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What is Ambien?
Zolpidem is one of the most famous prescription drugs in the US, sold under the brand Ambien. It can help relieve various medical conditions but it is primarily prescribed for sleeping problems, such as insomnia. It is available to take in different forms orally, such as pill tablets, sublingual tablets and spray.
Ambien is a nonbenzodiazepine Z drug, offering sedation and hypnosis effects. It operates by attaching to the GABA receptor system, in a similar fashion to benzodiazepine drugs. Approved in 1992 for usage in the USA, Ambien was only approved as a general medicine in 2007.
How to Consume Ambien
You must follow your doctor’s prescription and tips for taking Ambien (Zolpidem) orally, although there are some general rules that apply:
- Take this drug once per night only, a bit before sleep. Never combine it with alcohol, while it would be best to take it without any meal or after one.
- Never take a dose of Ambien unless you can sleep for seven to eight hours straight afterwards. If you do not have enough sleep, you will not able to function properly the next morning.
- The dosage of Ambien used to be 10 mg (Men) and 5 mg (Women), which was changed to extended-release of 1.25 mg higher for women, 2.5 mg higher for men. The FDA worked around the original dosage to decrease somnolence the day after consumption.
- Never take more than the prescribed dosage, as this could lead to severe side-effects, addiction or injuries from inability to perform daily tasks.
- Drugs, like Ambien, are rarely stopped abruptly by your doctor, as this could lead to withdrawal symptoms. In most cases, you will be taking lower dosages of Ambien until you stop using it completely. The most common withdrawal symptoms include feeling nervous, shaky or vomiting.
The above are guidelines only, as your doctor knows the best dosage and tips that will apply to you, as they can vary from individual to individual. Nonetheless, if your sleeping patterns do not improve, you should refer back to your physician for further advise.
Ambien (Zolpidem) is a very useful drug for those suffering from insomnia or find it very hard to fall asleep. Nevertheless, as all drugs that operate in the CNS, there are possible side-effects that one might experience.
It is paramount that you inform your doctor about other medications that you might be taking, as they can have adverse reactions or cancel the drug all together. Still, in the case of Ambien, most of the side effects come naturally if you do not have a full night’s sleep after taking the medication.
Such negative effects can result in injury or fall, so it is better to avoid tasks that require alertness or manual skills the next morning. Some of the common side effects, with most of them being more common with long-term usage include:
- Sleep walking
Can Anyone Take Ambien?
Ambien is a prescription drug, so only if your doctor thinks that it can help you, then and only then you will be able to take this medicine. Further, it is advised that people only take Ambien after first trying the following:
- CBT Treatment for Insomnia: Psychologists often employ the cognitive behavioral treatment to help patients that suffer from insomnia without prescribing any drugs. The process might require weeks or months to show effect, although it is recommended due to the lack of dependency on medication for sleep.
- Behavioral Changes: Many people treat insomnia by changing some of their habits. Sleeping at the same time every day, avoiding naps during the day, physically exercising, abstaining from caffeine or alcohol and meditation are some of the things that can also be used to treat insomnia without the use of prescription drugs.
Other people who cannot take Ambien due to their medical history or history of addiction, might be prescribed any of the following by their doctor: