What is Ambien?
Ambien is the brand name for the medicine called zolpidem, which depresses the central nervous system and can help people suffering from seizures, anxiety, or sleep disorders.
Potential side effects of Ambien
During the first few days after taking Ambien, a person usually feels sleepy and uncoordinated. With continuing use, the body becomes accustomed to these effects, and they lessen. This is known as tolerance, which means that larger doses are needed to achieve the same initial effects.
Central nervous system depressants should not be combined with any medication or substance that causes drowsiness, including prescription pain meds, cold and allergy medications, or alcohol. If combined, they can slow both the heart and respiration, which can lead to death. The main side effects of taking Ambien are:
- drunken behavior without odor of alcohol
- hangover feeling or daytime sleepiness
- impaired memory of events
- slurred speech
Potential long term dangers of Ambien
Using sleep hypnotics such as Ambien for more than 4 weeks can lead to damaged sleep staging and addiction. If taken for longer than 7 to 14 days, Ambien can provoke insomnia that is actually worse than the insomnia the drug was intended to treat. Continued use of Ambien can lead to physical dependence and, when you stop taking Ambien, withdrawal symptoms. However, physical dependence is different than addiction. Addiction occurs when a person compulsively seeks out Ambien and uses it despite negative consequences.
Finally, Ambien is a hypnotic drug that acts on the central nervous system and slow the brain’s activity. This is why it’s important to seek medical help when you stop taking Ambien. Activity in the brain can rebound and race out of control to the point that seizures can occur.
Are you addicted to Ambien?
If you think that you or a loved one might have an Ambien addiction problem, you are not alone. If you’re ready to learn more about signs of prescription pill addiction, click here. Or leave us a comment or email. We respond to all requests for help or more information personally and objectively.