What is Ambien
is in a class of drugs called sedative/hypnotics or sleep
medications. Ambien affects chemicals in your brain that may
become unbalanced and cause insomnia.
induces sleep and causes relaxation. It is used to treat sleep
disorders such as trouble falling asleep, waking up many times
during the night, or waking up too early in the morning. Ambien
is for short-term use only--usually 7 to 10 days. Longer-term
use must be monitored closely by a doctor.
may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this
General medical information about Ambien
Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing
other hazardous activities.Ambien will cause drowsiness and
may cause dizziness. If you experience drowsiness or dizziness,
avoid these activities.Ambien should be taken just before
bedtime. You may experience some carryover effects the next
Do not drink alcohol while taking Ambien. Alcohol
will increase drowsiness and may increase dizziness while
you are taking Ambien, which could be dangerous.
not stop taking Ambien suddenly if you have been taking it
for more than 1 or 2 weeks. This may cause withdrawal symptoms
and make you uncomfortable. Talk to your doctor if you need
to stop treatment with Ambien.
What you should find out before taking
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if
- have kidney disease;
- have liver disease;
- have asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, or another
respiratory disease; or
- are depressed or have suicidal
You may not be able to take Ambien, or
you may require a lower dose or special monitoring during
treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.
Ambien is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means
that it is unlikely to harm an unborn baby. Do not take
Ambien without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant
or could become pregnant during treatment.
passes into breast milk and may affect a nursing baby. Do
not take this medication without first talking to your doctor
if you are breast-feeding a baby.
If you are over
60 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side
effects from Ambien. You may require a lower dose of this
Ambien is not approved by the FDA for
use by children younger than 18 years of age.
How should take Ambien Take Ambien exactly as directed by your doctor. If
you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist,
nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
dose with a full glass of water.
Take Ambien just
before you go to bed. It will make you drowsy, and you could
fall and hurt yourself if you take your dose before you
are ready for sleep.
Take Ambien only if you are
able to get a full night's sleep before you must be active
Do not take more of this medication than is
prescribed for you.
Do not stop taking Ambien suddenly
if you have been taking it for more than 1 or 2 weeks. This
may cause withdrawal symptoms and make you uncomfortable.
Talk to your doctor if you need to stop treatment with Ambien.
Store Ambien at room temperature away from moisture
If you miss a dose: Since Ambien is usually taken only if you need it
to help you sleep, missing a dose will not cause any problems.
Take the missed dose only if you can be sure that you will
get 7 or 8 full hours of sleep after the dose. If you do
not sleep for 7 or 8 full hours, you may experience carryover
effects from Ambien after you wake up.
What happens if you overdose: Seek emergency medical attention.
of a Ambien overdose may include sleepiness, confusion,
dizziness, difficult or slow breathing, and unconsciousness.
Avoid while taking Ambien Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or
performing other hazardous activities. Ambien will cause
drowsiness and may cause dizziness. If you experience drowsiness
or dizziness, avoid these activities. Ambien should be taken
just before bedtime. You may experience some carryover effects
the next day.
Do not drink alcohol while taking Ambien.
Alcohol will increase drowsiness and may increase dizziness
while you are taking Ambien, which could be dangerous.
Avoid other sedatives, sleeping pills, and tranquilizers,
including over-the-counter preparations. They should not
be used while you are taking Ambien unless your doctor directs
Possible side effects of Ambien If you experience any of the following serious side
effects, stop taking Ambien and seek emergency medical attention:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing
of your throat; swelling of your lips, face, or tongue;
- hallucinations, abnormal behavior, or
Other, less serious side effects
may be more likely to occur. Continue to take Ambien and
talk to your doctor if you experience
drowsiness, dizziness, or clumsiness;
- nausea, vomiting,
diarrhea, or constipation;
muscle aches or pains;
- vivid or abnormal dreams;
- amnesia (memory loss) after a dose.
problem that may occur when sleep medicines are stopped
is known as "rebound insomnia." This means that
a person may have more trouble sleeping the first few nights
after the medicine is stopped than before starting the medicine.
If you should experience rebound insomnia, do not get discouraged.
This problem usually goes away on its own after 1 or 2 nights
Ambien is habit forming. Stopping this medication
suddenly can cause withdrawal effects if you have taken
it continuously for several weeks. Talk to your doctor about
the safe use of this medication.
Side effects other
than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor
about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially
What other drugs will affect Ambien Ambien may increase the effects of other drugs that
cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines,
other sedatives (used to treat insomnia), pain relievers,
anxiety medicines, and muscle relaxants. Tell your doctor
about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take
any medicine unless your doctor approves.
other than those listed here may also interact with Ambien.
Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription
or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.