Special Precautions While Taking Ambien
Insomnia medication precautions:
If you think you may need to take Ambien or similar insomnia
medications for more than 7 to 10 days, you need to speak with your
doctor. Insomnia medications are usually meant for shorter durations
of time. Long-term usage may be an indication of underlying medical
problem that should not be treated with insomnia medications.
Ambien may add to the effects of alcohol and other central nervous
system depressants (medicines which slow down the central nervous
system frequently resulting in drowsiness). Examples of central
nervous system depressants may be antihistamines or medicines for hay
fever, other allergies, colds, sedatives, tranquilizers, prescription
pain medicine or narcotics, barbiturates, medicine for seizures,
muscle relaxants, or anesthetics which also includes some dental
anesthetics. You should always talk to your doctor if you're taking
any of the above prior to taking Ambien or any other insomnia
There are other special precautions you need to be considering when
taking Ambien. If you’re an older person especially, you may become
drowsy, dizzy, lightheaded, clumsy or unsteady, or you may become less
alert than you normally are. Even though Ambien is taken at bedtime,
there may be a residual effect in that you may remain sleepy upon
rising. Also this insomnia medication may cause double vision or
other vision problems. You should always make sure you know how you
react to Ambien prior to driving or doing any other activities that
may be hazardous to you if you are less than totally alert.
If you develop any strange or unusual thoughts when taking this
insomnia medication you need to notify your physician immediately.
Some of the changes that have been noted in
individuals are similar to those seen in people who drink alcohol and
act in a manner that is not normal. Other changes that have been
noted in some cases is that people may become confused, and have
worsening of depression related hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or
feeling things that are not there), suicidal thoughts, and unusual
excitement, nervousness or irritability.
If you have taken Ambien for a prolonged period of time, do not stop
it without talking to your doctor first. Your physician may want you
to taper it down gradually rather than stopping completely or
abruptly. Stopping this insomnia medication suddenly may cause
withdrawal side effects.
After taking Ambien or similar insomnia medications, you may have
difficulty sleeping (rebound insomnia) for the first few nights after
you stop taking it.
If you think you or someone you know has taken an overdose of Ambien,
you need to get emergency help at once. Taking an overdose of this
insomnia medication or drinking alcohol or other central nervous
system depressants with Ambien may lead to breathing
unconsciousness. Some of the signs of an overdose are severe
drowsiness, severe nausea or vomiting, staggering, and trouble
breathing after taking too much of this insomnia medication.
information from The Consumer Drug Reference
Pictures of Ambien by
Additional Information and
webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed
Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate