Ambien is brand name of the generic drug Zolpidem Tartrate, which is primarily used to cure insomnia among other sleep disorders. The drug falls under the non-benzodiazepine classification. Ambien is a short-acting drug with a short half-life. The drug’s effectiveness can be felt within fifteen minutes, and the peak effects can be felt within the first two hours of taking Ambien. Zolpidem is available in dosage strengths of 5 mg and 10 mg.
How Ambien Works
Ambien works by inhibiting the central nervous system to produce sedative effects. The drug enhances the activity of the brain chemical gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) to calm down the mind and body. The sedative effects of the drug on GABA receptors can be felt as fast as within twenty minutes of taking the pill. This help in sleep initiation, a major problem in people suffering from insomnia. To help maintain sleep, an extended release (ER) form of the pill is also available.
How To Take Ambien
Since Ambien is a quick-acting drug, it should be ideally taken just before bedtime. This prescription drug should be used only when you have at least seven to eight hours of dedicated sleep time. The drug can cause drowsiness in the initial hours of waking up, and so operating any machinery is not advisable till the effects wear off. Men and women metabolize the drug differently, due to which the physician may prescribe lower dosage strength for women. Ambien is indicated for short-term treatment only for a maximum of six weeks. The drug should be taken exactly as prescribed by the doctor for the advised period and dosage strength.
Ambien has potential for abuse when taken incorrectly. The drug should not be taken along with alcohol as it can further depress the central nervous system. Developing drug tolerance may require higher dosage levels and may lead to addiction. Discontinuing the medication without professional medical assistance will result in drug withdrawal symptoms. Suddenly stopping Ambien may also cause rebound insomnia. Keep your healthcare provider updated on your progress or drug ineffectiveness if any during therapy with Ambien. Disclose your medical history before getting a prescription, especially if you have any mental health conditions or suicidal thoughts. Do not take Ambien if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Do not take antidepressants or other sleeping pills as they can interact dangerously with Ambien. Since the drug is to be taken only when you have trouble falling asleep, it unlikely that you will miss a dose.
Ambien sleeping pill is for short-term use only as it is effective in the initial stages of insomnia therapy. The drug can cause certain side effects that may become aggravated with prolonged use. Some common side effects include:
- Daytime drowsiness
- Impaired reasoning and thinking
- Impaired motor abilities
- Appetite problems
- Poor judgment
- Trouble with memory
- Euphoria or uninhibited extroversion
The drug is safe to use when taken according to the prescription. Seek emergency medical attention in case of overdose or any allergic reactions. Leaving any symptoms untreated may lead to fatal incidents.