What is Ambien?Ambien is used for the short-term treatment of insomnia, specifically for people who have trouble falling asleep at bedtime.
What is the most important information I should know about Ambien?Ambien is a controlled substance because it can be abused or lead to dependence. Keep Ambien in a safe place to prevent misuse and abuse.
After taking Ambien, you may get out of bed while not being fully awake and may do an activity that you do not know you are doing. The next morning, you may not remember that you did anything during the night. These activities may include driving a car ("sleep-driving"), making and eating food, talking on the phone, having sex, and sleep-walking. Call your doctor right away if you find out that you have done any of these activities after taking Ambien. You have a higher chance of doing these activities if you drink alcohol or take other medicines that make you sleepy with Ambien.
Call your doctor if your insomnia worsens or does not improve within 7-10 days of beginning treatment.
Take Ambien exactly the way your doctor prescribed.
Some people have experienced a severe allergic reaction from taking Ambien, including swelling of the tongue or throat, trouble breathing, and nausea and vomiting. Emergency medical help is needed if you get these symptoms.
Tell your doctor if you experience abnormal thinking, mood problems, behavior changes, anxiety, or memory loss while taking this medication.
Do not drive or engage in hazardous activities that require mental alertness or coordination after taking Ambien until you feel fully awake.
After you stop taking Ambien, you may experience lightheadedness, trouble sleeping, nausea, and nervousness for 1-2 days.
Who should not take Ambien?Do not take Ambien if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Severe allergic reactions have been reported with this medication.
Do not take Ambien if you drink alcohol or take other medicines that can make you sleepy.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Ambien?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Ambien. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney or liver disease, a lung disease or breathing problems, or if you have ever abused or been dependent on alcohol, prescription drugs, or street drugs. In addition, tell your doctor if you have a history of suicidal thoughts, depression, or mental illness. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The recommended dose is 10 milligrams (mg) taken immediately before bedtime. Elderly patients and those with liver problems may need to take a lower dose of 5 mg immediately before bedtime.
How should I take Ambien?Take Ambien immediately before going to bed. Do not take Ambien with or immediately after a meal.
Do not take Ambien unless you are able to stay in bed for a full night (7-8 hours) before you must be active again.
What should I avoid while taking Ambien?Do not drink alcohol while taking Ambien because it can increase the drug's side effects.
When you first start taking Ambien, you may be drowsy the next day. Use extreme care while doing anything that requires complete alertness, such as driving or operating machinery.
Do not take Ambien with other medications that can make you sleepy.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Ambien?If Ambien is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Ambien with the following: alcohol, chlorpromazine, imipramine, ketoconazole, and rifampin.
What are the possible side effects of Ambien?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, drugged feeling
Can I receive Ambien if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The effects of Ambien during pregnancy are unknown and therefore should be avoided when possible. Sleep medicines may cause sedation of your unborn baby when used during the last weeks of pregnancy. Ambien should not be used if you are breastfeeding. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Ambien?If you miss a dose of Ambien, take it as soon as you remember, as long as you can be sure to get 8 hours of sleep. Otherwise, skip it and return to your regular schedule. Do not take an extra dose to make up for missed doses. Do not exceed your daily dose in any 24-hour period.
How should I store Ambien?Store at room temperature.