You’ve probably heard of Ambien: the popular prescription medication that can help you sleep better. But did you know that it has some pretty strange side effects?
If you’re taking Ambien, here are a few things to keep in mind:
You might be hallucinating. Ambien can cause you to see and hear things that aren’t really there—and even make up conversations with people who aren’t in the room! If this happens to you, try not to freak out. Just remind yourself that it’s just a side effect of the medication.
You might have trouble breathing. Some people experience shortness of breath when they’re under the influence of Ambien. If this happens, don’t panic! Just take deep breaths until you feel like your normal self again.
You might feel like someone else is taking over your body. This is actually pretty common—it’s called “sleepwalking”—but if it happens to you while you’re taking Ambien, be careful not to hurt yourself or anyone else!
What exactly is Ambien?
It’s a sedative prescribed to treat insomnia. It works by binding to receptors in your brain, which makes you feel sleepy. The exact mechanism of action for Ambien isn’t known, but it’s thought that the drug binds to GABA receptors and enhances GABA-induced sleepiness.
But here’s the thing: Ambien can be taken recreationally—and it has been since its release in 1992. People have been abusing Ambien since it was first released because it can make them feel very relaxed and euphoric. This makes sense, because those are two things that make people want to take drugs—especially when they’re trying to get high for the first time and want something that will give them an easy high. And it does give people an easy high: Ambien is fast-acting, so users don’t have to wait around all night for their high (like they would with weed).
Ambien is a prescription sleep aid that’s been helping people fall asleep since the 1990s. But what are some of the side effects you might experience when taking Ambien?
Ambien comes in several different forms, including immediate-release tablets and extended-release capsules. The immediate-release version is generally used to help people fall asleep at night, while the extended-release version can be used as needed during the day. You should never take a higher dose than your doctor prescribes, or take more than one dose within 24 hours without consulting your doctor first.
You may notice that Ambien can cause some side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, and trouble concentrating—all of which are also common side effects of other sleep medicines like Lunesta and Sonata. However, other less common side effects include hallucinations or night terrors (these symptoms are rare but may be more likely if you’re taking high doses).
The most serious possible side effect from taking Ambien is an overdose—which means taking too much of this medication at once or taking it repeatedly over time with no break in between doses. If you think you’ve taken too much Ambien, call 911 immediately!
12 Things You Should Know Before You Take Ambien
We know it’s hard to find good information about Ambien. But before you reach for that bottle of Ambien, we wanted to make sure you knew what it could do—and what it couldn’t. Here are 12 things you should know before taking Ambien:
- It’s not a sleep aid—it’s a sedative.
- It has a high potential for abuse, especially if taken with alcohol or other drugs.
- It can cause serious drowsiness the next day and make driving dangerous.
- It can cause memory problems and confusion when you wake up in the morning.
- You might have strange dreams while taking it, but that doesn’t mean you’re hallucinating or having nightmares.
- When taken with alcohol or other drugs (including over-the-counter medications), Ambien can increase the effects of those drugs and make them more likely to cause adverse reactions like drowsiness or dizziness—which could lead to an accident while driving or operating heavy machinery.
- You should not take Ambien if you are pregnant because it may cause harm to your unborn child; speak with your doctor about alternative forms of treatment if this applies to you!
- Don’t take more than one dose within 24 hours—this could cause excessive amounts of sedation and sleepiness that lasts too long. The FDA recommends no more than two doses per week at bedtime for short-term use (10 days).
- Ambien has been shown to cause next-morning impairment in some people. This means that you may not be able to operate machinery or drive the morning after taking this medication. In addition, if you have other conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, these conditions may be exacerbated by using Ambien.
- Don’t take it with alcohol or other sedative drugs (like Xanax) because they can be deadly together!
- Don’t take it if you have any breathing problems like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- It can cause memory loss, but only if you take too much or mix it with alcohol or other drugs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Ambien?
Ambien is a prescription sleep aid that can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. It contains zolpidem, which is a sedative that works on receptors in the brain to help you fall asleep. When taken as directed, Ambien helps with sleep disturbances such as insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, or waking up too early.
How does it work?
Ambien helps people fall asleep by changing the way their brains work. The medication causes drowsiness by slowing down brain activity so that it becomes easier for people to relax and drift off into sleep. Ambien also makes people less likely to wake up during the night when they take it within 30 minutes of going to bed.
How long will I stay asleep?
Ambien is a sedative-hypnotic and works by helping you fall asleep and stay asleep. The effects can last anywhere from four to six hours, but they can also be longer or shorter depending on individual differences.
How long does it take for Ambien to kick in?
The time it takes for Ambien to kick in depends on your weight and how much you’ve eaten recently. In general, the medication typically starts working within 20 minutes of taking it. If you take Ambien on an empty stomach, or if you have just started taking it, it may take longer than usual for the drug to work.
Is Ambien safe?
It can be, but it depends on how you use it. If you take the drug as prescribed by your doctor, there are few risks associated with taking Ambien. However, if you take too much of this medication or mix it with other substances like alcohol or other drugs, it can cause serious side effects including:
- Slurred speech
- Hallucinations (seeing things that aren’t real)
- Confusion and lack of coordination
What happens if I take too much Ambien?
Taking too much of any medication can have serious consequences. It’s important that you know what overdosing looks like so that you can seek medical attention if necessary. If you think someone has overdosed on Ambien, call 911 immediately or seek emergency medical help.