Author: Charles Frank

How Ambien Is Used to Treat Insomnia

what is ambien used for

This is to reduce your risk of side effects from this medication. Ambien belongs to a group of drugs called hypnotics. The first layer dissolves quickly to send you off to sleep. The inner layer dissolves more slowly and helps you stay asleep. But this inner layer can also mean blood levels of the drug are still high enough the next morning to impair your ability to drive or operate machinery.

Have you recently lost a loved one, had a job change, or had a marital dispute? All of these can affect your ability to rest soundly. In 2013, the FDA ordered Sanofi-Aventis, the manufacturers of Ambien and Ambien CR, and all other manufacturers of zolpidem to change their dosage recommendations. By Brandon Peters, MDBrandon Peters, MD, is a board-certified neurologist and sleep medicine specialist. Ambien should be avoided in pregnancy and with breastfeeding.

what is ambien used for

Do not share Ambien with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have. The recommended doses of zolpidem are not the same in men and women, and this drug is not approved for use in children. Misuse of this medication can result in dangerous side effects. The effects of this drug can last even after you wake up the next day. You may also experience dizziness or blurred/double vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy.

Sleeping pills should not become a regular habit – and be especially careful when you do use them. Ambien is a controlled, prescription drug which means online sales of the drug without a prescription are illegal. Plus, drugs bought over the Internet might not be from a registered manufacturer, and there’s no guarantee they contain the right ingredient. Take this medication by mouth on an empty stomach as directed by your doctor, 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.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

This article describes the dosages of Ambien, as well as its strengths and how to take it. To learn more about Ambien, see this in-depth article. Monster-sized energy drinks or triple venti lattes may be the culprit.

Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Controlled substance status also means government agencies, doctors, and pharmacists pay close attention to how the drug’s prescribed and used. Your doctor will assess your risk of misuse and addiction before prescribing this drug for you.

  1. You should not take this medication or similar medications (such as eszopiclone, zaleplon) if you have this reaction to the medication.
  2. The first layer dissolves quickly to send you off to sleep.
  3. Your doctor can discuss your concerns with you and suggest other treatment options if your current Ambien dosage isn’t working for you.
  4. The most common side effects of AMBIEN CR include headache and dizziness.
  5. You may still feel sleepy the morning after taking Ambien, and your reactions could be impaired.

Even though Ambien is not as habit-forming as benzodiazepines, it is still addictive. Ambien is also a lot shorter-acting than most benzodiazepines, although some side effects may stick around. It may not be the best drug to use if you have a history of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, depression, psychiatric disorders, lung, or liver problems. It should be used with caution in the elderly or debilitated. Any decision regarding the proper dose should be discussed with your prescribing physician and consideration of your entire list of medications should occur.

What to avoid

Other brands of zolpidem include Edluar and Zolpimist (oral spray). Ambien is a hypnotic drug that has direct effects on the central nervous system, specifically the brain. It causes drowsiness and is safe and effective for initiating and maintaining sleep. Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). Before taking zolpidem, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies.

what is ambien used for

If you need to stop taking Ambien or Ambien CR, your doctor will slowly lower your dosage to help you avoid withdrawal symptoms. Talk with them if you have questions about your dosage or your risk of withdrawal symptoms from either of these drugs. The maximum dosage of Ambien is typically 10 mg once per day. Take your dose just before bedtime when you have at least 7–8 hours before you need to wake up. For females with mild to moderate liver problems or those ages 65 years and older, the maximum recommended dosage is 5 mg once daily.

Important Safety Information

You’re more likely to experience misuse or addiction if you have a mental health condition or have misused drugs or alcohol in the past. Ambien and Ambien CR are used as short-term treatments to help manage insomnia (trouble sleeping). Always take the drug exactly as prescribed by your doctor. As you get older, your sleep pattern may naturally change and your sleep may be interrupted several times during the night. Take this medication by mouth with a glass of water. It is better to take this medication on an empty stomach and only when you are ready for bed.

Call your doctor if your insomnia worsens or is not better within 7 to 10 days. This may mean that there is another condition causing your sleep problem. AMBIEN and other medicines can interact with each other causing serious side effects. AMBIEN may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how AMBIEN works. It is not known if AMBIEN and AMBIEN CR are safe and effective in children under the age of 18 years. AMBIEN and AMBIEN CR are not recommended in children under the age of 18 years.

The recommended dosage of Ambien CR for mild to moderate liver disease is 6.25 mg once daily before bedtime. Depression is a serious condition that can cause a lack of sleep. In some people, insomnia occurs before symptoms of depression.

You may be prescribed a standard or controlled-release (CR) formulation of the drug. There is also a fast-acting form that is taken under the tongue (sublingually). These vary slightly in how long it takes the body to metabolize them, but their effects are the same. Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely. 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.

The risk of doing these sleep-related activities is higher. Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Keep a regular sleep schedule by going to bed at about the same time each night. Avoid caffeine-containing drinks in the evening hours.