Zolpidem is the generic name of a prescription drug used to help those that are suffering from insomnia get to sleep. The brand names of zolpidem are Ambien, Ambien CR, Edluar, and many other names. This drug does not have any common street names.
Zolpidem is a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic that is from the imdazopyridine class of drugs. This drug comes in several different forms, but is most generally prescribed in 5 mg and 10 mg tablets. Zolpidem is prescribed for short-term use to help insomniacs fall asleep; the recommended adult dosage is 5mg to 10 mg just before going to bed. Your doctor will usually prescribe zolpidem for seven to ten days.
Although Zolpidem is not considered a highly addictive prescription drug, there are dangers to those that use the drug becoming addicted to, or abusing the drug. People that have a history of abusing, or becoming dependent on drugs such as alcohol are at a higher risk of abusing, or becoming addicted to, or forming a dependency on zolpidem.
There are certain signs to watch for that can indicate that you are starting to become dependent on the drug. The first sign of abuse or dependence is when you form a tolerance to the drug. Building a tolerance means that it requires a higher dosage of the drug for you to attain the desired effect. The second sign of addiction is if you start craving the drug, or if you begin using the medication to reverse withdrawal symptoms. Using the drug to lessen anxiety while you are awake is also another sign that you are becoming dependent on the zolpidem.
Zolpidem can produce withdrawal symptoms if you abruptly stop using the drug. Symptoms of withdrawal include fatigue, nausea, blushing, being lightheaded, and crying for no apparent reason, vomiting, stomach cramps, panic attacks, nervousness, and abdominal pains. Withdrawal symptoms are rare as long as the drug is used as prescribed and used at the prescribed dosage. Less than one percent of those that have used zolpidem report having withdrawal symptoms.
If you should take an overdose of zolpidem, the most common symptom is prolonged sleeping or a light coma. There is also the possibility of having a seizure following sudden withdrawal of any sedative/hypnotic drug. Some people have taken 400 mg of zolpidem, which is more than 40 times the recommended dosage, and had a complete recovery.
When taking zolpidem, or any opioid agonist medication, respiratory depression is the main hazard. If you have impaired lung function or low blood pressure, tell your doctor. Zolpidem can elevate cerebrospinal fluid so do not use zolpidem if you have a closed head injury.
As with any drug, Zolpidem may have side effects in certain people. For some people this drug can cause severe allergic reactions, but allergic reactions are rare. Some people have reported difficulty breathing, hives and swelling of the tongue, face, lips, or throat. Some other side effects include sleep problems becoming worse, depression, mood swings, decreased inhibitions, agitation, aggressive behavior, hallucinations, confusion, personality changes, and daytime drowsiness. Some people have noticed short-term memory problem, strange dreams, muscle aches, headaches, and blurred vision.
Dangerous sleep activity is another of the side effects reported by those that take zolpidem. Some studies have found that some people can drive, cook, prepare meals, talk on the phone, and wander all while not being fully awake or aware. If you experience this side effect, you are putting yourself and others at risk and you may not have any memories of the experience.
Even though taking zolpidem will help you fall asleep and stay asleep, some users have reported that they are less alert than they were before they started taking the drug. If you are prescribed, zolpidem or one of the brand name forms of the drug you will be cautioned no use caution while driving, operating machinery, or doing other types of tasks the day after you use the drug. Along with lower levels of alertness, you may also experience fatigue, dizziness, and you may have a difficult time making decisions. Do not use zolpidem if you cannot sleep for at least eight hours straight.
Taking Zolpidem has caused some people to attempt unusually dangerous activities. There is the possibility that you may try to carry out acts while you are hallucinating, or attempt suicidal acts. Those that have a history of mental problems should not take zolpidem.