Ambien for Insomnia

We have all been there. Sleepless nights spent tossing and turning and trying our best to go to sleep. Worry can cause insomnia, but sometimes we just simply cannot sleep for no apparent reason. But, do we just continue not to sleep well at night or do we ask our doctor to prescribe something for us? What about Ambien for insomnia?

What is Ambien?

Ambien (Zolpidem is the generic name) is known as a sedative-hypnotic. It works by slowing down the neurotransmitter, GABA. This slows down the central nervous system and the brain. When physicians prescribe Ambien for insomnia, it is normally only for a short period of time.

There is a quick-release form that helps patients get to sleep. Then there is an extended-release form that helps the individual remain asleep throughout the night.

Ambien is a Schedule IV controlled substance. Controlled substances are put into five separate categories according to their potential for abuse, dependence, and whether or not they serve a medical purpose. Ambien does have medical use and a relatively low potential for abuse. However, taking Ambien for insomnia for too long of a period can lead to dependence and addiction.

Experiencing Side Effects when Taking Ambien for Insomnia

Every prescribed medicine includes side effects. Some of the more common side effects of Ambien include:

  • Nasal irritation and stuffy nose
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Drugged” feeling
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Double vision
  • Abdominal pain and diarrhea

Ambien has more severe side effects for some patients. They might experience:

  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Muscle cramps
  • Respiratory depression
  • Abnormal body movements
  • Nightmares
  • Depression
  • Disorientation to place or time
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Loss of pleasure in daily life
  • Hallucinations

Not all individuals who take Ambien will experience all of these side effects. However, this is a list of possible effects an individual may have. Some people may still feel sedated the next morning after taking Ambien the night before. Hence, they could be incapable of operating a motor vehicle.

When Ambien for Insomnia turns into Abuse

When Ambien is abused at high doses, even though it is a sedative it can give the user a feeling of euphoria and energy. However, it can result in the opposite effect. It can cause extreme drowsiness, clumsiness, and confusion which can result in accidents and injuries. Mixing Ambien with other substances such as opioids or alcohol can cause extreme intoxication and even overdose. This can even cause a fatal overdose.

In April of 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shared a safety announcement about Zolpidem (Ambien) along with some other sleep producing medications.

We are requiring a Boxed Warning, our most prominent warning, to be added to the prescribing information and the patient Medication Guides for these medicines.

This announcement was made because of some rare but very serious side effects with these sleep drugs such as sleepwalking, sleep-driving, and other activities when the individual was not awake. The FDA further states in this announcement that some deaths have been the result of these behaviors. In addition, these behaviors can happen at very low doses and even after the first dose of one of these drugs. They have occurred in patients with a previous history of these behaviors as well as in patients with no history of such behaviors.

Seek Help for Ambien Abuse or Addiction

It is not always a good idea to ask your physician to prescribe Ambien for insomnia. However, if you are taking Ambien and realize you are forming a dependence on this drug, seek help from an inpatient addiction treatment facility. You can overcome addiction to Ambien (or any other substance) with the proper treatment.

Contact one of our representatives at New Beginnings Drug Rehab today to learn about a treatment program that will fit your individual needs and preferences. Not all treatment is the same. We can help you design a program to suit your requirements. One of our informed representatives can answer any questions you may have about the treatment programs that can be offered to you. Make that call! You, too, can return to a life of productivity and happiness.


  • dea.govThe Controlled Substances Act
  • fda.govFDA adds Boxed Warning for Risk of Serious Injuries Caused by Sleepwalking with Certain Prescription Insomnia Medicines

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