What is Zolpidem(Ambien)?
Zolpidem is a sedative-hypnotic medication used for the treatment of insomnia. It works by slowing down brain activity, helping people fall asleep more easily. Zolpidem is available as a tablet under the brand name Ambien and as a generic drug. It is a prescription-only medication and should be taken only as directed by a healthcare provider. It is important to use caution when taking Zolpidem, as it can lead to dependence and potentially serious side effects if not taken as directed.
How does it work?
Zolpidem works by enhancing the action of a neurotransmitter called GABA, which is a natural substance in the brain that helps to calm nerve activity and promote sleep. Zolpidem binds to a specific site on the GABA receptor, increasing the effect of GABA and promoting sedation and sleep. The medication is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and reaches peak levels in the body within 1-2 hours of consumption, making it effective for treating insomnia. However, it is important to use zolpidem only as directed by a healthcare provider and not to exceed the recommended dose, as it can lead to adverse effects and dependence.
How to take it?
Zolpidem is a prescription medication and should be taken only as directed by a healthcare provider. The following is general information about how to take zolpidem:
Dosing: The recommended dose for adults is 5-10 mg for immediate release tablet (Ambien) or 6.25-12.5 mg for extended-release tablet (Ambien CR) taken orally once a day, immediately before bedtime. Your healthcare provider may adjust the dose based on your individual needs.
Administration: Zolpidem should be taken on an empty stomach, immediately before bedtime. Do not consume alcohol or other sedatives while taking zolpidem, as it can increase the risk of side effects.
Duration of use: Zolpidem is intended for short-term use, usually up to 2 weeks, and should not be used for longer periods of time without re-evaluation by a healthcare provider.
Missed dose: If you miss a dose, do not take an extra dose to make up for the missed one. Just take the next dose at your regular time.
It's important to follow your healthcare provider's instructions and the label instructions carefully when taking zolpidem. If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to consult with your doctor.
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Zolpidem may cause the following side effects:
- Drowsiness: Zolpidem can cause drowsiness and impair your ability to drive, operate machinery or perform other tasks that require alertness.
- Headache: Headache is a common side effect of zolpidem.
- Dizziness: Some people may experience dizziness or lightheadedness when taking zolpidem.
- Nausea: Nausea is a common side effect of zolpidem and can be accompanied by vomiting.
- Diarrhoea: Diarrhoea is a possible side effect of zolpidem.
- Constipation: Constipation may occur in some people taking zolpidem.
- Dry mouth: Dry mouth is a common side effect of zolpidem.
- Muscle pain: Some people may experience muscle pain or discomfort when taking zolpidem.
- Nightmares: Zolpidem may cause vivid and disturbing dreams or nightmares.
- Allergic reactions: Rarely, zolpidem can cause an allergic reaction, with symptoms such as hives, itching, or swelling of the face, lips, or tongue.
If you experience any of these side effects or any other unusual symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. Additionally, inform your doctor if any side effect is severe or does not go away.
When taking zolpidem, it is important to follow the following precautions:
- Avoid alcohol: Do not consume alcohol or other sedatives while taking zolpidem, as it can increase the risk of side effects.
- Avoid activities that require alertness: Zolpidem can cause drowsiness and impair your ability to drive, operate machinery or perform other tasks that require alertness.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Zolpidem should be used with caution during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as its safety in these populations has not been established.
- Kidney or liver disease: People with kidney or liver disease should use zolpidem with caution, as they may need a lower dose or may not be able to use it at all.
- Mental health conditions: Zolpidem should be used with caution in people with a history of depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions.
- Older adults: Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of zolpidem and may need a lower dose.
It is important to inform your healthcare provider about all medical conditions and medications you are taking before starting zolpidem treatment. If you have any concerns or questions, don't hesitate to ask your doctor.