Zolpidem (Ambien) is a hypnotic medication indicated for treating Insomnia and other sleep disorder conditions. Ambien is the other name for Zolpidem. There many sleep-disrupting factors forbid a person from experiencing proper sleep, as a result of which people affected of insomnia, has risen steadily.

It is an Imidazopyridine class of Nonbenzodiazepine drug. This is working on the central nervous system to increase the GABA effects.

Medical Uses of Zolpidem

Zolpidem is used to treat sleep issues like Insomnia, at the same time now a days this was used to cure some other disorders like seizure prevention and muscle relaxation.

Sleeping Disorder

However, conditions like sleep disorders can be effectively treated with the help of sleeping pills like Zolpidem. The medication influences the neurotransmitters to induce sleep. This sleeping pill is available in Immediate Release and Extended Release variants on your Ambien.

Zolpidem Tartrate is the generic ingredient in the medication. Sleeplessness is the resultant effect of brain chemicals venturing into an unbalanced state, and it brings back the brain chemicals to a balanced state thereby inducing proper sleep immediately upon consumption.

Other uses

Zolpidem is not medically approved but it has the capability to cure the symptoms of muscle spasm and some other muscle related issues. And also it has the capability of treating the seizure prevention. The dosage has some issues in treating these disoirders this is the reason still it is not getting approved from the FDA for these uses.


There are two dosage strengths available for Ambien medication such as 5mg and 10mg. Ambien 5mg is a medicine to treat insomnia mainly it’s prescribed for women. Some women might find it very hard to get sleep whereas there are others who can achieve sleep but could not maintain it for a period of seven to eight hours. In this case, Ambien 5mg would be instructed by the healthcare professional.

Ambien 10mg is the highest dosage of Ambien also it does the same like 5mg but it prescribed more for men. The reason is men have a higher metabolism rate than women. So, they are actually instructed with both of the dosage strengths. They can take medication only after getting the medical advice.

A doctor might instruct you with the lowest dose in the initial stage. This is to check on how you would react to the medication. If you are going to achieve good sleep for a period of eight hours then they would tell you to continue the same dosage strength of your treatment.

So, you have to be flexible but take the tablets only as per the instruction of your healthcare professional.

Store the medication in their original package at room temperature out of direct sunlight, heat, and moisture. Keep the pills out of reach from children and pets in a locked cabinet.

Working mechanism of Zolpidem

Ambien is a short-acting drug that starts to produce drowsy effects within fifteen minutes of taking it, but which lasts for only about three hours. The drug works by binding to the GABA receptors in the brain and enhancing the effects. The increased activity of the GABA neurotransmitters helps to sedate the user. The drug is recommended for use for a short-term of few weeks only as it is possible to quickly build tolerance and drug dependence.

How to take Ambien?

Ambien should be taken only as directed by the healthcare provider without taking higher doses or for longer than prescribed. Take the single Ambien dose just before going to bed and you will feel the effects within a short span of time. The dosage should be taken only when there is at least seven to eight hours of dedicated sleep time in order to avoid drowsiness the next day.  The sleep medication should never under any circumstance be shared with someone not prescribed for it, even if the symptoms are similar.

Prolonged use of Ambien can lead to tolerance and dependence. Do not stop the medication on your own without the doctor tapering the dosage. There can be severe withdrawal symptoms or rebound insomnia if the drug is discontinued abruptly. The controlled release pills should always be swallowed whole without crushing or chewing them.

Side effects of Zolpidem

Side effects might be triggered while taking Zolpidem medication. It is categorized into two types as common and severe ill effects.

Common side effects:

  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Lightheaded feeling
  • Dry mouth
  • Stuffy nose
  • Feeling tired
  • Loss of coordination
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach upset
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache

Check with the doctor immediately if you find certain effects like:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Faintness

Whatever side effect you are suffering from, you have to watch it carefully. When it gets vanished within few minutes then it is fine but when you experience the effects for a long time then get medical help immediately.

Zolpidem Interactions

Ambien should be taken with suitable precautions when using other drugs as well, particularly those that produce the effect of sleepiness like painkillers, muscle relaxants, narcotics, cough medications, antidepressants, anxiety drugs, seizures pills. Other drugs that you need to be wary about using and informing the healthcare provider on include rifampin, sertraline, chlorpromazine, and ketoconazole. To be on the safer side, it is advised to disclose all drugs being taken to all your doctors.


  • Do not take this medication if you are allergic to Zolpidem.
  • Ambien can produce next day drowsiness. Wait until the effects wear off before doing any hazardous tasks or those that require concentration.
  • Avoid sharing the sleep medication with anyone not prescribed for it.
  • Do not increase the dosage or take the medication for longer without the doctor’s assistance. Follow the dosage instructions while discontinuing the medication as well.
  • Avoid taking Ambien if you have consumed alcohol during the day or before bedtime.
  • Inform the doctor of any health problems like kidney or liver issues, sleep apnea, breathing disorders, depression, history of drug addiction or alcohol abuse to ensure that the drug is safe for use.
  • Ambien should not be used in pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Natural Alternatives for Zolpidem

  • Melatonin
  • Protein and complex carbohydrates
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Lavender