Is Ambien dangerous to use?
The dangers of Ambien include memory loss and hallucinations, which may lead to risk-taking behavior, such as sleep-driving, as well as anxiety and depression may trigger suicidal thoughts. These dangers, compounded by Ambien’s high potential for addiction, can lead to the user’s death. Ambien has also been linked to an increased risk of developing cancer.
Ambien Side Effects
Ambien (Zolpidem) is a hypnotic medication used to treat insomnia.
Some of the common Ambien side effects include:
- Stuffy nose
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal cramps
- Body pains
- Ataxia and involuntary body movements
- Impaired vision
Users are instructed to get at least seven or eight hours of sleep after taking Ambien. Reactions and thinking can be still impaired after a night with Ambien for up to four hours, even after the user has woken up completely.
Ambien can be habit-forming and is not often prescribed or recommended for use over a period longer than four or five months.
Ambien also affects the user’s cognitive and the emotional state. Many people experience:
- Loss of pleasure
- Impaired judgments
- Poor concentration
- Memory loss
Ambien can result in risk-taking behavior and aggression, which can be dangerous not only to the user but the people around them. Next-day impaired driving is a common effect, which can be life-threatening. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warn all users about this problem.
Ambien & Allergic Reactions
Ambien is a drug that can cause severe allergic reactions. Patients should call their doctor immediately if they notice any:
- Difficulties with breathing
- Chest pain
Always inform your doctor of any health conditions you might have before you start taking Ambien.
Ambien & Anxiety
Below some specific Ambien side effects are presented in detail.
User reports and medical data show that one of the most common side effects of Ambien is anxiety. Depression co-occurs with anxiety, and insomnia can also contribute to that. Treating comorbid disorders is important because if a patient experience suicidal thoughts, for example, they can easily attempt suicide. It’s important to know that some users might become more nervous, impulsive and outgoing due to the effects Ambien has on them.
Ambien & Memory Loss
As stated above, some of the side effects of Ambien include various mental and behavioral changes. Memory loss is another common side effect. Some people experience sleepwalking, sleep-driving, and social behaviors (talking, making phone calls, having sex) without retaining any memory.
Taking Ambien with alcohol can increase the risk of such anterograde amnesia.
This effect might be caused by various chemical reactions and the way Ambien interacts with the GABA receptors in the brain, research suggests.
Other drugs can increase the potential dangers of Ambien and its side effects. Mixing sleeping pills with other drugs can be fatal. In case you have any worries, contact your health professional.
Ambien & Headaches
Another common side effect of Ambien is severe headaches, and some users report developing migraines because of their Ambien intake. This condition can affect their social and emotional well-being, especially when not treated on time. We all know to a certain degree that a headache can block our ability to think and work.
Therefore, always consult your doctor for the right dosage and tapering down methods, and try to lead physically active and healthy life. Some breathing techniques can be beneficial to reduce pain and supply more oxygen to the body.
Ambien & Weight
Losing weight due to a loss of appetite and upset stomach is a common side effect; however, some users report weight gain after taking Ambien.
A unique study conducted by the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorder Centre in Minneapolis shows that this effect might be because some users consume too much while being asleep.
Ambien & Cancer
Last but not least, Ambien can be linked to an increased risk of cancer and death.
A study published in 2012 suggested that the risk of zolpidem users developing cancer later in life was greater than for non-users, and especially for men.
Ambien & Medical Help
The side effects described above are not a complete list of all the effects that Ambien may cause. The effect the drug has on people depends on various individual differences and different factors, such as a history of abuse. Note that some users never experience any negative consequences.
Discuss any concerns that you have with your doctor. Always ask for the right dosage and the best course of treatment; if Ambien is taken over an extended period, it can worsen your insomnia instead of improving it. Dedicate enough time to sleep after Ambien intake to reduce the potential risks of dangerous activities, such as sleep-driving.
Don’t hesitate to call your health professional if you notice any unusual physical, cognitive or behavioral changes, or if you start to feel any signs of an allergic reaction