What is it: Ambien is a sedative, also called a hypnotic. It affects chemicals in your brain that may become unbalanced and cause sleep problems (insomnia). It is officially considered an atypical benzodiazepine ligand, but it shares many of the benzodiazepine characteristics.
Use: Ambien is used for the short-term treatment of insomnia (difficulty falling or staying asleep).
Side Effects: Side effects may include: allergy, daytime drowsiness, dizziness, drugged feeling, headache, indigestion, nausea. Stop using Ambien and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects: depressed mood, thoughts of hurting yourself; unusual thoughts, risk-taking behavior, decreased inhibitions, no fear of danger; anxiety, aggression, feeling restless or agitated; hallucinations, confusion, loss of personality. Less serious side effects may include: daytime drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, feeling “drugged” or light-headed; lack of coordination; amnesia, forgetfulness; vivid or abnormal dreams; nausea, constipation; stuffy nose, sore throat; headache, muscle pain; or blurred vision.
Precautions: Ambien may cause a severe allergic reaction. Never take this medication during your normal waking hours, unless you have a full 7 to 8 hours to dedicate to sleeping. Some people using this medicine have engaged in activity such as driving, eating, or making phone calls and later having no memory of the activity. Ambien can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Do not drink alcohol while you are taking this medication This medication may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. The sedative effects of Ambien may be stronger in older adults. Accidental falls are common in elderly patients who take sedatives.
You may have withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking this medication after taking it over several days in a row. Do not stop taking this medication suddenly without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.
Directions: Take Ambien only if you are able to dedicate a full 7 to 8 hours to sleeping. Take this medication with a full glass of water.
Missed Doses: Since Ambien is usually taken as needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. Never take this medication if you do not have a full 7 to 8 hours to sleep before being active again. Do not take extra medicine to make up a missed dose.
Storage: Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing. Keep out of the reach of children. Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.