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Ambien® (Zolpidem), a short acting nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic, is used to treat insomnia on a short term basis, usually one to two weeks.
Ambien initiates sleep by slowing down brain activity and producing calmness so that patient can fall asleep quickly. Ambien comes in the form of a tablet taken orally or slipped under the tongue as well as an oral spray form that is used by spraying it over the tongue. Ambien is usually fast acting with people becoming drowsy soon after taking it.
Like all medications, there are side effects associated with Ambien. These side effects include:
If these side effects do not go away, the patient should contact their health care provider.
Some side effects associated with Ambien can be serious and if experienced, a health care provider should be contacted immediately. Serious side effects include:
Ambien may also cause sleepwalking. Unlike other sleepwalking, where the person is incoherent, sleepwalking associated with Ambien is atypical and can be characterized by the person going about everyday tasks seemingly as though they were awake. Cases of patients taking Ambien driving, having sex, cooking and having conversations while actually asleep have been documented.
Patients taking Ambien should be aware of the following necessary precautions:
A very serious effect of Ambien is increase or worsening of mental illness, behavior issues, or suicidal and homicidal tendencies. If anyone taking Ambien experiences any of these feelings or behaviors they should consult their health care provider immediately. If their health care provider is not available they should seek medical care at an emergency room or call 911.
Always consult your physician to get the optimal use from your prescription of Ambien.
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