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Ambien - Its Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

Ambien is a sedative, also called a hypnotic. Zolpidem affects chemicals in the brain that may be imbalanced in people with sleep problems.


What Is Ambien and Why It Is Used?

Ambien is a sedative, also called a hypnotic. Zolpidem affects chemicals in the brain that may be imbalanced in people with sleep problems such as insomnia.

Ambien is used to treat insomnia. The immediate-release tablet helps you fall asleep when you first go to bed. The extended-release tablet, Ambien CR, has a first layer that melts quickly to help you fall asleep and a second layer that dissolves slowly to help you continue to sleep.

Zolpidem is used for a short time to treat a certain sleep disorder (insomnia) in adults. If you cannot fall sleep easily and have trouble in getting a good night’s sleep, it helps you fall asleep faster so you can get a better night’s rest. Zolpidem belongs to a category of medicines which is called sedative-hypnotics. It works on your brain to have a calming effect.

Your doctor will decide which form of Ambien is best for you.

Side Effects

Severe allergic reaction may be caused by Zolpidem. You should stop taking Ambien and seek medical help if you notice signs of an allergic reaction like hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

You should immediately tell your doctor about any new or worsening symptoms such as: Depression, anxiety, aggression, restlessness, confusion, unusual thoughts, hallucinations, memory problems, personality changes, risk-taking behaviour, decreased inhibitions, no fear of danger, or thoughts of suicide or self-harm.

Stop taking this medication and call your doctor immediately if you experience

  • Chest pain, fast or irregular heartbeat, feeling short of breath;
  • Trouble in breathing or swallowing; or
  • Feeling like you might pass out.

In older adults, the sedative effect of Ambien may be stronger.

Dizziness or severe drowsiness can lead to falls, accidents, or severe injuries.


Daytime drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, feeling “drugged” or light-headed;
Tired feeling, loss of coordination;
Stuffy nose, dry mouth, nose or throat irritation;
Nausea, constipation, diarrheal, upset stomach; or
Headache, muscle pain.

Serious side effects of taking Ambien include:

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  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Aggression
  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Memory problems
  • Unusual thoughts or behaviour
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself
  • Light-headedness

If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above get medical help right away. You should let your doctor know if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

However, the above-mentioned side effects are not all the possible side effects of Ambien. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.


Before you take Zolpidem, you should tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or if you have any other allergies. Ambien contain inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or other problems. To know about the medicine in details, talk to your pharmacist.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history, especially: Kidney disease, liver disease, mental problems (such as depression, suicidal thoughts), personal or family history of substance abuse (such as excessive use of or dependence on drugs/alcohol), personal or family history of sleepwalking, lung/breathing problems (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD, sleep aponia), a certain muscle disease (myasthenia gravis).

You may feel the effects of this medicine even after you wake up the next day. If you have not slept 7 to 8 hours or have taken other medicines that have made you sleepy, or if you are more sensitive to this medicine, you may feel conscious but not be able to think clearly enough to drive. You may also experience light-headedness, blurred or double vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) may increase the feeling of dizziness. Wait at least 8 hours after taking this medication before driving, and do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything that requires your attention until you can do it safely. This medicine may also increase the risk of falls. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages. Inform your doctor if you use marijuana (cannabis).

his medicine may have a more sensitive side effects on children, especially dizziness and hallucinations.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness, confusion, restlessness, and excessive sleepiness. These side effects in adults may increase the danger of falls.

Before undergoing surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all products you are using (including prescription and non-prescription medicines and herbal products).

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when needed. Babies of mothers who took this medication during the last 3 months of pregnancy may develop unusual sleepiness, breathing problems, unusual floppiness, or withdrawal symptoms. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice unusual symptoms in your new-born. Before using this medicine, you should discuss its risks and benefits with your doctor.

A small amount of this medication passes into breast milk and may have adverse effects on a nursing infant (such as unusual sleepiness, difficulty breathing, or unusual floppiness). Seek medical attention right away if you notice any unusual symptoms in your baby. Ask your doctor whether you should avoid breastfeeding during treatment and for 23 hours after a dose of this medicine to reduce the risk of these effects in your baby. Talk to your doctor before you breastfeed.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 David Johnson

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