambien that did not work shaped round and have a heavy coating on it?

Hey guys I'm right there with you on this subject. I have been taking Zaleplon manufactured by Northstar Rx LLC. for several years now with with no problems. Last month I go to get it filled and they told me they changed manufactures but it was the same drug just different capsule. The zaleplon from the new manufacturer, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, is not good! It does not do anything it's supposed to. I take one 10 mg capsule before bed and instead of sleeping, I'm lying wide awake and highly irritated. I cross referenced both Northstar Rx's and Teva Pharmaceuticals Zaleplon formulation and see no obvious difference. But there's definitely a difference somewhere.

I would like to have some answers.

It's a shame that after all available evidence that Zolpidem ER 12.5mg does not function as well as Ambien CR 12.5mg, that the insurance companies continue to deny coverage on the basis that a generic version is available. I am just sick of it and think that it's about time that people start voting out their state representatives, releasing the bond between lobbyists and law makers.

About 2 years ago, I had a complete hysterectomy. I woke up from surgery in a forced menopause. I can't take hormones and prob would not, from what I have read about them, as I was told 4 years ago I had a stage 1 breast cancer and had it removed, now info has come out that too many were diagnosed and cut on for the same thing that one year. So not sure if I was one that got lied to about the breast cancer or not.

Any way, I was expecting hot flashes, and sure enough I got those, but I also got night sweats and insomnia from hell. So I was started on ambian. It worked fine. Then cvs caremark insurance said it only covered zolpidam. Now 2 years ago, when this started, I got 90 pills at a time. I took one a day. It cost me co pay about 5 bucks. Then it changed, and was only 30 pills at a time, and cost me about 75 cents in copay.

Then I got a letter, stating that, I had to have a doctors note, to continue on the sleeping pill. Once a year the doctor had to write and or answer questions to cvs caremark as to why I needed this medication. Then this year cvs caremark sent a letter stating that it now required the doctor to do this special paper work 2x a year. I had 1 pill left. The manufacturers instructions on coming off these pills is exact, and says patient to be slowly weened off this pill. They did not give a darn.

They denied my claim, and said I could not have the generic ambian. They would not cover it. Nor will they cover any other sleeping pills. I take just 2 pills one hb and one sleeping pill per day, it's not like I'm some kinda pill popper. They made me feel like a crack head over a sleeping pill. On generic, I slept 2 hours and would wake up, and then another 2 hrs and wake up. It worked ok I guess, better then nothing. The latest letter from cvs caremark, is that I go see a psychiatrist. As I'm bound to be crazy, if I can't sleep and have some underlying medical problem.

I figure, they never read my medical history anyway. So, they can burn in hells fires. I take melatonin 10 mg every night. It takes me about 4 hrs after taking pill to fall asleep. Generic with out insurance last year was 27 dollar copay. This year it was 60 for 30 days. like I said, they can burn in hell.

I had the same exact problem with TEVA zaleplon. I've been taking 10mg for years now; no problems with Northstar. Pharmacy switched to TEVA and the pills are completely worthless. I had a couple of the Northstars left and compared the contents with the TEVA caps. TEVA capsules contained less than half of what the northstars contained. Don't know if that's the only issue, though, because taking two TEVAs doesn't help insomnia and leaves me with a splitting headache the next day.

I think the only option is to shop around for pharmacies that carry Northstar and hope that others do the same. Since the FDA is essentially a non-agency, consumers need to speak with their $.

I've been taking name brand Sonata, 10mg, for years, now Rite Aid gave me Zaleplon manufactured by Teva, this stuff is worthless. I cannot believe the quality differences between the generics. I'm going to have my doctor call in and have to say no substitutions with the Sonata order and pay the money. Btw, my girlfriend had her doctor send in a write up saying she cannot take the generics, and her insurance HAD to pay for name brand. It's worth a shot if your doctor is willing.

I've been an Ambien/Zolpidem user for 14 years... and yes there is a huge difference in the "fillers" each manufacturer uses.

I won't go into my long medical history here-but will say that all my doctors agree that I'm medically addicted-and interestingly only one has tried to wean me off. Sadly he was suggesting something more addictive than ambien. I myself have tried to wean off at the 9,11 and 12 year mark... I was not successful.

I'd journal the symptoms-which continued WELL past the point the body is "supposed" to be physically weaned...and was still not sleeping, having hot flashes, headaches, panic attacks etc. The longest I've been able to make it was 59 days.

From what I've read-Ambien changes the brain chemistry. I suspect that this change is permanent-and that's why the medical industry is "putting the brakes" on dispensing. Makes NO sense for an insurance company to say "30 pills is over your limit" (Medco does this)and your doctor will have to persuade us otherwise. You need to sleep, generally, every night.

I have allergic reactions to the yellow/red dye that Torrent uses-so they're out. Teva-didn't work. Aurobindo-worked well... but nobody seems to carry anymore near me. Dr. Reddy- no ill effects, but would have to double dosage. Mylan-actually was ok for me... they've discontinued carrying it in my area.
Northstar-If this was the same brand Target carried years back, it didn't work for me.

I've tried Lunesta, Sonata, all the "different category" sleep aids... Nothing.

I think we Ambien users are in a world of hurt.

I have been on 20 mg of Ambien for almost 5 years with not much problem except the occasional tolerance build up and I end up short on my meds for the month.

My doctor will usually up my dose and now it is at 20mg. After a year of that I just picked up my Walmart RX and took the 2 pills as prescribed and its been 2 hours I lay in my bed wondering if they gave me the right medicine. I looked it up on identifier and it all matches it just seems like I got a bottle of placebos. Absolutely NO EFFECT.

This worries me because it's not like they let you bring them back and complain about it. I depend on the sound sleep mainly for my career so that I can have natural energy during the day to lead 100's of people and fly out to meetings and be prepared. It all falls on my Ambien and I am not sure if this was just a bad batch or something has changed in the compound of what is in it.

If anyone knows please let me know. I have to get switched somehow before my next trip overseas next week. Please let me know if you have had a really weak RX this time around. Or an advise of something equivalent to switch to. My doctor has me on what's powerful because I guess I don't react to small does at all. I am slender lb., 30 female and generally healthy.

I am currently on the generic made by Sandoz. Frankly it does nothing for me. When I was on Ambien I fell asleep within half a hour or less and slept 8 hours. I woke up refreshed and not at all drowsy. This generic crap doesn't help me. I can take it and still be up all night long. I've went two days without any sleep at all. I have issues with generic Wellbutrin as well. I take a lot of meds because I have a chronic major illness. Most of them are generics and work fine. But the Wellbutrin and the ambien majorly suck.!

If I had to go back to brand name Wellbutrin. It's costing me $350 a month. I can't remember what the cost of the ambien was. The FDA has admitted that some generic forms of Wellbutrin are not up to par. Something patients had been telling them for years. I wonder how long it will take them to get the hint about the ambien/ zolpiedem issue. I'm tired of meds that don't work. I have Lupus, fibromyalgia , asthma, a blood disorder as well as complex PTSD. I can't afford to waste money on crap that doesn't work.

I had used Ambien CR 12.5 since 2006. I have chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and other problems. I thought it was a miracle when the REAL Ambien was given to me. Now my plan says that I must take a generic or pay for the generic, real and a "penalty". Not one representative explained it quite the same way, or clearly.

I now, having tried three different generics, have gone back to paying for the REAL stuff. Over the last year and a half it has gone from about $200 for every 90 days to $1,018 for 90 days. I live on as limited pension, as I contracted CFS at 47 years of age and a small amount of $ from SS as I reported tutoring, etc.

Fortunately, I paid for a small disability policy or I would be on welfare. Clearly, I try to think ahead and be responsible, but that doesn't"t seem to matter. All the generics of Ambien made me ill, unable to sleep, dizzy, clumsy and unrested. The letters from my Dr., who says many of his patients suffer the same problems, are rejected by the drug company that my plan insists that I have. As I understand it, the Mass. plan is the template for parts of Obmacare. I DO want everyone to have health care coverage but if it insists only on generics there are going to be a lot of very ill people in the USA.

I worry that the medical companies and insurance companies are taking over good health care. It may come down to food or sleep. I'm scared. Especially as this may be swept up into all the other mega data.

These comments are all very interesting and glad I stumbled on to it. I have been taking various forms of Zolpidem over 5 years now as the original Ambien became too expensive for me. Most of the times they have been 10mg. and scored so I could break them in half. A lot of times 5mg. would work, but if I did not sleep through the night, I always had the option to take the second half of the pill.

