What is Ambien?

Ambien is a type of zolpidem medication, used as a sedative to help treat insomnia. It can be particularly effective in helping people who have difficulty sleeping, helping them fall asleep quicker, and staying asleep.

While Ambien is typically used as a short-term solution for sleep problems, it carries an addiction risk. Some people may become reliant on Ambien when used continuously, which can have a lasting impact on health.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Ambien, how it’s used, and the signs that someone may be abusing Ambien, as well as the help available to you or a loved one if you’re struggling with Ambien addiction.

What is Ambien used for?

Ambien is used to help those with sleep problems such as insomnia. Working with the brain’s gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, it can help induce sleep, making it quicker and easier to fall asleep. It also allows people to stay asleep, which can be helpful for those who regularly wake through the night due to pain or other issues. Ambien can provide short-term relief for sleep problems, working in as little as 30 minutes to help individuals fall asleep.

How should Ambien be taken?

While Ambien can be taken to provide immediate relief from sleep problems, it should not be used as a long-term solution. It is generally prescribed for 7–10 days, with clear instructions on how to use it. Dosage is very important for the safe use of zolpidem, and it must be only taken as prescribed by a doctor. It’s designed to be taken before bed, with the dosage working quickly

What are the side effects of Ambien?

Used correctly, Ambien can be effective in providing short-term relief for sleep problems. However, as with many types of medication, Ambien has some potential side effects, including:

  • Allergic reactions include itchy skin, rashes, hives, and swelling of the face, mouth, and throat.
  • Blurred vision and light sensitivity.
  • Cognitive impairment, including drowsiness and dizziness. 
  • Unusual sleep behaviors include sleepwalking, eating, driving, sexual activity, and more. 
  • Memory impairment. 
  • Mood changes, including confusion, irritability, and even depression.

Some of the side effects of Ambien may be temporary, while some people experience symptoms the next day and for longer with continued use. Some of the side effects of Ambien, particularly unusual sleep behaviors, can have some serious consequences for both the person affected and those around them.

Things to avoid doing on Ambien

The side effects of Ambien mean that there are various things that should be avoided while taking the medication. Driving and operating machinery should be avoided, while drinking and other substances (including other medications) can interact with Ambien and lead to further, and often dangerous, side effects.

If you are currently taking medication or you have conditions such as depression, a history of addiction or are known to display unusual behaviors while sleeping, you should let your doctor know before you start taking Ambien.

What are the signs of Ambien abuse?

Ambien abuse may develop gradually, and the risk of abuse is higher the longer you take it. Some of the signs of Ambien abuse and addiction include:

  • Becoming tolerant of Ambien means it doesn’t work as effectively, or you need a higher dose to achieve the desired effect.
  • Withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking Ambien include irritability, insomnia, and anxiety.
  • A compulsive urge to take Ambien, even when you’re not experiencing a sleep problem.

Concerned about Ambien use? Reach out to Peaks Recovery

If you or someone you know is showing signs of Ambien addiction or abuse, seeking help and support is essential. Prolonged use of zolpidem can lead to significant health problems and pose a safety risk. Different treatment options can help you overcome your addiction and begin the journey to a healthier you.

At Peaks Recovery Center, we help clients take the necessary steps to recover from Ambien addiction. With professional support and treatment, we’re here to help. Contacts us today to talk to a specialist and get the help you need to improve your sleeping habits and overall well-being.

Medical Disclaimer: Peaks Recovery Centers uses fact-based content about recovery treatment, addiction medicine, and behavioral health conditions to improve the quality of life for those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction or mental health disorders. This information is not intended to replace professional medical guidance, diagnosis, care, or treatment. This information should not be used as a substitute for advice from a qualified healthcare provider and/or your physician.