Ambien is a hypnotic drug used to fight transient and chronic insomnia in adults. Ambien helps to accelerate the process of falling asleep and to maintain a normal duration of night sleep without causing next-day residual effects.
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- Medicine: Ambien (Zolpidem)
- Dosage: 10 mg
- Price: from $2.85 per pill
Aims and results of Ambien use
Despite availability of a large number of hypnotics, not each of them can provide effective and, most importantly, safe treatment of primary and secondary insomnia. Ambien is one of the few FDA-approved sleeping pills, which helps:
- restore a normal sleep-wake cycle without memory impairment and reduction of social activity level.
- achieve significant results incombating insomnia without causing serious risks to the patients’ health.
The key purpose of using Ambien is to reduce sleep latency. Results of clinical studies have demonstrated that this goal is achieved within 4-5 weeks after the start of using Ambien.
Secondary goals of using Ambien are as follows:
- Increase in the duration of continuous night sleep up to 7-8 hours
- Decrease in the number of nighttime awakenings
- Improvement of nocturnal sleepquality
It is very important to comply with Ambien dosage regimen and not to abuse of this hypnotic in order to Ambien helps to quickly achieve the set goals and significance of the results achieved is higher than potential risks.
The differences of Ambien dosage forms
For insomnia treatment in adults, the following dosage forms can be used:
- Oral tablets Ambien 5mg or 10mg
- Extended-release tablets Ambien CR 6.25mg or 12.5mg
Different dosage forms of Ambien include the same hypnotic agent Zolpidem, its dosage is indicated in milligrams. The difference of Ambien dosage forms is in the release rate of active ingredient Zolpidem.
- Usual Ambien tablets rapidly release Zolpidem and have a maximum hypnotic effect for 1 hour after the oral use.
- Ambien CR tablets release Zolpidem slower than the usual tablets, and their maximum hypnotic effect is achieved within 1.5-2.5 hours after the oral administration.
Despite the fact that Ambien CR tablets provide hypnotic effect with a delay, they have a distinct advantage over conventional tablets Ambien. This advantage lies in the fact that Ambien CR tablets release the active ingredient gradually within several hours.
Due to slow rate of Zolpidem release, Ambien CR tablets maintain a significant hypnotic effect during the night, thereby preventing unwanted night and early-morning awakenings.
Ambien dosage regimen
At the initial stage of insomnia treatment, Ambien 5mg tablets or Ambien CR 12.5mg tablets are recommended to use in adults. Subsequently, Ambien dose can be adjusted and individualized for each patient.
- Regardless of severity of sleep problems, no more than one Ambien 10mg or Ambien CR 12.5mg sleeping pillshould be taken within 24 hours.
- The duration of Ambien’s hypnotic effect reaches 7-8 hours, so this sleeping pill should be taken immediately before bedtime.
Possible Ambien side effects
Usual Ambien pills cause side effects less often than Ambien CR tablets, for example:
- headache occurs in 14% of patients using Ambien vs 19% of patients using Ambien CR.
- somnolence occurs in 6% of patients taking sleeping pills Ambien vs 15% of patients treated with Ambien CR.
- dizziness occurs in 8% of patients using usual Ambien pills vs 12% of patients who were prescribed with Ambien CR pills.
Despite the fact that Ambien may cause adverse reactions, it remains one of the most prescribed hypnotics used for short-term treatment of insomnia.
Ambien for different groups of patients
- Ambien sleeping pills have low potential for abuse, so they can be prescribed to patients with a history of drug dependence.
- In elderly patients, Ambien causes side effects more frequently than in adult men and women. Therefore, the minimal doses of Ambien are recommended to cure sleep problems in elderly.
- Clinical studies have demonstrated that Ambien may cause psychiatric side effects in approximately 7% of children. Because of the potential risks to the children’s mental health, Ambien should not be used to treat insomnia in children and adolescents younger than 18 years.
- If insomnia is caused by a mental disorder, which requiresuse of anxiolytics or antidepressants, sleeping pills Ambien should be included in combination drug therapy with caution.