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Ambien (Zolpidem)

Classified generically as a Zolpidem, Ambien is a sedative also known as hypnotic. The drug is useful in balancing chemicals within the brain causing insomnia (sleeping difficulties). The immediate release pills are beneficial in helping users fall asleep when they first go to the bed. The extended release tablet known as Ambien CR comes with an upper layer that brings sleep as soon as you use it while the second layer works slowly to keep you asleep. It is recommended to allow your physician to determine the form of tablet that most appropriately benefits you.

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Crucial Information on Ambien

The Food and Drug Administration authority decreased the recommended dosage for Ambien in January 2013. Users who may have used Ambien in the past will now be provided with lower doses in comparison due to this reduction. It is important that users do not share Ambien with any other individual even if he or she has similar symptoms of insomnia. The recommended dose for males and females are different and Ambien is never advisable for children. Any form of misuse can cause fatal and disastrous outcomes.

Ambien can reduce your thinking and reactive capabilities with some users continuing feeling sleepy the next morning. This is commonly seen with users who take the extended form of Ambien and with women. It is advisable to wait for a minimum of 4 hours or the time it takes for you to be completely awake before undertaking any activity that requires concentration and focus. Several users have mentioned having no memories of having eaten, had intercourse, driven, made telephone calls, or walked after consuming Ambien. If such a situation arises with you, it is recommended you discuss it with your physician to find an alternative treatment method to help you overcome insomnia.

Using Ambien if you have consumed alcohol just before going to bed or the previous day is not recommended. Since Ambien can be highly addictive, it is advisable to store Ambien in a place that is inaccessible by other individuals. Some people may suffer from allergic reactions and are advised to discontinue using Ambien if they exhibit symptoms such as swelling in the throat, face, tongue or lips, hives, and breathing problems.

Taking Ambien

Users should adhere to all the directions provided on the prescription label. It is vital you do not use Ambien more than the prescribed dose or for a period longer than what has been suggested. Sharing Ambien with other individuals even with similar symptoms is not advisable due to possible side effects. Men and women have distinct recommended doses and Ambien is never to be given to children.

Any misuse of Ambien can have fatal outcomes. This medicine is available with patient safety guidelines to ensure effective and safe usage and these must be completely followed by every user. If you have any doubts or queries, you should clarify those with your physician or pharmacist. Individuals who are unable to sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours should not use Ambien.

Ambien is only recommended for short duration´s and you must inform your physician if your sleep does not improve even after using Ambien for 7 to 10 nights continuously. Using Ambien for more than four to five weeks without doctor’s advice is not a prudent decision. If you have been using Ambien for a long time, you must not abruptly discontinue its use. This can cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and users are advised to speak with their doctors to avoid this situation.

It is known for some users to experience their insomnia returns after discontinuing the use of Ambien, which can sometimes be worse than before. You need to consult your doctor if the insomnia continues to be worse after a few nights of stopping the use of Ambien. Crushing, breaking, or chewing the CR tablet is not appropriate and must be swallowed whole for maximum effects. Ambien should be stored away from light and water at room temperature and should not be frozen.

Prior to Using Ambien

Any individual who is allergic to Zolpidem should never use Ambien. In addition, if you are sensitive to lactose, you need be cautious because it may contain some amount of lactose. To ensure Ambien is safe to use, you need to inform your physician if you have any of the following issues:

history of alcohol or drug abuse
kidney trouble
depression, suicidal thoughts, or mental illness history
liver disorder
myasthenia gravis
lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, bronchitis, asthma, or emphysema
sleep apnea where an individual stops breathing while sleeping.

Ambien is addictive, which is why it is important that only people who have been advised to use it by a doctor should consume it. They should never share the drug with any other person, especially if he or she is known to have drug or alcohol addiction in the past. Ambien should be kept where it cannot be accessed by people without a prescription.

This drug is categorized as FDA pregnancy C and its effects on unborn babies are unknown. It is advisable to let your physician know if you are expecting or planning to conceive while using Ambien. Also checking breastfeeding and pregnancy warnings in greater details is recommended. Ambien passes into breast milk and causes harm to the babies and therefore should not be used by nursing mothers.

Ambien is not recommended for users who are less than 18 years. The sedative effects of Ambien are long lasting in older users.

Drugs to Avoid when Taking Ambien

Ambien should be taken in lower doses by users who take other medicines such as cold and cough medication, pain relievers, muscle relaxers, and anxiety, seizure, or depression pills. You need to provide information about all the medicines that you use or commence or discontinue while taking Ambien to your doctor. Medications like sertraline (anti-depressant), chlorpromazine, rifampin, and ketoconazole should not be combined with Ambien. There are certain other drugs such as herbal products, vitamin tablets, prescription medicines, and over-the-counter pills that can interact with Ambien. Users need to give all this information to their doctors before commencing the use of Ambien to avoid any possible side effects that can have fatal outcomes.

Side effects with Ambien

Allergic reactions that need immediate medical help are:
swelling of tongue, lips, face, or throat
breathing trouble
Reporting the following symptoms is important:
thoughts of hurting yourself or committing suicide
no fear of any danger
reduced inhibitions
risky behavior
changed personality
memory trouble
unusual thoughts
Complicated side effects where discontinuing the use of Ambien is recommended are:
feeling faint
shortness of breath, chest pain, irregular or fast heartbeat
breathing difficulties
problem in swallowing
Some common side effects include:
muscle and head pain
light headedness, daytime sleepiness, feeling “drugged�?, dizziness, and fatigue
stomach upset, diarrhea, constipation, nausea
loss of coordination
throat or nose irritation, dryness of the mouth, stuffy nose

There may be some other effects not listed above and reporting these on 1-800-FDA-1088 is advisable.

Things to Avoid with Ambien

Ambien can impair thinking and reactive capabilities of the users. Avoiding activities such as driving, flying, or operating machines that need alertness is important to prevent accidental injuries. Users should avoid taking Ambien during air travel because they may not be able to get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep to allow wearing off of the effects. One common side effect of Ambien is amnesia if you do not get sufficient sleeping time.

Ambien Overdose and Missed Dosage Remedy

Most people do not have to follow any fixed schedule to use Ambien as it is taken only at the time of going to bed. In case you have doubts about overdose, you need to get the medical help immediately or contact the poison helpline on 1-800-222-1222. If Ambien is combined with other medicines that result in drowsiness, an overdose of Ambien can cause death of the user. Some symptoms of Ambien overdose include coma, sleepiness, fainting, and confusion, feeling lightheaded and shallow breaths.

This medicinal guide does not list all the possible interactions and side effects, so taking Ambien only under expert medical guidance is recommended.

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