Ambien – a Potent Sleeping Pill. General Overview of the Drug

by | Dec 15, 2020 | Uncategorized

Sleep disorders require effective treatment. Ambien is one of the best ones in this regard. The overview covers the effects, side effects, contraindications and drug interactions Ambien can get into.

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Ambien – Insomnia Is not a Problem Anymore

Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders in adults. About 30% of people suffering from sleep disorders have insomnia. Another 10% of adults deal with this problem long-term. While the pharmaceutical market offers various treatments for this condition, both over-the-counter and prescription, the latter seem to be more effective. One of the best treatments for trouble falling asleep is Ambien.
This medication produces a strong hypnotic effect, which allows falling asleep within 15 – 30 minutes after taking a pill. Aside from this, the preparation possesses weak muscle relaxant, anxiolytic, and anticonvulsant properties. Zolpidem, the active ingredient in Ambien, is a regulated substance, which is why it requires a prescription.

When and How to Take Ambien?

Ambien comes in the form of pills. They are immediate-release formulation, which comes into effects within minutes, allowing you to fall asleep fast. The preparation should be ingested on an empty stomach as food may delay the onset of its action.
You may take the medication either daily or on-demand, depending on your symptoms. The maximum daily dose for men is 10 mg, while women require only half of it – 5 mg to achieve the same effects. The differences in dosages for men and women are due to the slower elimination of the drug from the female body.
Take Ambien at bedtime, once daily. To avoid next-day sleepiness, you should have at least 7 – 8 hours of sleep. If you have to wake up earlier, your motor and cognitive functions might be impaired, which can lead to accidental traumatization.
The maximum duration of treatment with Ambien shouldn’t exceed 35 days, though doctors usually doesn’t recommend using it longer than two weeks.

Contraindications to the Drug. Who Should Avoid Ambien?

Ambien is a potent drug, which is why it is usually prescribed to people who failed to cope with their sleep disorder with the help of sleep hygiene, cognitive behavioral therapy, and over-the-counter medications. This drug often becomes a kind of the last resort for those who can’t fall asleep. However, this preparation is not suitable for everyone. A range of medical conditions may get worse because of the effects produced by Ambien. You should consult your healthcare provider regarding the safety of Ambien in your particular case.
You are not recommended treatment with Ambien if you have or have had one of the listed health disorders:
– known hypersensitivity to zolpidem;
– depression;
– severe liver disorder;
– severe kidney disease;
– suicidal thoughts;
– severe breathing disorders;
– a personal or family history of sleepwalking;
– myasthenia gravis.
In some cases, your doctor may prescribe you Ambien even if you have one of the listed medical problems. However, this might be done only after thorough evaluation of your medical condition and weighing the potential benefits and possible risks.

Can I Use Ambien with Other Medicines?

When on Ambien, you should carefully monitor all the medicines you take. This preparation influences the activity of the CNS, so it requires caution if used with other medicines affecting your nervous system. We’ve compiled a list of drugs that may get into dangerous interaction with Ambien. However, you should also discuss this issue with your doctor to be on the safe side.
Avoid the concomitant use of Ambien with:
– CNS depressants (benzodiazepines, barbiturates, sedative-hypnotics, non-benzodiazepines, etc.);
– Imipramine;
– Rifampin;
– Azole antifungals (ketoconazole, itraconazole, etc.);
– Chlorpromazine.
Abstain from alcohol for the period of treatment with Ambien. Ethanol works as a nervous system depressant, which may exacerbate the unwanted reactions related to Ambien use.

Unwanted Reactions to Ambien. What Are They?

The incidence and the severity of unwanted reactions to Ambien depends on the dosage you take, individual tolerance to the drug, and the duration of your treatment. The longer you use this medication, the more pronounced side effects you may experience.
Most common unwanted reactions to the short-term use of Ambien include diarrhea, drowsiness, and dizziness. If you continue using the preparation longer than 10 nights, you may also develop mouth dryness, sinusitis, drugged feeling, sleepwalking, and some other symptoms. Usually, they go away on their own when you discontinue the therapy. But if any of the symptoms is disturbing you, contact your doctor for advice.

Summing up

You can get rid of insomnia due to Ambien. Still, you should be careful taking this medication and follow your doctor’s advice carefully to get the most benefit from the therapy.