What is Ambien (Zolpidem)?
Ambien (Zolpidem) belongs to the class of medications called sedative-hypnotics. It is used for the symptomatic relief of short-term sleep disorders. Zolpidem can help people who have difficulty falling asleep and those who wake up frequently during the night or early in the morning. Zolpidem should not be taken more than 7 to 10 consecutive days. It should only be used if the sleep disorder causes dysfunction during the day.
Your doctor may have suggested this medicine for a condition not listed in this drug information article. If you have not discussed this with your doctor, or if you are not sure why you are taking this medicine, check it out. Do not stop taking this medicine without first consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medicine to anyone, even someone who has the same symptoms as yours. This medication may be harmful to people for whom it has not been prescribed.
How should I use Ambien (Zolpidem)?
When women and men are given the same dose of this medicine, the zolpidem level in the blood of women is higher than that of men. The drug also stays longer in the blood of women. The recommended dose of zolpidem for adults is 5 mg for women and 5 to 10 mg for men. When used to treat sleep disorders, this medication should be taken just before bedtime. Zolpidem can cause addiction and should be taken exactly as directed by the doctor. Typically, this medication should not be taken more than 7 to 10 consecutive days.
There are several factors that can be considered in determining the dose a person needs: weight, health, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose other than those listed here, do not change the way you take the medicine without first consulting it.
Sublingual Ambien (Zolpidem) disintegrating tablets should be placed under the tongue where they will dissolve. Do not chew or swallow the tablet and do not take it with water. Sublinox tablets can not be divided.
Do not take zolpidem with food or immediately after a meal. Food delays the speed of action of the drug, increasing the period of time before sleep begins.
If you have taken this medicine on a regular basis for an extended period of time, do not stop taking it suddenly without consulting your doctor.
It is very important that this medicine be taken as directed by your doctor. If you forget to take your pill at bedtime, do not take it at another time, especially in the middle of the night. Do not take this medicine when you can not sleep a full night (7 to 8 hours) (ie do not take it after awakening in the middle of the night) or if you need to be active and effective. In these situations, your judgment may be affected and you may experience memory loss. Your body needs some time to eliminate the medicine from your system.
Store this medication at room temperature, away from light and moisture, and out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medicines in waste water (eg, in the sink or in the toilet bowl) or with household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to get rid of unused or expired medications.
In what forms does Ambien (Zolpidem) occur?
5 mg, 10 mg
In which cases is this medicine not recommended?
Refrain from using zolpidem in the following circumstances:
is allergic to zolpidem or to any of the ingredients of the medication
personal or family history of sleepwalking;
severe breathing difficulties;
greatly reduced liver function or liver disease
significant lung or respiratory disease, including sleep apnea;
What are the possible side effects of Ambien (Zolpidem)?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an undesirable response to a drug when taken at normal doses. It can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not felt by everyone who takes this medicine. If you are worried about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medicine with your doctor.
At least 1% of people taking this medicine have reported the following side effects. A lot of these side effects can be taken care of and a few can go away on their own with time.
Consult your doctor if you experience these side effects and if they are serious or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to give you advice on what to do if these side effects occur:
Most of the side effects listed below do not occur very often, but they could cause serious problems if you do not see your doctor or if you do not receive medical attention.