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Ambien Side Effects & Warning Signs of Abuse

When taking a look at Ambien side effects and warning signs of abuse, it is important to differentiate between the two to help determine if a person is in fact abusing this prescription drug. Keep reading to find out the difference between typical Ambien side effects and warning signs of abuse.

Ambien Side Effects

Because an estimated 50 to 70 million Americans reportedly suffer from sleep disorders, it is no wonder drugs like Ambiens provide successful sleep aids to those who need it. Unfortunately the risk with any prescription drug is that there are potential side effects to expect when taking it. Ambien side effects include:

  • Drowsiness or tiredness
  • Dizziness or a “drugged” feeling
  • Weakness and loss of coordination
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache and muscle pain
  • Upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea and constipation

Ambien Adverse Side Effects:

ambien side effects

While the above mentioned Ambien side effects might be difficult to deal with, they are expected to be in the normal range of taking the drug. Unfortunately sometimes there are adverse side effects when taking a prescription drug like Ambien. Adverse reactions can happen for a variety of reasons including Ambien abuse, pre-existing conditions on the part of the patient, drug interactions and more. Keep an eye out if you are experiencing any of the following Ambien adverse side effects and be sure to contact your doctor or healthcare professional immediately.:

  • Performing activities you aren’t aware of while under the influence of Ambien including: driving, making and eating food, sleepwalking, making phone calls, having sex and more.
  • Aggressiveness
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Worsening depression/anxiety or having suicidal thoughts
  • Memory loss
  • Sleeping during the day
  • Excessive drowsiness during the day

There are also adverse reactions that can happen to the mouth while taking ambien:

  • Tender red bumps under the tongue
  • Tingling, tickling or burning of the tongue or mouth

Again, be sure to notify your doctor if any of the aforementioned adverse reactions occur while you are under the influence of Ambien.

Ambien and Drug Interactions

Some adverse reactions can occur when you are taking Ambien while simultaneously taking other prescription drugs. Be sure your doctor is aware if you are taking any of the following before accepting a prescription for Ambien:

  • Antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication
  • Antipsychotics
  • Anti-fungal
  • Cold/allergy
  • Pain medications
  • Sedatives
  • Other sleep aids
  • Tranquilizers

Warning signs of abuse of Ambien

There are many warning signs of abuse of Ambien to be aware of if you or someone you know regularly takes the drug. While not everyone gets addicted to Ambien, it can be habit forming, which is why it is important to recognize the warning signs of abuse.

Ambien is not intended to be used long term or every single night for the patient. Warning signs of abuse include:

  • Someone who needs and relies on Ambien to help them sleep each night.
  • Long-term use of the drug with frequent changes in dosages to help achieve the same level of effect from the drug.
  • Withdrawal symptoms like weakness, shakiness, fever, headache, nausea if the drug is not taken every day.
  • Experiencing any of the adverse effects of the drug as mentioned above.

If you are concerned about a loved one potentially abusing Ambien, some other warning signs to look out for include:

  • Too-frequent refills of prescription
  • Taking too large of a dosage – more than prescribed
  • Isolating behaviors away from family and friends
  • Engaging in potentially dangerous situations while awake and having no memory of them later.
  • Ambien cravings
  • Spending too much money on Ambien – or resorting to getting the drug outside of a licensed pharmacy

How to prevent Ambien abuse

Take the medication exactly as directed by your healthcare professional in order to best prevent Ambien abuse. Remember that dosages for women are smaller than they are for most men. If you feel as if you need a change in your dosage, be sure to contact your healthcare professional first.

If you are concerned about a family member or friend who might be exhibiting some of the above warning signs of abuse, it might be time for an informal or possible medical intervention depending on the level of addiction.

It is possible to die from an overdose of Ambien. Warning signs of abuse of Ambien should not be taken lightly. Sometimes the patient might not even recognize they have a problem. Recognizing the normal and the adverse Ambien side effects and the warning signs of abuse can be helpful in preventing a serious problem with Ambien addiction for the patient.


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