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What is Ambien?
- Ambien is a sedative medication (also known as a hypnotic) that is also available with the generic name of zolpidem. Ambien helps treat insomnia by affecting chemicals in the brain that may not balance in people with sleep problems like insomnia.
- The immediate-release form of this drug helps you fall asleep when you go to bed first. Ambien CR (extended-release) tablets have two layers, the first one dissolves quickly to help you fall asleep, and the second one dissolves slowly to help you stay asleep.
- Ambien may cause allergic reactions. Stop using it and take medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction, including trouble breathing, hives, swelling of your face, throat, lips, or tongue.
- Do not share Ambien with someone else, even if they have similar symptoms. Doctors prescribe different doses for men and women, and this drug is not under the recommendation for use by children. Misuse of Ambien can result in dangerous side effects.
- Ambien may impair your reactions along with your thinking. You may feel sleepy the morning after taking Ambien, especially if you are a woman or take the extended-release form of this medicine.
- Never take Ambien in smaller or larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Do not take it after drinking alcohol during the day or just before bed.
What to know before taking Ambien?
Some people taking Ambien were doing activities such as eating, driving, walking, having sex, making phone calls, and later having no memory of acting. If this happens to you, stop taking it and ask your doctor for another sleep disorder treatment.
You should avoid taking Ambien if you are allergic to it. This medicine may contain lactose, and you should use caution if you are allergic to lactose.
Ambien is not under the recommendation for use by anyone younger than 18 years old. To ensure Ambien is safe for use, tell your medical healthcare provider if you have ever had:
- Liver or kidney disease;
- Interrupted breathing during sleep;
- Drug or alcohol addiction;
- Breathing problems or lung disease; or
- Mental illness, depression, or suicidal thoughts
Taking Ambien in the final trimester of pregnancy may cause drowsiness or breathing problems in your newborn baby. It may get unsafe to breastfeed while taking this medicine.
How to take Ambien?
- Take Ambien precisely as per the doctor’s recommendation. Read carefully and follow all the directions on the prescription label.
- Doctors prescribe different doses for men and women, and this drug is not under the recommendation for use by children. Misuse of Ambien can result in dangerous side effects.
- Ambien may be a habit-forming drug, and its misuse can cause overdose, addiction, or death. Do not share Ambien with someone else, even if they have similar symptoms. Never take any sleep-related drugs like Ambien if you do not have a complete sleep of seven to eight hours before being active again.
- Ambien is for short-period use only. Tell your medical healthcare professional if there is no improvement in your insomnia symptoms or if your condition worsens after taking it for 7 to 10 nights in a row. Do not take Ambien for more than 4 or 5 weeks without prior medical consultation.
- Do not suddenly stop taking Ambien after prolonged use, or you could face unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to stop taking this medicine to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
- Swallow the whole Ambien CR tablet rather than crushing, chewing, or breaking it. Store Ambien away from heat and moisture at room temperature without freezing it.
Usual Ambien adult dosage for men
- Initial dose- 5 mg or 10 mg once per night immediately before bedtime.
- Maximum amount- 10 mg once per night.
Usual Ambien adult dosage for women
- Initial dose- 5 mg once per night immediately before bedtime.
- Maximum amount- 10 mg once per night.
- In case of an overdose to Ambien, take medical help or call the Poison helpline at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of Ambien can be deadly, especially when you take it with other medications that can cause drowsiness.
- Overdose symptoms may include confusion, sleepiness, feeling lightheaded, slow breathing, fainting, or coma.
What to avoid while using Ambien?
- Avoid Ambien while traveling, such as to sleep on a journey. You may awaken before the effects of this drug have worn off. Amnesia (a medical condition of forgetfulness) is more common if you do not sleep for seven to eight hours after taking Ambien.
- Do not take it after drinking alcohol during the day or just before bed. Avoid driving or performing any hazardous activity until you know the effect of this medicine on you. You may feel sleepy the morning after taking Ambien.
Ambien side effects
Ambien may lead to severe allergic reactions. Take instant medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Ambien that may include hives, trouble breathing, or swelling in your face, lips, throat, or tongue.
Stop taking medicine and promptly call the doctor if you have:
- Trouble swallowing or breathing;
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, feeling short of breath; or
- Feeling like you might pass out
Common side effects to Ambien may include:
- Loss of coordination, tired feeling;
- Daytime drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, feeling lightheaded;
- Nausea, diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach;
- Dry mouth, stuffy nose, nose or throat irritation; or
- Headache, muscle pain
It is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. Take your doctor’s medical help regarding side effects.
What drugs can interact with Ambien?
- Taking Ambien with other drugs that cause drowsiness can worsen this effect. Consult your medical healthcare professional before using a muscle relaxer, sleeping pill, opioid medication, or any treatment for anxiety or seizures (convulsions).
- Various drugs may interact with Ambien, increasing its side effects or making it less effective. It includes prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, herbal products, and vitamins.