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Pros and cons of treating insomnia with Ambien (Zolpidem)
Going to your family doctor due to troubles with sleep sometimes results in theprescription of sleeping pills. Although in many cases of insomnia hypnotics are truly necessary, they sure are reputed as unsafe substances, especially when taken for a long period of time.Another negative side of sleeping medicines is that, in most cases, the patient’s response to the drug is unpredictable and can be established only empirically.
Like with all hypnotics, the Ambien leaflet warns about its side effects, contraindications and a possible risk of dependence. The leaflet will never inform you, however, of what happens when the drug is fully compatible with your particular condition and metabolism. In fact, Ambien can affect some people in asurprisingly good way, bringing a few unforeseen benefits.
How a Perfect Sleeping Pill Works
When starting treating their condition, insomniacs, usually, expect the following:
- more or less immediate effect of the pill – most people prefer fast falling asleep when they go to bed instead of waiting for the soporific effect while staying up;
- no “sore head” effect on the next morning;
- unaffected productivity – your ability to work could be decreased due to drowsiness caused by prolonged drug effect;
- minimal habit-forming properties;
- tolerance that is building as slowly as possible.
Obviously, none of the above could be true for a hypnotic that is taken for off-label indications. As Ambien has been designed to eliminate restlessness and anxiety, it is best used in cases characterized by irrational fears and panic attacksamong other similar clinical symptoms. Most reports on thesuccessive and beneficial use of Ambien in patients referred to cases of severe insomnia rather than non-prescription user experience or use for recreational purposes.
What you Shouldbe Aware of with Ambien
Among the adverse effects of Ambien are the following: decreased concentration, daytime somnolence, parasomniaand a significant risk of dependence. Overall, Ambien (Zolpidem) causes the same range of side effects as other hypnotic sedatives, benzodiazepines etc. However, the drug hasappeared in the crosshairs of doctors and sleep specialists because of how frequently it is prescribed. For the reasons described above it is advisable to limit its use to very specific sleep disorders, after having studied the case in detail and for a limited period of time.
Even if the risk of addiction has been removed/lessened, there still remain other factors that should be considered, such as:
- as Ambien affects the state of consciousness, its use is dangerous in drivers;
- metabolic incompatibilities may lead to low efficacy of the drug or a paradoxical reaction;
- effects of Ambien are enhanced by alcohol consumption;
- finally, such not uncommon effects as hallucinations, sensation of euphoria or unreality may be pronounced and therefore highly undesirable or unsettling.
Other Options for Dealing with Insomnia
When chosen wrongly, sleeping pills may become a literal headache, so it is useful to know as much as possible about the subject before starting the treatment. As opposed to barbiturates, which are no longer popular because of their narrow margin of safety and the general depressing effect on CNS, Ambien (Zolpidem) remains legal; however, both its beneficial and adverse effect considerably vary from person to person.
It is not recommended to take Ambien to manage minor night disturbances or sleep regimen deviations. There also exist over-the-counter products at pharmacies or herbalist’s shops, such as melatonin, lilac, valerian, and antihistamines. Even though such substances are not considered hypnotic drugs, their calming and sedative action might be sufficient for occasional sleep problems.