Ambien: A Very Popular Sleep Medication?
Generic Name: Zolpidem
Brand Name: Ambien
Ambien 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.
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.
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:
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
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.
the research on sleep medication has been done on adults and has not
really considered other age groups including children.
Older adults -
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:
nervous system depressants (medications that may cause drowsiness)
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
A history of
A history of
drug abuse or dependence.
emphysema, asthma, or other chronic lung diseases.
(temporarily stopping of breathing during sleep) - Ambien may make
this problem worse
disease-higher blood levels of Ambien may result, which then may
lead to a higher chance of side effects.
information from The Consumer Drug Reference
Pictures of Ambien by Permission of
Additional information and webpage by
Paul Susic M.A. Licensed
Psychologist Ph.D Candidate (Health and Geriatric Psychologist)