Ambien (Zolpidem): Uses, Side Effects and Other Drug Interactions
A lack of sleep can be hard on the body. It affects your mood, can make it hard to complete tasks, and will take a toll on the whole body. Whether you have trouble falling asleep at night or your struggle is with staying asleep and waking up in the middle of the night without being able to fall back asleep, you may find that Ambien is going to give you the relief you need.
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How is Ambien Used?
Ambien (Zolpidem) is a medication used to help those who struggle to sleep at night. Whether you have trouble falling asleep or the issue is with staying asleep at night, Ambien has two forms to help you get sleep. You and your doctor will be able to discuss which method would be the right one for you.
For those who are taking the extended-release Ambien to help them stay asleep at night, be aware that you may feel groggy and tired the next morning. As you get used to the medication, this should not be an issue for long. The goal of this medication is to help you to get to sleep or stay asleep once you are there, allowing you to get some of the sleep that you need. After taking the medication for four to five weeks, most patients will be able to go off it and still get the sleep they need.
Side Effects of Ambien
While Ambien is a great tool to help you fall asleep and stay asleep at night. There are a few side effects that will happen when you choose to take Ambien to help with these problems.
As always, if you have severe allergic reactions to taking Ambien, you need to get emergency medical help right away. When new or worsening symptoms show up, you need to stop taking the medicine as well and talk to your doctor. Some signs that it is time to stop using Ambien for sleep problems include:
- Feeling like you are about to pass out.
- Trouble with swallowing or breathing
- Feeling chest pain and short of breath or a heartbeat that is fast and irregular.
For older adults, it is possible that the sedation in Ambien is going to be stronger. Be careful with some of the side effects like dizziness because it can lead to accidents and falls for those who are dealing with it. Always use caution when starting a new medicine, especially one like Ambien that is meant to help you fall asleep.
There are a few side effects of Ambien that are common and new patients should expect to notice them. Dizziness and daytime drowsiness are common while you are first starting on this medication. Some will have a dry mouth or stuffy nose when they start. It is also common to feel tired or have a loss of coordination.
How Does Ambien React with Other Drugs?
If you are already taking other drugs that tend to make you sleepy, taking Ambien will make the effect worse. Make sure you discuss with your doctor before you decide to take a medication for seizures or anxiety, a muscle relaxer, other sleeping pills, or opioid medication.
There are many types of drugs that will interact with Ambien. These will make the medication less effective for patients and can increase the side effects. You need to be watchful for herbal products and vitamins as well as all other medicines, including those over the counter. You and your doctor should discuss any current medicines and decide if these are safe to take while on Ambien.