Ambien is a controlled substance in the US and regulated by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means that it has the potential for abuse, and you need a prescription from a doctor to get it. Ambien is used to treat sleep problems. It works by slowing activity in the brain to allow you to fall asleep. Also, Abuse of Ambien can lead to dependence and addiction.

What is Ambien, and What Are Its Effects?

Zolpidem, better known as Ambien (zolpidem), is a sleep-inducing drug. Also, it affects chemicals in the brain that might be out of balance in persons with insomnia ( sleeplessness). When you first go to bed, the immediate-release Ambien is taken to assist you in falling asleep. If you wake up in the middle of the night and then have trouble sleeping, Intermezzo, a prolonged-release form of Ambien, is used to help you fall asleep.

Ambien is in a class of medications called sedative-hypnotics. It acts on your central nervous system (CNS) to produce a calming effect. This drug is usually only used for a short period because your body quickly becomes used to it, making it less effective.

According to American Addiction Centers, by using Ambien, you might get side effects such as:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Constipation

Also, there are serious side effects such as

  • Allergic reactions
  • Memory problems
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Depression

Also, Ambien Medication Guide insists Ambien might cause serious Parasomnia, activities that happen while you are asleep and do not know that you are doing them. These activities include:

  • Sleep-driving,
  • Making and eating food,
  • Having sex
  • Walking around your house.

This condition is possible if you have taken Ambien and do not feel sleepy. Call your doctor immediately if you experience these activities after taking Ambien.

Why is Ambien a Controlled Substance?

The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has classified Ambien as a schedule IV controlled substance because it has a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule III. However, the abuse potential is still there, as Ambien can be habit-forming.

However, abusive use of Ambien can lead to dependence and addiction. Tolerance, or the need to take larger doses of the drug to achieve the desired effect, can develop quickly. Those who abuse Ambien may take more significant amounts than recommended or take the medication for more extended periods than prescribed. They may also crush and snort the pill to produce a more intense high.

How  Do I Know I Have Overdosed on Ambien?

If you take too much Ambien, you may overdose on the drug. Also, an Ambien overdose can be fatal. Symptoms of an Ambien overdose may include

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired judgment
  • Stomach pain
  • Slow heart rate
  • Shallow or reduced breathing

If you think you have overdosed on Ambien, calling your local poison control center or 911 is the best thing to do. Because Ambien is a federally controlled substance, and an overdose on Ambien is a medical emergency.

Are There Any Alternatives to Ambien For Treating Sleep Disorders?

Yes, there are. Ambien is not the only sleep medication available. Some people may also find that other drugs work better for them. Talk to your doctor about alternatives if Ambien is not working for you.

Also, there are a lot of natural methods which can help you to fall asleep such as Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) can help you change your thoughts about sleep and deal with sleep problems. In addition, there are a lot of natural remedies you can use as an alternative.

How Can I Get Help If I’m Addicted To Ambien?

If you think you have an addiction to Ambien, many resources are available to help you get the treatment you need.

Ambien is a schedule IV-controlled substance for a good reason. It has a low potential for abuse, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be abused. Therefore, if you are prescribed Ambien, please take it as directed and don’t share your prescription with others. Also, if you feel like you are using Ambien or developing an addiction to it, please seek help from a professional.

The material on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.