General Information About Ambien:

Ambien is a hypnotic prescribed for the short-term treatment of insomnia. Studies have confirmed its ability to decrease sleep latency while increasing the duration of sleep for up to 35 days. In general, hypnotics should be limited to 7 to 10 days of use, with a patient/physician reevaluation if the medication is needed for more than 2 to 3 weeks. Ambien should not be prescribed in quantities exceeding a 1-month supply.

Usage:

Ambien tablets are intended to be swallowed whole and are available in 5 mg and 10 mg strengths for oral administration. The medication works quickly ‘ usually within 15 minutes ‘ and has a short half-life of 2-3 hours. When abused, Ambien tablets are taken orally, crushed and then snorted, or dissolved in water and cooked for intravenous injection. Never increase the amount or frequency of this drug without your doctor’s approval, and never take this drug for any reason other than the one prescribed.

Side Effects:

Ambien works with a natural brain chemical called GABA, one of at least 18 major brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters. The theory is that once GABA is released from a brain cell, it dampens the electrical activity of neighboring brain cells. Ambien and GABA then work together to reduce the possibility of certain brain cells becoming electrically active. Ambien is not chemically related to many older sleep drugs that work with GABA. Laboratory studies have shown that unlike these older sleep drugs, Ambien targets a specific area of the brain cell. (br> Specific effects associated with Ambien use include but are not limited to: daytime drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, difficulty with coordination, tolerance, dependence, and changes in thinking and/or behavior.

Side Effects of Ambien:

Typical side effects of Ambien therapy include drowsiness, upset stomach, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, headache, dry mouth, and muscle aches. If you experience any of the following symptoms they should be brought to the immediate attention of your physician. * skin rash * itching * fast or irregular heartbeat * chest pain * difficulty breathing * fever * behavior changes * mental confusion * abnormal thinking or dreams * depression.

Cautionary Notes:

Ambien may cause blackouts or amnesia. When this happens, a person may not remember what has happened for several hours after taking the medicine. Caution should be observed by travelers using Ambien such as during an airplane flight. A person using Ambien while traveling who wakes up before the effect of the medicine is gone ‘ approximately 7 or 8 hours ‘ may experience what is called .

Advise your physician:

*if you are allergic to zolpidem or any other drugs. *of all prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, particularly antihistamines, barbiturates, cold medicines, medications for depression or seizures, pain relievers, and tranquilizers. *if you have, or have ever had kidney or liver disease, a history of alcoholism or drug abuse or depression, asthma, breathing problems, or allergies. *if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. *if you are having surgery, including dental surgery.

Special Note:

*Ambien may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car, operate machinery, or perform any other potentially hazardous activities until you know how this drug affects you. *Ambien slows the nervous system. Alcohol can intensify this effect. *Some people have reported memory loss (amnesia), worsening of psychiatric disorders, or other problems from using Ambien. *Some people using Ambien experience unusual changes in their thinking and/or behavior.

OverDosage:

People who take too much Ambien may become excessively drowsy or even slip into a light coma. The symptoms of overdose are more severe if the person is also taking other central nervous system (CNS) depressant drugs and can prove fatal. If you suspect an Ambien overdosage, seek immediate medical attention.
Use extreme caution when using Ambien if you have the following risk factors:

* Alcohol abuse or Drug abuse(or history of) Zolpidem dependence may develop * Emphysema, asthma, bronchitis, or other chronic lung disease * Mental depression * Sleep apneaZolpidem may aggravate this condition * Kidney or Liver disease May result in higher blood levels of zolpidem, increasing the chance of side effects (br> Ambien has no known drug contraindications.

Dependency:

Addiction, or dependence can be caused by Ambien, especially when used for longer than a few weeks or at high doses. People who have been dependent on alcohol or other drugs in the past generally have a greater chance of becoming addicted to Ambien. Even when used as recommended, Ambien may produce emotional and/or physical dependence. At doses greater than 4 mg per day, Ambien has the potential to cause severe emotional and physical dependence in some patients and these individuals may find it exceedingly difficult to stop using this medication.

It is important that your physician help you discontinue this medication in a careful and safe manner to avoid a difficult withdrawal. Tolerance is a diminished response to a drug. It is the effect of cellular adaptive changes or enhanced drug metabolism from extended use of a medication. Tolerance develops over days, weeks, or months.

Withdrawal:

If you are a long term Ambien user, do not stop taking it without first checking with your doctor. Suddenly stopping this medicine may cause withdrawal side effects; your doctor will gradually taper your dosage before stopping completely. After you stop taking Ambien, be forewarned: Many people experience rebound insomnia for the first few nights after they stop taking it. After you stop using this medicine, your body needs time to adjust. The length of time this takes depends on the amount of medicine you were using and how long you used it. During this time check with your doctor if you notice any of the following side effects: Abdominal cramps or discomfort; agitation; nervousness, or feelings of panic; seizures; flushing; lightheadedness; muscle cramps; nausea; sweating; tremors; uncontrolled crying; unusual tiredness or weakness; vomiting; increased mental or emotional problems. When Ambien is used at higher dosages and the drug is suddenly discontinued, withdrawal symptoms such as muscle cramps, sweats, shaking, and seizures may occur. Obviously, the severity of withdrawal symptoms experienced is directly related to the amount of Ambien taken and the length of time over which it has been taken.

Treatment:

Long term Ambien users should taper down slowly under a knowledgeable physicians care, or, enter a detox center for 24/7 treatment. With a moderate to severe addiction from relatively long term use, an in patient detox in a hospital or medical supervised setting is highly recommended for its multi- disciplinary approach.

Dependence resulting from even a few weeks of regular use can usually be handled under a physicians supervision with minimal discomfort. Treatment will ultimately depend on the degree of addiction. However a person chooses to free themselves from the clutches of a drug, there is one constant each needs: Support. Narcotics Anonymous remains a successful choice for many addicts, with world-wide availability. The has produced numerous on line support forums, popular with many recovering addicts, useful to some addicts as their sole means of support and for others, as adjunct therapy. Drug addiction is treatable, with help out there for everyone.

However a person chooses to free themselves from a drug addiction, there is one constant all need: Support. Narcotics Anonymous remains a successful choice for many addicts, with world-wide availability. The has produced numerous on line support forums, popular with many recovering addicts, useful to some addicts as their sole means of support and for others, as adjunct therapy. Drug addiction is treatable, with help out there for everyone.

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