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Ambien Articles of Interest:

Ambien: A Very Popular Sleep Medication

Ambien Dosage and Proper Use

Ambien Special Precautions

Ambien Side Effects You Need to Know

Sleep Articles of Interest:

Sleep and Health in Our Busy Lives

How much sleep to live a longer, more productive life?

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Health Insurance 101 for Senior Citizens 

Long term care insurance: What is it really?

Medicare: How will it help me?

Nursing Homes: What critical information should I know?

Prescription Medication: You have to get it right

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Ambien: A Very Popular Sleep Medication? 


Generic Name: Zolpidem 

Brand Name: Ambien

AmbienAmbien is a sleep medication that belongs to the group of medications referred to as central nervous system (CNS) depressants, which are obviously medicines that slow down your nervous system.  Ambien is usually prescribed for insomnia and helps you to get to sleep faster, as well as helping you to sleep through the night.  It is important to understand however, that sleep medicines that are used every night have a tendency to lose their effectiveness, and are usually recommended for only short periods of time (usually one or two days and not usually for more than one or two weeks). Ambien is not commonly available in Canada and is available only with your doctor's prescription. This sleep medication is only available in tablet form. 

Ambien- Important information about this popular sleep medication: 

Ambien and other sleep medications have been known to cause a special form of memory loss referred to as amnesia. This problem is usually experienced during the period of time that this medication is taken and then the effects subsequently wear off. This is usually not much of a problem for most individuals as they are sleeping throughout this period of time, making it obviously necessary that you intend to get about 7-8 hrs of sleep before you need to be active again.  However, you should always talk to your doctor if you are experiencing memory problems. 

In considering ambien and other sleep medications, you need to consider the risks and related benefits. This is a decision you and your physician will need to make based upon some of the following factors: 

Allergies - You obviously need to talk with your doctor if you are or ever have had any allergic reactions to Ambien.  Also, your doctor needs to know if you are allergic to any other substances such as food, dies or preservatives. 

Pregnancy - Ambien has not been adequately studied among pregnant women. However, studies among pregnant animals have found that Ambien may slow down the development of the offspring when given in doses in excess of the usual amounts given humans.  Always notify your doctor if you're pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or if you are currently taking or anticipating taking Ambien. 

Breast-feeding - Ambien is known to pass through into breast milk, but is not known to cause problems in nursing babies. 

Children - Most of the research on sleep medication has been done on adults and has not really considered other age groups including children. 

Older adults - An increased risk of falling and confusion has been noted among older adults who are usually much more sensitive to the effects of Ambien as well as other medications. 


Other medications - Some medicines should not be taken at the same time as other medications, although some may be continued as they do not cause a significant negative interaction. Although an interaction may occur, your doctor may want to change the dose before taking other precautions.  Before taking Ambien, it's important for your physician to know if you're taking any the following medications:

  • Other central nervous system depressants (medications that may cause drowsiness)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants including amitriptyline, amoxapine, imipramine, clomipramine, doxepin, desipramine, nortriptyline, protriptyline, and trimipramine. The central nervous system effects of these medications or the effects of Ambien may be increased, or may sometimes leads to unwanted side effects.

Other medical problems - The presence of other medical problems may present additional challenges if you are on or anticipate taking Ambien.  You should always notify your physician if you have any of the following medical problems:

  • A history of alcohol abuse
  • A history of drug abuse or dependence.
  • Bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, or other chronic lung diseases.
  • Depression
  • Sleep apnea (temporarily stopping of breathing during sleep) - Ambien may make this problem worse
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease-higher blood levels of Ambien may result, which then may lead to a higher chance of side effects.

Some information from The Consumer Drug Reference

Pictures of Ambien by Permission of Drugs.Com

Additional information and webpage by Paul Susic M.A. Licensed Psychologist Ph.D Candidate (Health and Geriatric Psychologist)   

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