Generically referred to as zolpidem, Ambien is a prescription sleep aid that may be used in the short-term treatment of insomnia. Ambien is manufactured and distributed by Sanofi Aventis and has been FDA approved since September 2005. Unless otherwise indicated by a medical professional, Ambien should be taken for no longer than 4 to 5 weeks. Other brand names under which zolpidem is sold include Adormix, Hypnogen, Myslee and Stilnox.
Because Ambien is a sleep aid, it’s important that patients only take this medication when they have at least seven to eight hours to sleep. Do not take Ambien during normal waking hours, nor if you have to perform a focused task (such as driving), as this medication will make you drowsy and will likely cause you to fall asleep.
Ambien Side Effects
Common, mild side effects of Ambien may include:
- Abnormal, vivid dreams
- Blurry vision
- Dysphoria or euphoria
- Impaired judgment and/or cognition
- Increased appetite and/or sex drive
- Lack of coordination
- Muscle pain
- Residual drowsiness the day after taking Ambien
If these Ambien side effects significantly affect a patient’s quality of life, he/she should talk to a doctor about finding an alternative, less uncomfortable treatment for insomnia.
Rarely, Ambien patients reported developing severe, life-threatening side effects, including:
- Delusions and/or hallucinations
- Performing daily tasks while sleeping (i.e. sleep eating, sleepwalking, sleep sex, etc.)
- Suicidal thoughts and/or behaviors
Ambien patients who start developing the symptoms of severe side effects should seek emergency medical care to prevent permanent damage to their health.
Ambien Withdrawl Symptoms
Because Ambien can cause euphoric sensations in the body, it can be extremely addictive, on both a physical and psychological level. To combat the possibility of Ambien withdrawal, doctors typically prescribed progressively decreasing doses of Ambien before a patient stops using this medication entirely. This effect “weans” the body off the drug.
Symptoms of an Ambien withdrawal include:
- Changes in behavior
- Muscle cramps and/or stomach pain
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Renewed insomnia (that may be worse than before taking Ambien)
Ambien & Defective Drug Lawsuits
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured after taking Ambien (or a loved one has died after developing Ambien side effects), contact Gacovino, Lake & Associates to discuss your legal options with an experienced and qualified dangerous drug lawyer today.