FM/CFS/ME RESOURCES - Drug Database - Ambien

 

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Drug Database - Ambien Ambien  5 mg Tablet

Generic Name: zolpidem (zole-PI-dem)

Brand Names: Ambien®, Ambien CR®

Classification: Sedative

Issue Date: 2003

Ambien is a sedative, also called a hypnotic. It affects chemicals in your brain that may become unbalanced and cause sleep problems (insomnia). Ambien is used to treat insomnia. This medication causes relaxation to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Ambien may also be used for purposes other than those listed here.

  • If You Forget A Dose
  • Side Effects
  • About Ambien
  • In Case of Overdose
  • Discuss With Healthcare Provider
  • How To Take Ambien
  • What To Avoid
  • Drug Interactions
  • Divider

    About Ambien

    Ambien will make you fall asleep. Never take this medication during your normal waking hours, unless you have a full 7 to 8 hours to dedicate to sleeping.

    You may be more likely to have amnesia (forgetfulness) if you cannot get a full 7 to 8 hours of sleep after taking Ambien. You may also be at an increased risk of accident or injury if you attempt to drive or operate machinery after taking Ambien without having enough sleep time afterward.

    Ambien can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. You may still feel sleepy the morning after taking the medication. Until you know how this medication will affect you during waking hours, be careful if you drive, operate machinery, pilot an airplane, or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

    Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Ambien. It can increase some of the side effects of Ambien, including drowsiness.

    Do not take other medicines that make you sleepy such as:

    • cold medicine
    • pain medication
    • muscle relaxants
    • medicine for depression or anxiety

    You may have withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking Ambien after taking it over several days in a row. Do not stop taking Ambien suddenly without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.

    Ambien may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Ambien should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

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    How To Take Ambien

    Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

    Ambien comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Take z olpidem only if you are able to get a full night's sleep before you must be active again. Never take this medication during your normal waking hours, unless you have a full 7 to 8 hours to dedicate to sleeping.

    Take Ambien with a full glass of water. Ambien is for short-term use only. Tell your doctor if your insomnia symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse after using this medication for 7 to 10 nights in a row. Do not take Ambien for longer than 4 or 5 weeks without your doctor's advice.

    You may have withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking Ambien after taking it over several days in a row. Do not stop taking Ambien suddenly without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.

    Withdrawal symptoms include:

    • Behavior changes
    • Stomach pain
    • Muscle cramps
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Sweating
    • Anxiety
    • Panic
    • Tremors, and seizure (convulsions).

    Insomnia symptoms may also return after you stop taking Ambien. These symptoms may seem to be even worse than before you started taking the medication. Call your doctor if you still have worsened insomnia after the first few nights without taking Ambien.

    Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow the pill whole. It is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time. Store Ambien at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

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    If You Forget A Dose

    Since Ambien is usually taken as needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. Never take this medication if you do not have a full 7 to 8 hours to sleep before being active again. Do not take extra medicine to make up a missed dose.

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    In Case of Overdose

    Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of Ambien can be fatal when it is taken together with other medications that can cause drowsiness.

    Symptoms of a Ambien overdose may include:

    • sleepiness
    • confusion
    • shallow breathing
    • feeling light-headed
    • fainting
    • coma

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    What To Avoid

    Ambien can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. You may still feel sleepy the morning after taking the medication. Until you know how this medication will affect you during waking hours, be careful if you drive, operate machinery, pilot an airplane, or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

    Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Ambien. It can increase some of the side effects of Ambien, including drowsiness. Do not take other medicines that make you sleepy such as:

    • cold medicine
    • pain medication
    • muscle relaxants
    • medicine for depression or anxiety

    Avoid taking Ambien during travel, such as to sleep on an airplane. You may be awakened before the effects of the medication have worn off. Amnesia (forgetfulness) is more common if you do not get a full 7 to 8 hours of sleep after taking Ambien. Take Ambien only if you are able to get a full night's sleep before you must be active again.

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    Side Effects

    Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction:

    • Hives
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat

    Stop using Ambien and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

    • Worsening sleep problems
    • Depressed mood, thoughts of hurting yourself
    • Unusual risk-taking behavior, decreased inhibitions, no fear of danger
    • Aggression, feeling agitated
    • Hallucinations, confusion, loss of personality

    Continue taking Ambien and talk to your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:

    • Daytime drowsiness;
    • Dizziness, weakness, feeling "drugged" or light-headed
    • Weakness, lack of coordination
    • Amnesia, forgetfulness
    • Headache
    • Vivid or abnormal dreams
    • Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
    • Muscle pain
    • Blurred vision

    Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

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    What To Discuss With Your Healthcare Provider

    Do not use this medication if you are allergic to Ambien. Ambien tablets may contain lactose. Use caution if you are sensitive to lactose. Ambien will make you fall asleep. Never take this medication during your normal waking hours, unless you have a full 7 to 8 hours to dedicate to sleeping. You may be more likely to have amnesia (forgetfulness) if you cannot get a full 7 to 8 hours of sleep after taking Ambien. You may also be at an increased risk of accident or injury if you attempt to drive or operate machinery after taking Ambien without having enough sleep time afterward.

    Before taking Ambien, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

    • kidney disease
    • Liver disease
    • Lung disease such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, or chronic obstructive pulmonary pulmonary disease (COPD)
    • A history of depression, mental illness, or suicidal thoughts
    • A history of drug or alcohol addiction

    If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use Ambien, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Ambien can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. The sedative effects of Ambien may be stronger in older adults. Accidental falls are common in elderly patients who take sedatives. Use caution to avoid falling or accidental injury while you are taking Ambien. Do not give this medicine to anyone younger than 18 years of age.

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    Drug interactions

    Before taking Ambien, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

    • itraconazole (Sporanox®)
    • rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®, Rifater®)
    • imipramine (Janimine®, Tofranil®)
    • fluoxetine (Prozac®, Sarafem®)
    • sertraline (Zoloft®)
    • narcotic pain medications
    • muscle relaxers
    • seizure medications
    • anti-anxiety medications

    If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use Ambien, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

    There may be other drugs not listed that can affect Ambien. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

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