Ambien (zolpidem): Important Warnings and Precautions for Use
Hello and welcome to "VideoScript", presented by Drugs.com. Today in the final of three presentations, we continue reviewing zolpidem, a prescription medication used short-term to help with insomnia, or difficulty in falling and staying asleep. We will briefly look at issues related to important warnings with the use of zolpidem. Severe allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis or angioedema have occurred rarely in some patients using zolpidem.
It is important to know how to recognize these rare allergic reactions. If swelling of the tongue or throat, difficulty breathing, or nausea or vomiting should occur, these could be signs of the allergic reaction, which could be fatal. Emergency treatment will be required. Patients who have had a severe allergic reaction to zolpidem should not use it again. Other unusual and possibly dangerous side effects that may occur with zolpidem include unusual behaviors. Patients may get up from bed while not being fully awake and engage in an activity, but not remember doing that activity the next morning. Reported activities include: driving a car (“sleep-driving”), making and eating food, talking on the phone, having sex, and sleep- walking.
You have a higher chance of engaging in these activities if alcohol is consumed while using zolpidem or if other medications that cause drowsiness are combined with zolpidem. Do not take zolpidem with other medications that cause drowsiness or with alcohol. Also, you should not take zolpidem if you cannot get a full night’s sleep of 7-8 hours. If a patient should find that they engage in any of these activities after taking zolpidem, they should immediately inform their healthcare provider. Other serious but infrequent reactions that may occur with Ambien or Ambien CR include more aggressive behavior, confusion, agitation, or memory loss.
Hallucinations, worsening of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts or action have also been reported. These psychiatric side effects may be more common if the prescribed dose is too high, or if a patient exceeds the recommended dose. Do not take extra tablets of zolpidem, and contact your healthcare provider if these side effects should occur. A phenomenon called rebound insomnia may occur when you stop taking zolpidem. With rebound insomnia, it may be more difficult to fall asleep after you stop taking zolpidem, but this should subside in a few days. If you continue to have trouble sleeping, contact your doctor. Thank you for joining us at Drugs.com for a brief review of zolpidem.
Please refer to our patient and professional information, drug interaction checker, and additional tools on Drugs.com. Patients with a concern about the use of zolpidem should consult with their health care provider. Visit www.drugs.com/zolpidem for more information.
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