Ambien, a prescription drug, is the brand name for zolpidem that is used to help treat insomnia. Ambien is a sleeping pill in a specific classification of drugs known as hypnotics or sedatives.
Studies show that insomnia is caused by an imbalance of chemicals in your brain. Ambien works to induce relaxation and sleep in the patient. It is usually prescribed to those who have sleep problems such as inability to sleep, waking too early or waking several times during the night.
Generally, Ambien is only prescribed for use seven to ten days. Long-term use is not recommended. The use of Ambien should be closely monitored by a physician.
There are some things to take into consideration when taking Ambien. First, it is important that the drug be taken exactly as your doctor has directed. It should also be taken with a full glass of water and only take right before bedtime.
Since the drug works relatively fast, it is important that you do not take it until just before you get into bed for the night. It quickly makes you drowsy and you could hurt yourself by falling.
Ambien should also be taken only if you are able to devote at least eight hours to sleep. Otherwise, you will still be drowsy upon waking and will be defeating the purpose of taking the medication.
If you are taking Ambien for prolonged periods, such as over two weeks, you should not abruptly stop taking it. If you do, you may begin to experience withdrawal symptoms.
If you have a history of kidney or liver disease or have any type of respiratory disease such as bronchitis, asthma or emphysema, you should let your doctor know prior to taking Ambien.
Some of the side effects that could occur when taking Ambien follow in the next paragraph. For those who are 60 years old or older, you carry a higher risk of experiencing these side effects.
Some potential side effects of Ambien include drowsiness, headache, clumsiness or dizziness. You could experience nausea, diarrhea, vomiting or constipation as well. Depression, pain or aches in the muscle, abnormal or vivid dreams or memory loss could also occur as a result taking Ambien.
More serious side affects could include an allergic reaction resulting in breathing difficulties, swelling of the face, tongue or lips or closing of the throat. Abnormal behavior, confusion or hallucinations are also serious side effects of Ambien.
When taking Ambien, it should not be mixed with any other drugs, prescription or over the counter drugs that could cause drowsiness.
Disclaimer: Ambien is extremely habit forming and should be used with extreme caution. Talk to your physician before stopping this medication.
[Copyright © 2007, Heather Colman. Find more of Heather's articles at eBook Palace . Her articles are available for syndication . Reprinting individual articles is permissible provided no changes are made. ]