|Working||Works by affecting the brain|
|Treats||Short-term treatment of insomnia|
|Treatment Period||1-2 weeks|
Ambien is the market name for the drug zolpidem. This drug is administered to adults to treat a specific sleep issue (insomnia). Insomnia is the inability to sleep or habitual sleepless common in the youth today. Ambien can prove to be helpful if you have trouble falling asleep. Zolpidem is part of a group of drugs known as sedative-hypnotics. It acts on the distinct centres of the brain to produce a soothing effect and it helps you fall asleep quicker.
Taken from mouth, this medication is considered a sedative, but long-term use can lead to uncontrolled behaviour. Although that occurs more in case of high-dose abuse, Ambien is generally used for short terms. Its treatment periods range from 1 to 2 weeks and sometimes even lesser.
When used for longer terms without being directed so by your doctor, it can cause severe health issues too. So, it’s suggested that you keep in touch with your doctor and tell them about all the changes that occur while you’re on the treatment.
Suitable for short-term treatment of cases of insomnia, Ambien is used in those adults that have trouble sleeping. It helps you get a better night’s rest. It is strictly recommended against the use of Ambien in younger children (less than 18 years). This is because their bodies can be severely affected by the drug and the side effects can be fatal.
Also, Ambien (zolpidem) is especially used for the treatment of insomnia. No other sleep disorders, least of all somnambulism and other complex sleep behaviours, are treated by Ambien.
Dosage and Effects
Ambien is drug that is taken by mouth, on an empty stomach, and exactly as advised by a physician. The dosage varies from person to person. It is determined by your doctor based on your age, physical and mental well-being (medical condition), and response to treatment. If you experience some issue after taking the pills that seem to be unrelated, talk to your doctor immediately.
Ambien affects quickly after being taken and its effects can be seen even after waking up the next morning. So, it is advised to be taken only when you have enough sleep time. If a dose is missed any night, it’s better not to take it the same night. Administer yourself any dose only when you have time to sleep for around seven hours after the pill effects.
Because of being fast-affecting, zolpidem doesn’t stay in your body for long. It washes out in 12-24 hours. This is also one of the reasons it doesn’t cause dependency. However, it is given for only short periods because long-term treatment may even affect the body’s circadian rhythms (sleep-wake cycle) as a result of mismanagement.
Keep in touch with your doctor about any changes that occur while you’re on the course. Try not to go against the prescription. Complex sleep behaviours – sleep-walking, sleep-driving, etc. – as a result of dosage abuse have been known to cause serious injuries and even death.
Ambien (zolpidem) is a sedative-hypnotic drug and it helps adults to catch a good night’s sleep. It helps treat insomnia for short-terms. However, when you’re on a course, overdoses, missing doses unnecessarily and any undirected alterations can affect your health. Dizziness and daytime drowsiness can be common side effects of this drug.
Based on its usage, Ambien also produces other side effects, which may be serious and include:
- Memory loss (amnesia);
- Behavioural and mental or mood changes. These conditions include newly developed depression or a worsening form of it, suicidal thoughts and behaviour, abnormal thoughts, hallucinations, aggressive behaviour, agitation, anxiety, and confusion);
- Complex sleep behaviours; and
- Severe allergic reactions.
Most of these side effects of this drug are rare, more so a serious allergic reaction. However, if any symptoms of any of these side effects are experienced, talk to your physician right away. Talk to your doctor also if any allergic symptoms occur. These symptoms may include:
- Swelling and/or itching,
- Respiratory issues, and
- Severe dizziness.
Talk to your doctor if any particular side effect bothers you or if one does not seem to go away.
Irregulated use of Ambien can result in complex sleep behaviours. Such kinds of behaviours are the ones that we involve in during sleep. One may not remember on waking up what they did while they were asleep. These complex sleep behaviours have also been known to cause serious injuries and even death. These may include:
- Driving your vehicle (sleep-driving),
- Cooking and eating,
- Talking to someone on the phone, or
- Having sex.
Ambien is a fast-acting drug and although it gets cleared out of the body sooner than other drugs, its effects can be seen even after waking up. The most common condition is daytime drowsiness. Driving and using machinery must be prohibited because of drowsiness. Alcohol or marijuana can aggravate this condition. Talk to your doctor if you use marijuana.
Although Ambien is included in a group of drugs known as sedatives, it can also give you a rush of energy when abused at high doses. This kind of euphoria is a common condition of drug abuse. However, Ambien (zolpidem) drug abuse can also lead to extreme drowsiness, as mentioned above. Some other conditions include clumsiness and occasional confusion, which may also increase the risk of accidental injuries and falls, and fractures.
Based on all of these effects, it’s good not to take a larger dose of Ambien than your doctor recommends. Do not take Ambien if you can’t stay in bed for up to seven or eight hours before getting up again. Because it is a fast-acting drug, take it only before you go to bed to avoid mishaps.
Proper storage of Ambien tablets is paramount so as to keep them effective for a long duration. Leaving the package uncared for also determines how the medicine affects you and might thus alter the results. This is because uncared for tablets may observe unwanted chemical reactions. For smart and safekeeping of the drugs, follow these steps:
- Store at a controlled room temperature, between 15° to 30°C, and away from moisture and light.
- Keep the tablets in a safe place, and preferably in their original packaging. Keep out of reach of children, since it can create serious health issues for them.
- The tablets usually come in blister packs, which aren’t child-resistant. Use child-resistant closure as per the requirement to avoid unintentional use.
- Ambien is prone to abuse because of its energizing effects and euphoria-like results in high doses. Keep Ambien in a safe place also to avoid abuse and misuse by adults.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Ambien used for?
Ambien is a sleep medicine that is taken orally by adults. It helps in the short-term treatment of insomnia (trouble falling asleep).
When should you not take Ambien?
You should not take Ambien (zolpidem) if you’ve ever experienced any form of complex sleep behaviour after taking the medication. Avoid taking this drug if you’ve confused alcohol before going to bed or anytime in the evening. Avoid the medication also in case of having taken another medicine to help you sleep that night.
Is it OK to take Ambien every night?
Taking Ambien occasionally just before you go to bed to help you with a good night’s sleep is safe. However, that is only for as long as you are in bed. This is why long-term prescriptions of Ambien are uncommon. Take it only as directed by your doctor. Do not exceed your doses. Don’t abuse your doses, and don’t take Ambien in the middle of the night if you somehow miss it before bed. Take it only when you have time enough to sleep for up to eight hours.
Can you take Ambien for years?
Ambien is particularly known to be effective for the treatment of insomnia. It is that kind of treatment option that your healthcare professional and you can consider managing while making some small lifestyle changes. So, Ambien can be taken for as long as it is recommended for you. However, the treatment is usually limited to short periods of 1 or 2 weeks or even less.
Can you take 25 mg of Ambien?
Any night, immediately before bedtime, it is advised that the total dose of Ambien should be kept no more than 12.5 mg. It is advised that you take Ambien as a single dose and taking it again during the same night is advised against. Doing so can make you sleepy during the day, resulting in decreased productivity and general hysteria.