Sometimes the pharmacy would give me the round ones and they did not split to well, so my pharmacy would take the effort to order the oval ones if I called ahead, so cudo's for WG!

Lately I just got a new scrip and now am not staying awake as well and have some weird dreams?? I wondered if the supplier company had been changed, so I checked the date sheet that came with the script to see if it was from a different lab, but it appears not. So I'm confused as to why I'm seeing different effects from the last batch I was receiving?

Also, I do not remember having so many weird vivid dreams before with the old medicine. I mean, I do not remember dreaming much at all back then anymore than an occasional one here and there. I'm sure that people will have dream experiences that can be influenced on whatever may be going on in one's life like dealing with illness, pain and stress from whatever stimuli.

So checking on this supplier list, I see WG has been using Teva and lately Qualtest.

Rite Aid has given me Teva (round)and Dr. Reddy's oval.

I'm just wondering if the supply is different from the same company but different factories from different countries now?

Glad we found this website. My husband and I both take Zolpidem. We both ordered refills from Rite Aid and both found the new batch useless. No sleep at all. The new batch came from Qualitest. Rite Aid changed from Northstar--which were effective, to this completely ineffective generic. Yes we complained to Rite Aid pharmacy but got the same stupid answers others have reported.

Where is the quality control? For that matter, how do I know if my generic Synthroid (thyroid) pills fluctuate in quality? This is serious stuff.Has anyone complained to FDA, CDC? I'm desperate for a solution.

Marion, I too found Qualitest completely useless. I don't think it contains any active ingredient at all. I request that the pharmacy I use fill my script with Sandoz brand. These seem to work best for me.

Re the quality control - I think lack of efficacy should be reported as an "adverse" reaction. Qualitest is owned by Endo Pharmaceuticals. There is a phone number on their website to report adverse reactions. Here's the link to the page: (the number they say to call is: (800) 462-ENDO (3636).
It says to call to report an adverse reaction and I think we should all start calling, because apparently neither our docs nor the pharmacists are calling. I am going to call the number on Monday.

After reading all these comments I am convinced that it is not "all in my head" which is a relief. I took the real Ambien for years and my insurance covered most of it BUT then the generic came out, my insurance won't cover real Ambien now, only the Generic version and it does not work for me at all. In fact with this stuff I started sleeping walking when I did sleep - not dangerous stuff but still scary. Maybe their Generic is made in China!! I stopped taking it but I miss the REAL Ambien. It is not the same, I don't care what they say. The price for real Ambien has not come down, in fact I think it has gone up. The Fix is In.

Same situation. Was prescribed Ambien CR about 10 years ago. Very, very effective. Recently prescribed it again and they gave me a generic by North Star. Very ineffective. Their quality control must be lower than Ambien as their product is ridiculously lacking in results. Since starting it, I've been averaging 4 to 5.5 hours a sleep per night, which doesn't meet promises made in the literature.

Wake up tired as expected from missing so much sleep. Have tried many alternatives (natural and pharmacological) but Ambien CR worked where all others failed.

I get 6 hrs of good sleep with only 4 mg of Teva. But North star get maybe 2 hrs restless sleep thrashing around and weird dreams. Now calling around to find Teva for next refill but meanwhile I'm stuck for a month using Northstar! So wrong!

I've been taking Ambien for about 2 years, it worked well, no side effects, on the 5 mg dose. They switched me to zolpidem made by Northstar, a few months ago. I still sleep fine, but I am now experiencing a horrible taste in my mouth, lasts all day, along with a very unpleasant smell. Everything I eat tastes horrible. Kind of metallic. It seems as if everything around me has this awful smell, but I've figured out it is coming from me. Urine is darker and exudes this smell as well. Has anyone else experienced this?

I have used the regular Ambien for only 3 months now despite years of insomnia. Before that I just put up with not sleeping.

My last prescription my Dr let me try the Teva generic brand of Ambien...Zolpidem. I got absolutely zero sleep, and wont use it again.

I really cant afford the Ambien price, and the pharmacist suggested Sonata, but it will also be a generic filled by Teva. I have never had a problem with generic meds before, but apparently from what I am seeing on line, their generic Ambien is useless. Im afraid the Teva Sonata generic will not work as well.

This obvious issue needs to be immediately addressed, as a lot of insurance carriers only cover generics. This may not seem like a huge deal, but if you have ever had true insomnia, and never sleep well, it becomes understandable how frustrating this situation is.

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