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Ambien

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Ambien (Zolpidem) is a sedative, a medication used to treat insomnia. It works by balancing certain chemicals in the brain to help people with sleep problems fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night. It is often used for a short time and is available under the brand name Zolpidem. It may also be used for other purposes not mentioned here. 

Dosage

The recommended dosage for Ambien conventional tablets or spray is 10 mg, and for the extended-release tablets, 12.5 mg is recommended. This dosage is for adults only. 

Side Effects of Ambien

Ambien has a long list of side effects, but if a doctor prescribes it, then it is certain that the benefits outweigh the possible side effects. Note that everyone does not experience the same side effects, and you may experience only a few or none.

The possible side effects of Ambien include:

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

Here is a list of Ambien’s more severe but unlikely side effects; if you experience any of these, you must seek medical attention immediately.

  • Memory loss.
  • Behaviours/mental/mood changes such as: 
    • Abnormal thoughts. 
    • New or worsening depression.
    • Hallucinations.
    • Thoughts of suicide.
    • Agitation.
    • Anxiety.
    • Confusion.
    • Aggressive behaviour.

Precautions

It is not advisable to take this drug with alcohol, pain/cold/cough medicine, muscle relaxant, antidepressant, anxiety or seizure medication.

The drug contains lactose, so if you are lactose intolerant, confirm with your doctor before using it. Also, Ambien is not recommended for anyone below 18 years old. 

Before taking this drug, tell your doctor if you have ever had lung disease or breathing problems, drug or alcohol addiction, mental illness, depression, sleep apnea, or kidney or liver disease. 

This drug is not recommended for pregnant women in their last trimester as it may cause breathing problems or drowsiness for the newborn. The medicine may also cause undesirable effects for an infant; if you are a nursing mother, consult your doctor before taking it.

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