Ambien (zolpidem) is a sedative, also called a hypnotic. Zolpidem affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with sleep problems such as insomnia.
Ambien is used to treat insomnia. The immediate-release tablet is used to help you fall asleep when you first go to bed. The extended-release form, Ambien CR, has a first layer that dissolves quickly to help you fall asleep, and a second layer that dissolves slowly to help you stay asleep.
Your doctor will determine which form of Ambien is best for you.
Ambien may cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking this medicine and get emergency medical help if you have any allergic reactions such as; hives; difficulty breathing; or swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Do not share Ambien with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have. The recommended doses of Ambien are not the same in men and women, and this drug is not approved for children to use. Misuse of this medication can result in dangerous side effects.
Ambien may impair your thinking or reactions. You may still feel sleepy the morning after taking this medicine, especially if you take the extended-release tablet, or if you are a woman. Wait at least 4 hours or until you are fully awake before you do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
Never take Ambien in larger amounts or for longer than prescribed.
Do not take it if you have consumed alcohol during the day or just before bed.
Some people using Ambien have engaged in activities such as driving, eating, walking, making phone calls, and later have no memory of the activity. If this happens to you, stop taking this medicine and talk with your doctor about another treatment for your sleep disorder.
You should not use Ambien if you are allergic to zolpidem. The tablets may contain lactose Be cautious if you are allergic to it.
Ambien is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- depression, mental illness, or suicidal thoughts.
- drug or alcohol addiction.
- lung disease or breathing problems.
- sleep apnea (breathing stops during sleep).
- liver or kidney disease.
Taking Ambien in the last 3 months of pregnancy may cause drowsiness or breathing problems in your newborn.
It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risks.
How To Use Ambien
Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking zolpidem and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth on an empty stomach as directed by your doctor, which is usually once a night. Since zolpidem works quickly, take it right before you get into bed. Do not take it with or after a meal because it will not work as quickly.
Do not take a dose of this drug unless you have time for a full night’s sleep of at least 7 to 8 hours. If you have to wake up before that, you may have some memory loss and may have trouble safely doing any activity that requires alertness, such as driving or operating machinery.
Dosage is based on your gender, age, medical condition, other medications you may be taking, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose, take it more often, or use it for longer than prescribed. Do not take more than 10 milligrams a day. Women are usually prescribed a lower dose because the drug is removed from their bodies more slowly than in men. Older adults are usually prescribed a lower dose to decrease the risk of side effects.
If you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, flushing, stomach cramps, nervousness, and shakiness. To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used zolpidem for a long time or in high doses. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have any withdrawal symptoms.
Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well and if your condition persists after 7 to 10 days, or if it worsens.
You may have trouble sleeping the first few nights after you stop taking this medication. This is called rebound insomnia and its normal. It will usually go away after 1-2 nights. If this effect continues, contact your doctor.
Dizziness may occur. If this effect persists or worsens, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
This medication may make you sleepy during the day. Tell your doctor if you have daytime drowsiness. Your dose may need to be adjusted.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: memory loss, mental/mood/behavior changes (such as new/worsening depression, abnormal thoughts, thoughts of suicide, hallucinations, confusion, agitation, aggressive behavior, anxiety.
If you have any questions about Ambien or the varied treatments used for Ambien addiction you can contact us anytime.