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What is Ambien?
Ambien is available as the brand name for Zolpidem and is primarily used to treat sleeping problems temporarily. Ambien reduces the sleep onset time by about 15 minutes, and when taken at large doses, Ambien helps people stay asleep longer. This drug is available in oral spray, conventional tablets, or sublingual tablets. Ambien must be taken by mouth. Guidelines suggest that Ambien medication should be used only after implementing behavioral changes, like sleep hygiene and cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia.
Ambien is a nonbenzodiazepine Z drug that acts as a sedative and hypnotic. Ambien is a GABAA receptor agonist of the imidazopyridine class. Ambien works by increasing GABA effects in the central nervous system by binding to GABAA receptors at the exact location of benzodiazepines. Ambien generally has a half-life of two to three hours. This, however, is increased in those with liver problems.
What is the most important information I should know about Ambien?
You must not take more Ambien than prescribed. Don’t take Ambien unless you can stay in bed a whole night (seven to eight hours) before you must be active again. Take Ambien immediately before you get in bed, and not sooner.
The use of Ambien may impair driving skills resulting in an increased risk of road traffic accidents. This adverse side effect is not unique to Ambien but also occurs with other hypnotic medications. Drivers of motor vehicles should exercise caution after the consumption of Ambien. In 2013, the Food and Drugs Administration or FDA recommended the dose for women be reduced and that the prescribers should consider lower doses for men due to impaired function the day after taking the drug.
Who should not take Ambien?
People with myasthenia gravis, obstructive sleep apnea, respiratory depression, severe liver disease, or people with psychotic illnesses or children must not take Ambien. People who have been addicted or are addicted to other substances should not take Ambien.
The doctors should not prescribe Ambien to the elderly population, who are more sensitive to the effects of hypnotics, including Ambien, and are at an increased risk of falls and adverse cognitive effects, like delirium and neurocognitive disorder.
Ambien has not been assigned to a pregnancy category by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA). Studies in animals have revealed incomplete ossification and an increased intrauterine fetal death at doses higher than seven times the maximum recommended human dose or higher; however, teratogenicity was not observed at any dose level. There are no controlled data on pregnancy in humans in terms of the usage of Ambien. In one case report, Ambien was found in cord blood at delivery. Ambien is recommended for use during pregnancy only when the benefits outweigh the risks. Taking Zolpidem in the last three months of pregnancy may cause drowsiness or breathing problems in your newborn.
It would not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risks.
You must not take Ambien if you are allergic to Zolpidem or any other ingredients in Ambien. Don’t take Ambien if you have had an allergic reaction to drugs containing Zolpidem, such as Edluar, Ambien CR, Intermezzo, or Zolpimist.
Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction to Zolpidem can include swelling of your lips, face, and throat that can cause difficulty swallowing or breathing.
Dosage and administration of Ambien
Dosage In Adults
Use the minimum effective dose for the patient. The recommended initial dose is 5 milligrams for women and either 5 or 10 milligrams for men, taken only once a night right before bedtime with at least seven to eight hours remaining before the planned time of awakening. If the 5 milligrams dose is not effective, the dose may be increased to 10 milligrams. For some patients, the higher morning blood levels following use of the 10 milligrams do increase the risk of next-day impairment of driving and other activities that require full alertness. The total dose of Ambien should not exceed 10 milligrams once daily right before bedtime. Ambien should be taken as a single dose and must not be readministered during the same night.
The recommended initial Ambien doses for men and women are different because Zolpidem clearance is lower in women than in men.
Dosage for special populations
Debilitated or elderly patients can be especially sensitive to the effects of Zolpidem tartrate. The recommended Ambien dose in these patients is 5 milligrams once daily right before bedtime. Patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment don’t clear the drug as rapidly as normal subjects. The recommended dose of Ambien in these patients is 5 milligrams once daily right before bedtime. Avoid Ambien usage in patients with severe hepatic impairment as it can contribute to encephalopathy.
Use With central nervous system Depressants.
Dosage adjustment will be necessary when Ambien is combined with other central nervous system depressant drugs because of the potentially additive effects.
The effect of Ambien may be slowed by ingestion with or right after a meal.
Ambien dosage forms And strengths
Ambien is available in 10 mg and 5 mg strength tablets for oral administration.
Ambien 5 mg tablets are film-coated, capsule-shaped, and pink with AMB 5 debossed on one side and 5401 on the other.
AMBIEN 10 mg tablets are film-coated, capsule-shaped, and white, with AMB 10 debossed on one side and 5421 on the other.
How should I take Ambien?
It would be best if you took Ambien by mouth on an empty stomach, as the doctor directs, generally once a night. Since Ambien acts fast, take it right before going to bed. Don’t take Ambien with or after a meal because it won’t work as quickly. Place the Ambien tablet under your tongue and let it dissolve. Don’t swallow the pill or take it with water. Although rarely, Ambien drug causes temporary short-term memory loss. To minimize the chance of the same, don’t take a dose of Ambien unless you have enough time for a whole night’s sleep of a minimum of seven to eight hours.
Side effects of Ambien
The most common side effects of short-term use of Ambien include diarrhea, dizziness, and drowsiness. The common side effects of long-term use of Ambien include sore throat, drugged feeling, heart palpitations, amnesia, abnormal dreams, flu-like symptoms, depression, sinusitis, sleep disorder, and back pain. Ambien increases the risk of depression, poor driving, falls and bone fracture, and suppressed respiration. Lower and upper respiratory infections are also common.
Residual ‘hangover’ effects, like impaired psychomotor and cognitive function and sleepiness, may persist into the day following nighttime consumption. Such effects can impair the ability of its users to drive safely, and it also may increase the risks of falls and bone fractures.
Drug interactions with Ambien
People must not consume alcohol or other sedatives while taking Ambien and should not take opioid drugs or illicit medications recreationally. Opioids may also increase the risk of becoming psychologically dependent on Ambien. The use of opioids with Ambien increases the risk of respiratory failure and death. Next-day sedation may worsen if individuals take Ambien while also using anxiolytics, antipsychotics, other sedatives, antiepileptic drugs, antidepressant agents, and antihistamines. Some individuals taking antidepressants had visual hallucinations when they also consumed Ambien.
Cytochrome P450 inhibitors, specifically CYP 1A2 and CYP 3A4 inhibitors, ciprofloxacin, and fluvoxamine, will enhance the effects of a given dose of Ambien. Cytochrome P450 activators such as St. John’s Wort may reduce the activity of Ambien.
Tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal
As Ambien is associated with substance dependence and drug tolerance, its prescription guidelines are only for acute insomnia and temporary use at the minimum effective dose. Tolerance to the effects of Ambien may develop in some patients in just a few weeks. Sudden withdrawal can cause seizures, delirium, or other severe consequences, mainly when used for long periods and at high doses. When physical dependence and drug tolerance to Ambien develop, treatment generally entails a gradual decrease in Ambien dosage over months to ensure minimum withdrawal symptoms.