Generic Name: Zolpidem
Brand Name: Ambien, Ambien CR
Ambien is a prescription medication available in immediate release and controlled release formulations. The medicine contains zolpidem tartrate as an active ingredient. Ambien is a sedative, and also a hypnotic medicine recommended only for people above 18 years of age.
The medication is a federally controlled substance C-IV due to its associated risks of abuse and dependence. Medical guidelines recommend that people should only use Ambien after trying counselling, behaviour therapy, and lifestyle changes. It is an oral medication available in conventional tablets and sublingual tablets forms.
Ambien is a non-benzodiazepine-Z medicine that acts as both sedative and hypnotic, by increasing the effects of GABA-A receptors in the central nervous system at the same location as benzodiazepines. It belongs to the imidazopyridine class and has a half-life of about two to three hours.
The United States approved zolpidem, an active ingredient of Ambien, in the year 1992 for medical use. The generic form of Ambien came into the market in 2007. It is one of the most commonly used sleep medications in the country, with more than 10 million prescriptions filled every year.
Uses of Ambien
The Food and Drugs Administration labels Ambien for a short term, usually about two to three weeks, treatment of sleep problems or insomnia at the lowest effective dose. People buy Ambien online for both improving the onset of sleep and staying asleep.
American College of Physicians guidelines recommends that medication should be only a second-line treatment of insomnia after trying non-pharmacological treatment options such as lifestyle changes and cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia.
Health care providers recommend a lower dose of the medication as a sublingual tablet for the middle of the night awakenings (3.5 mg dose for men and 1.75 mg dose for women). People should take it only when there are at least four hours between the time of awakening and the time of administration.
How to store Ambien?
Store the medication in a shut compartment at room temperature, away from warmth, dampness, and direct light—shield from freezing. Keep out of the scope of kids. Try not to keep old medication or medication no longer required. Ask your pharmacist how you ought to discard any medication you don’t use.
Dosages of Ambien
- Initial Dose: 5 mg for women and 5-10 mg for men taken once per night
- Dosage increase: A health care provider may increase the dose from 5 mg up to 10 mg according to the needs of the individual patient
Note: Take only one dose per night. Do not take Ambien with a meal. Avoid taking heavy dinner or alcohol while taking the medication. Ambien and alcohol may interact to produce adverse reactions.
Use a 5 mg dose for elderly or debilitating patients or patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment as they have a low clearance.
Read the following precautions of the medication before you buy Ambien online:
- Do not take more Ambien other than prescribed.
- Do not take medicine unless you are able to stay in bed for 7 to 8 hours before you must be awake again.
- Take Ambien only once a night, immediately before going to bed.
The medication may cause serious side effects like complex sleep behaviours that can cause serious injury and even death. After taking medicine, you may get up out of your bed while you are not fully awake and do an activity without knowing it; it is complex sleep behaviour. The next morning, you would not remember that you did something during the night. These activities may occur with the medication whether or not you drink alcohol with it.
Reported activities of complex sleep behaviour include:
- Driving a car or sleep driving
- Making or eating food
- Talking on your phone
- Having sex
Stop taking Ambien and consult your health care provider right away if you find out that you have done any of these sleep activities after taking medicine.
You should not drive a car, operate vehicles or machinery or do things that require clear thinking the day after you take a controlled-release version of Ambien.
Do not take the medication if you:
- have ever had a complex sleep behaviour such as driving a car, making or eating food, talking on your phone, or having sex while not being fully awake
- took alcohol that evening or before bed
- take other medicines that make you sleepy
Do not take Ambien if you have allergies to zolpidem tartrate or any other ingredients contained in the medicine.
Do not take Ambien if you have an allergic reaction to drugs containing zolpidem, such as Edluar, Zolpimist, or Intermezzo.
Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction to zolpidem tartrate include swelling of your face, lips, and throat that cause difficulty breathing or swallowing
Before taking medicine, tell your doctor about your medical conditions, including if you:
- Have a history of mental illness, depression, or suicidal thoughts
- Have a history of alcohol or substance abuse or addiction
- Have liver or kidney disease
- Have a lung disease or some kind of breathing problems
- Are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
- Are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed
Side Effects of Ambien
The severe Ambien side effects include:
- Complex sleep behaviours
- Serious anaphylactic and anaphylactoid reactions
- Next day impairment
- Central nervous system depressant effects
- Abnormal thinking and behaviour changes
- Severe withdrawal effects
Clinical trials show other mild side effects, including headache, amnesia, falls, vertigo, drowsiness, and nausea.