What Is Ambien, What Are The Side Effects Of Ambien, Is Ambien Safe?

What is Ambien ?

Ambien is a prescription medication used for helping people with their issues for falling asleep. The active ingredient present in this drug is Zolpidem. Which belongs to the sedative-hypnotics family of drugs. The patients suffering from insomnia could use this medication as it helps in falling asleep, which could help them avoid fatigue during the day time and enjoy the regular sleeping patterns. Generic Ambien, when used works on the patient’s brain producing a calming effect and help in falling asleep.   

Ambien Prescription
doctors-prescribe-Ambien-to-adults-patients

Zolpidem, the active ingredient present in this drug affects the chemicals present in the brain that could be unbalanced in the patients who have sleeping disorders. Ambient is available in both the immediate release and extended release form where the immediate release tablets are used for helping the patients fall asleep. While the extended-release tablets have two layers. The first layer starts showing its effect rapidly and helps to fall asleep, while the second layer takes time in dissolving and help the patients stay awake.

Is Ambien safe and does it actually work?

Ambien is a sedative that belongs to the hypnotic class of drugs. This medicine is considered as a safer alternative to benzodiazepine sedatives due to the lesser potential of overdose. When used activates the GABA neurotransmitters which slow down the central nervous system and brain which helps people fall asleep. It is a medication meant for short term use however, it has a high potential of addiction if used for a long term, or at higher doses than prescribed. The patients who have developed tolerance to the drug should inform the doctor about it before increasing the dose themselves to avoid dependence.   

What is the method of using Ambien generic?

The people who have insomnia should use Ambien generic after reading the medication guide provided by the pharmacist to understand the method of using. Generic Ambien should be used orally on an empty stomach usually once a night as instructed by the doctor. Since ambien is a fast effecting medication, thus should be used right before bedtime. It shouldn’t be used along with or after a meal as it would take a lot of time in affecting once used with food. Ambien pills should only be used if the patient has the time for a full night’s sleep of 7 to 8 hours as waking up early after using this medication may cause a certain loss of memory and have a problem in doing work that requires attentiveness.

How long does Ambien stay in your body
How-long-does-Ambien-stay-in-your-system

Ambien dosage is based on the patient’s gender, age, and medical conditions.  The medications being used by them, and the response to the treatment. The maximum recommended daily dosage of this medication is 10 mg. People using this medicine should not take it more often or increase the dose, or use it for a longer period than prescribed.

What are the side effects of This Medicine?

Ambien side effects that could be commonly seen in patients using this medication are:

  • Stomach upset
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Constipation
  • Weakness
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of coordination
  • Tiredness
  • Nasal irritation
  • Drugged feeling
  • Stuffy nose
  • Euphoria
  • Visual changes
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle pain
  • Confusion

Long term side effects of this medicine that should be informed to the doctor immediately:

  • Hallucinations
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of memory
  • New or worsening depression
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Agitation
  • Change in behavior
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Confusion

A severe allergic reaction of this medication like hives, severe dizziness, difficulty breathing, or swelling in throat/face are uncommon and require immediate medical assistance. These symptoms should not be neglected.

What precautions could be seen in patients using Ambien pills?

Now that we know about the side effects of this medication, let us talk about the precautions for safely practicing this drug.

  • People who are allergic to Zolpidem or have any other allergies should inform the doctor about it before using the medication as it could contain inactive ingredients that could cause reactions.
  • Children who use this medication are a lot more sensitive to the side effects of this drug especially dizziness and hallucinations.
  • Patients should inform the doctor about their medical history before using this drug, especially if they have had depression, alcohol addiction, sleep apnea, and kidney/liver disease in the past.
  • The patients who use the extended-release tablets of Ambien might feel dizzy and giddy even after waking up;  thus, they should not do work that needs you to be fully awake and attentive.
  • Patients should not use Zolpidem if they have consumed alcohol during the day time or just before bed.
  • Pregnant ladies should use this medication only when required as infants born to women who have been using sedative hypnotics around the time of delivery might be born with undesirable effects like withdrawal symptoms or breathing problem.
Precautions_while_using_Ambien
Precautions_while_using_Ambien

What are the safe alternatives of using this medicine?

Certain food supplements, herbs, and technologies that could help in improving insomnia are:

  • Melatonin – Using this supplement could help restore and improve sleep in patients suffering from insomnia or jet lag. People need to consult the doctor before using Melatonin as it is not regulated by the FDA.
  • Valerian Root – This herb has been recognized as a treatment of insomnia and anxiety throughout the ages. Using this herb up to 2 hours before going to bed can improve sleeplessness.
  • Change in lifestyle – For ensuring proper sleep, try doing the following every night:
  • Exercise earlier in the day or before work
  • Keep the room clean and comfortable
  • Turn off the television before going to bed to make the room as dark as possible
  • Lavender – Essential oils have been known to have a calming effect on the people with insomnia. Taking a bath with this essential oil before going to bed could provide a good quality sleep during the night.
  • Sleep Phones – Peaceful soundscapes, meditative hums, and relaxing music could do wonders in providing a good quality sleep.

How Long Does Ambien take to work and how long does it stay in your body?

Ambien starts effecting very quickly as it hits the peak blood concentration within 30 minutes of usage. The half-life of this medication is 1.5 hours, which means half of the drug would take 1.5 hours to leave the system. The effects of Ambien could last for about 8 hours after using the medication. However, for most patients, Ambien would take about 14 hours to leave the system completely. Even after leaving the system, the remains of Ambien remain detectable for much longer, depending upon several factors and the method of testing used.

What happens when you mix Ambien and Alcohol?

Ambien and alcohol, when used together, could increase the chances of having dangerous physical side effects. It is because Ambien affects specific benzodiazepine receptors in the brain.