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Ambien is the brand name of the prescription medicine Zolpidem. It is a short-term treatment for sleeping problems such as insomnia. It is an adult medication that comes from a sedative-hypnotic group of drugs. 

Ambien helps in falling asleep faster to get a better night’s rest. It is made by Sanofi-Aventis first and approved by the FDA in 1992 after that several companies started manufacturing of Ambien, which came available in 2007. 

Ambien is short-term medicine mainly prescribed by the doctors for 3-5 weeks, use of it more than prescribed causes addiction or drug dependence.

Use of Ambien

Ambien is a labeled short-term treatment of insomnia at the lowest possible dosage. It can be used for both sleep onset or staying asleep.

By the research of the American College of Physicians recommended medication for sleeping problems, including Ambien, only as a second-line treatment after nonpharmacological treatment. 

How does Ambien work? Or Mechanism of Action.

Ambien has strong hypnotic properties while it has weak anxiolytic, myorelaxant, and anticonvulsant properties. It is a sedative-hypnotic that works on the brain by enhancing the GABA receptors in the brain.

It binds GABA receptors present in the brain and helps in falling asleep faster and staying asleep. GABA activity gets triggered by the Ambien and inhibits the neuron activity that is linked with insomnia.

Dosage

Ambien is mainly prescribed in the lowest effective dosage to avoid its side effects. The initial dosage for women can be 5 mg or 5-10 mg for men. Take this medicine precisely before bedtime with at least 7-8 hours before the planned time. 

It the 5 mg of Ambien is not effective, you can make an increment with the doctor’s advice that is effective for you. 

The maximum dosage of Ambien is 10 mg once daily before bedtime, and it is taken in a single dose only.

The dosage of Ambien is different in men and women because its effect of clearance is lowest in women.

Side effects of Ambien

Besides its needed effects, Ambien can also cause unwanted effects, but they all don’t occur. If they occur, medical attention is required. The side effects of Ambien include:

  • Dizziness (common)
  • Chest pain
  • confusion
  • depression
  • fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat
  • fever
  • the feeling of discomfort or illness
  • peevishness
  • lack of hunger
  • lightheadedness
  • loss of interest in sex
  • shakiness and unsteady walk
  • weakness
  • trouble focusing
  • trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination

It is not a comprehensive list of side effects that can happen. Others may appear.

Can Ambien help with anxiety?

Medication and other sleeping pills can be helpful and influential in treating anxiety-related problems. Ambien is a prescription medicine that is prescribed for anxiety-related insomnia and additional sleeping complications. Ambien is known as a sedative-hypnotic that goes to quiet and slow down the brain activity to induce sleep.

Addiction

Ambien is a short-term treatment for insomnia. It comes in two forms, quick-release form (helpful for initiating sleep) and an extended-release form (suitable for maintaining sleep). It is designed as less addictive properties than others, but taking it longer, one can develop an addiction. 

Ambien dependence is characterized by tolerance, where a user wants larger doses to get the same effect, and if the person tries to stop the medication, then withdrawal occurs. Most of the people don’t know that they have developed an addiction with Ambien until they finish the treatment and realize they can’t sleep without it.

Sign’s of Ambien Addiction include:

  • Engaging in critical conditions without any thought of them later
  • Using large amounts of money on the medicine
  • Separating oneself from family and friends
  • Refilling medicines unusually often
  • Regularly taking larger doses
  • Experiencing cravings for Ambien

Withdrawals (overdose reactions)

Withdrawals of Ambien mainly occur when someone abuses or overdosed it. Ambien is helpful in chronic insomnia, but it is not designed for normal sleep problems. However, when a person abuses Ambien, he might take a larger dosage than prescribed and take it again and again. Generally, the doctor monitors the psychological changes in the patient who is on the medication of Ambien, and they make gaps in the doses. Sometimes people use this medicine without consulting the doctor, and this is the main reason when it is abused. 

  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Peevishness
  • Cravings
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Flushing
  • Panic attacks
  • Rapid or pounding heart rate
  • Seizures (rare)
  • Abdominal spasms or distress
  • Uncontrolled sorrow or depression