Ambien, which is also known as Zolpidem, is part of the sedative-hypnotics family of drugs. Therefore, it is prescribed and used by people who suffer from insomnia, which is the terminology that describes adults who have trouble falling asleep. Ambien has a fast-relaxing effect on your brain, which then helps the user fall asleep much easier. It is rarely admitted as a treatment for longer than a couple of weeks.
Advise on How to Use Ambien Correctly
It is paramount that you reach out to your doctor prior to taking Ambien or requesting a refill by your pharmacist. They will be able to address all your enquiries, while also advice on usage. In general, Ambien is followed by the below guidelines:
- Consume the product prior to eating for best results.
- Always take Ambien orally.
- In most cases, Ambien is suggested for nightly consumption.
- Only take zolpidem if you have enough time for a full-night sleep (7-8 hours). If you don’t, you are likely to experience loss of memory and inability to conduct certain tasks, like driving.
- Never increase your dosage without the permission of your doctor, as this varies based on gender, age, preexisting conditions and alternate medications that you might use. Generally, women and people of higher age are prescribed smaller dosages.
- Withdrawal effects are common to people who stop using Ambien. The best way to avoid unwanted effects is by slowly minimizing the daily dosage of the drug.
- Addiction is likely to be caused by drugs, such as Ambien, while it is much more likely if you are suffering from other types of addiction prior to using this drug. Always discuss such issues with your general practitioner, so that you do not consume higher dosage than the appropriate for you.
- If you are using zolpidem for a long time, then it might not be as effective as it was originally.
- Upon the end of treatment, you are likely to not be able to sleep a full night. This is expected, while it is called rebound insomnia. You do not need to reach out to your doctor unless it persists for over three days.
Dosage & Tips to Improve your Sleep
It is normal for your sleep habits to alter as you get older, with intervals between your night sleep being more common as you age. The prescribed dosage should not be increased at will, unless your doctor has advised you otherwise.
Further, you should never take more than the suggested amount of Ambien, as this could result to severe side-effects and/or addiction. In case of a missed dose, you should not consume it later, unless you have 7-8 hours available to sleep.
To improve your sleeping habits, you could consider taking other steps too, like:
- Going to bed at the same time every day.
- Avoiding naps during daytime.
- Do not consume caffeine, alcohol or such substances.
Common Side Effects of Ambien
Although your doctor must have prescribed Ambien to help treat your insomnia, it is likely to experience certain side-effects, although these are not universal. A mild side effect of Ambien includes:
- Sleepiness even hours after you have awakened.
Nonetheless, loss of memory, rapid changes in your emotions and mood, melancholia or depression, increased anxiety, feeling out of place or hallucinations should be reported to both your doctor and your pharmacist immediately. They are likely to adjust your dosage or change medication as a result.
Warnings & Precautions Related to this Drug
It is paramount that you inform your doctor about any allergies that you are suffering from. Further, if your doctor doesn’t do a check of your medical health and conditions, you should ask him to. Using Ambien in conjunction with any health issues related to the below can have detrimental effects to your overall health:
- Mental Issues
- Addiction History
Further, it is important to remember that if you don’t get a good night’s sleep while consuming Ambien, you will find it difficult to operate during the following day. Marijuana and alcohol should not be consumed by Ambien users. Lastly, in case of pregnancy or upcoming surgery, request guidance from your doctor only.