Ambien FAQ

What is Ambien?

Ambien (zolpidem tartrate) is a type of medicine that is part of the class called central nervous system (CNS) depressants, which slow down the nervous system. It is used by people who need to have treatment for Anemia.

Has there been any recent news about Ambien?

Sources from the media have reported the consequences of Ambien that may include sleepwalking and other disorders that are related to sleeping. The media has also reported that a number of patients have taken Ambien and experienced temporary memory loss or “amnesia”: unable to remember events that occurred while they used the drug. Sanofi-Aventis recently issued responses to these stories, both in the media and on their website. As a defense of the manufacturer of the Ambien, it claims that while it may be true that there may be negative effects, the negative effects cited are not seen to be direct results of the use of Ambien. Furthermore, the company asserts that the U.S. Prescribing Information remains accurate: somnambulism (sleep-walking) is a possible rare adverse event.

Does Ambien cause amnesia (memory loss)?

In some cases, Ambien and other sleep medicines can cause a special type of memory loss or “amnesia.” There may be lapses in the memory of a person which make her have a partial amnesia. Usually, the gap would be some hours. In order to avoid memory problems, make sure to take Ambien only when you are able to get a full night’s sleep (7 to 8 hours) before you need to be active again.

Are there any special precautions I should observe before taking Ambien?

Because sleep medicines may lose their effectiveness if they are used every night for a long time, they should only be used for short periods of time (such as 1 or 2 days) and generally for no longer than 1 or 2 weeks. If you have a worry that you will need to take Ambien in 7-10 days, you should inform your medical professional. Also, Ambien may cause some people to become drowsy, dizzy, lightheaded, clumsy, unsteady, or less alert. Make sure you know how you react to Ambien before you drive, use machines, or perform any activity that requires alertness, good coordination, or the ability to think and see well. You should be able to inform your health professional the moment that you realize that there might be negative effects brought by Ambien to your health. Stopping Ambien use suddenly may cause withdrawal side effects. Your healthcare professional may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are taking before stopping completely. There might be difficulty in sleeping upon taking Ambien. This is also called the phenomenon of rebound insomnia.

What should I tell my healthcare professional before he or she prescribes Ambien?

It is your duty to inform your healthcare professionals any allergic reactions you may have or if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breast-feeding; abuse alcohol or have a history of alcohol abuse; abuse drugs or have a history of drug abuse, or a dependence on certain drugs; have emphysema, asthma, bronchitis, or other chronic lung disease; have mental depression; have sleep apnea (breathing problems during sleep); have kidney disease; or have liver disease.

What are the side effects associated with Ambien?

Tell your healthcare professional if any of the following side effects associated with Ambien use are severe or persistent: drowsiness; headache; dizziness; ‘drugged feeling’; loss of coordination; upset stomach; vomiting; constipation; diarrhea; gas; heartburn; stomach pain or tenderness; changes in appetite; shaking of a part of the body that you cannot control; burning or tingling in the hands, arms, feet, or legs; unusual dreams; dry mouth or throat; cold symptoms; pain or pressure in the face; ringing, pain, or itching in the ears; eye redness; blurred vision or other vision problems; muscle aches or cramps; joint, back, or neck pain.

For any external symptoms of possible side effects, you should immediately call your healthcare provider.

Are there any interactions between Ambien and other drugs or foods?

Ambien and certain other medicines can interact with each other. When you talk about your health condition to your medical professional, you should be able to inform him of the drugs that you have taken and the food that you may have eaten in order to make sure that you will be in good hands.

What should I do if I think I have been injured as a result of using Ambien?

If you or a loved one have experienced any dangerous symptoms or unusual medical conditions while taking Ambien, you should first contact your doctor or other healthcare professional. It is also highly advisable to meet with an experienced attorney who could help you with your cause.

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