What is Ambien (Zolpidem) - a medication for sleep?

What is Ambien (Zolpidem) – a medication for sleep?

What is Ambien?

Ambien belongs to a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics and is commonly used to treat insomnia in adults. It helps people fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer periods of time. This prescription medication comes in the form of a small pill that is taken orally and has an extended-release effect.

If you are having trouble falling asleep, Ambien can help you fall asleep faster and get a better night’s rest. It works by targeting the brain to produce a calming effect. However, Ambien is typically only prescribed for a short period of time, usually 1 to 2 weeks or less.

How to Use Ambien

Before taking Ambien or any other medication, it is important to consult with your doctor as these drugs can have numerous adverse effects if not taken properly. Ambien is best taken by mouth on an empty stomach or as directed by your doctor, usually once a night. It is recommended to take Ambien right before going to bed as it works quickly. Taking it with or after a meal may decrease its effectiveness. It is important to allow for a full night’s sleep of at least 7 to 8 hours after taking Ambien. Waking up before that may result in memory loss and difficulty performing tasks that require alertness.


The dosage of Ambien is based on factors such as age, gender, medical condition, and other medications being taken. It is important not to increase the dosage, take it more frequently, or use it for a longer period than prescribed. The recommended maximum daily dosage is 10 milligrams, with women usually being prescribed a lower dose due to the slower removal of the drug from their bodies. Older individuals are also prescribed a lower amount to reduce the risk of side effects.

Side Effects

Ambien may cause drowsiness and dizziness, even during the daytime. Common side effects of Ambien include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, sedation, insomnia, anxiety, aggression, and confusion. However, it is important to note that these side effects are typically associated with long-term abuse of Ambien. When used under the proper guidance of a doctor, the risk of side effects is limited or nonexistent.


Before taking Ambien, it is important to inform your doctor if you are allergic to the medication or have any other allergies. Ambien contains inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions. It is also important to discuss your medical history with your doctor, particularly if you have liver or kidney disease, mental health problems, a family history of substance abuse or addiction, or respiratory issues. The effects of Ambien can persist even after waking up and it increases the risk of falls. It is advised to avoid alcohol and marijuana while taking this medication. Children and older adults are more sensitive to the side effects of Ambien.

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