Side Effects Of Ambien

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Ambien is a commonly used drug for insomnia or sleep disturbance. It contains a drug named Zolpidem, classified as a sedative or a hypnotic. Though it has some similarities with another class of drugs named benzodiazepines, it does not share some of its effects like muscle-relaxation and anti-seizure properties and selectively acts as a sedative. Therefore, it is primarily used for insomnia. FDA has approved zolpidem. Its popularity lies in its short onset of action. It acts merely within half an hour. The medicine is available as an oral spray, along with tablet form. The oral spray is faster acting, because it is absorbed rapidly through the lining of the mouth.

Ambien side effects that occur commonly are dizziness, drowsiness and a feeling of being drugged. Side effects like confusion, euphoria, insomnia, problems in balancing (ataxia), and visual alterations are also seen.

If the medicine is discontinued abruptly, withdrawal symptoms like muscle cramps, shaking, sweats, and seizures are seen.

Confusion is one of the serious side effects of Ambien. It is important not to remain active after taking the medicine, as confusion causes erratic behavior. Because of confusion, sometimes abnormal behavior is seen. Driving with no memory of having performed the act, which is called ‘complex sleep-related behaviors’, comes under this. This is one of the severe kinds of Ambien side effects and if such abnormal behavior is seen, doctors advise to discontinue Ambien. Worsening of depression and suicidal behavior also are the serious side effects of Ambien.

In nursing mothers, Ambien is not advisable because it is excreted in the breast milk and imparts Ambien side effects to the infant.

It is, therefore, always advisable to take Ambien with proper consultation with your healthcare provider.

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