Ambien, which also goes by the brand name of “Zolpidem,” is a drug used to treat insomnia. Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling or staying asleep. Although Ambien can help you get a better night’s sleep, experts caution that the drug is associated with side effects, including digestive problems and hallucinations. Sleep-walking, preparing and eating meals, and even driving asleep while taking Ambien have been reported.
What are Common Side Effects of Ambien?
There are reported side effects for the drug, Ambien. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to let your doctor know. He or she will be able to make recommendations about further treatment.
According to WebMD, these side effects are some of the most commonly associated with Ambien:
- Low energy levels
If you experience any of these side effects, you may need to cut back your dosage or otherwise alter your medication treatment plan until symptoms subside.
Less Common Symptoms
While you should always be wary of side effects after starting a new medication, and let your doctor know of any side effects that do occur, some side effects are especially important to note. Rare and less common side effects can be a sign of a serious reaction that need immediate medical attention.
These less common side effects have been reported with Ambien use:
- Sudden drop in blood pressure
- Abnormal nervous system function
- Confusion and disorientation
If you have the symptoms above, they tend to be more severe. You may notice more mild symptoms too, including:
- Double vision
- Dry mouth
- Memory loss
- Joint pain
- Muscle aches
- Stomach pain
- Urinary tract infection
Rare Side Effects
Rare or uncommon side effects are reported infrequently. When they do appear, these side effects tend to be more severe. Some unusual, abnormal, and often troubling symptoms that Ambien users have reported include:
- Low blood pressure
- Altered reality or consciousness
- Liver intoxication
- Lung failure
- Itchy rash
- Severe allergic reaction
As you can see, it is possible to hallucinate on Ambien, but it is one of the most infrequently reported side effects. Hallucinations are more likely to occur if you use alcohol simultaneously with Ambien. In addition to the simple fact that Ambien and alcohol both cause drowsiness, using both substances at once is more likely to create adverse psychological reactions.
People have also reported other rare but troublesome reactions to Ambien, including pronounced anxiety, restlessness, extreme irritability, and sleep-walking. Since any psychological reaction to a medication can be frightening, if not dangerous, it’s important to always let your healthcare provider know if you experience any symptoms, however common, rare, embarrassing, or even comical.
Talk to Your Doctor Before Starting Ambien
As with any medication, you should always talk to your doctor before taking Ambien. When taken correctly, Ambien has been shown to provide effective relief for insomnia. But, as with any medicine, you need to follow your doctor’s precise instructions to avoid unwanted Ambien side effects. In some people, Ambien may also cause addiction. Women who are pregnant should always get prior authorization before taking Ambien.
Millions of Americans suffer from insomnia each year, and many find relief from prescription medications like Ambien. Although this medication certainly has the potential to help, it’s important to be aware of possible adverse reactions, and always let your healthcare provider know if you encounter problems.
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