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What is Ambien?

Ambien is the brand name for the medication containing the salt Zolpidem as the main ingredient. It is used for treating different sleep orders, usually, it is the first choice for doctors while treating insomnia. It is categorized as a sedative and a hypnotic medication, which induces sleep by altering the chemicals in the brain. This medication is available in Ambien 5mg and Ambien 10mg tablets.

It has been available in US pharmacies since 1992. It is one of the most prescribed medications in the US and is listed among the top 50 most prescribed and used medications. Medications containing Zolpidem are listed as a Schedule IV medication. So as per the law, purchase, possession, and use of this medication without a prescription is illegal.

How To Consume Ambien?

Ambien should be consumed as per the instructions provided by the doctor. Usually, this medication should be taken at night. Patients will stay asleep for around 6-8 hours after the consumption of this medication. This medication should never be consumed for a period of longer than 2 weeks. Even during this period daily usage should be restricted. Never crush, chew or break a pill for consumption. This way it gets dissolved into the blood quicker causing symptoms of an overdose.

The most important thing that patients need to do is manage doses properly. An overdose of this medication can cause permanent damage to the brain. It should never be given to children, as their brains can suffer from growth problems due to this drug. There are thousands of cases of each year of people using this medication prescribed to someone else. This is also illegal and should be avoided for health safety.

What Are Side Effects of Ambien?

Side effects vary from person to person depending on their health condition and their body’s reaction to this medication. Some people suffer mild side effects that can be ignored, while some patients might suffer a severe side effect. For severe side effects, they need to stop using this medication and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Normal/Moderate Side Effects

The list side effects of Ambien are never-ending so we will be listing some of the commonly reported side effects. Mention them to your doctor during the next checkup.

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness during day
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Sinusitis
  • Stomach ache
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth

Serious Side Effects

Stop using the medication if any of the side effects mentioned below develops in a patient. Call 911 or go to an ER if condition is serious.

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Forgetfulness
  • Mood swings
  • Hallucinations
  • Anger
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Rashes
  • Severe dizziness
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Increased/Decreased Heart Rate

Precautions for Ambien Usage

People with the health problems listed below should take extra care while using this medication.

  • Depression with suicidal thoughts
  • Family History of Substance Abuse
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Respiratory disease
  • Cardiac disease

These are some of the common health conditions, if you suffer from any other chronic health condition consult a doctor before consuming this medication.

Ambien should never be consumed with substances such as Alcohol or Marijuana as the resulting effect can cause severe dizziness and excessively long sleep hours. Patients using this medication are advised to avoid driving, cooking, operating machinery or doing any other attention requiring work. Ambien can force patients to lose attention and they can get hurt while doing such work.

Extra precautions should be taken in the case of pregnant women. They should only use this medication if recommended by a doctor, even than the doses need to be kept to the minimum. While nursing mothers can pass this drug through breast milk to the baby, as a result of which babies can develop dependence, excessive sleepiness and have a hard time staying active.