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Drug Guide    A   Ambien CR

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   Ambien CR

Ambien CR
Oral


Zolpidem is used to treat sleep problems (insomnia). It may help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and reduce the number of times you awaken during the night. Zolpidem belongs to a class of drugs called sedative/hypnotics. It acts on your brain to produce a calming effect.

 
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OverviewPhotosHow To UseSide EffectsPrecautionsMissed DoseDrug Interactions
Ambien CR

Uses
Zolpidem is used to treat sleep problems (insomnia). It may help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and reduce the number of times you awaken during the night. Zolpidem belongs to a class of drugs called sedative/hypnotics. It acts on your brain to produce a calming effect.
Notes
  • Do not share this medication with others.
  • It is against the law.Usually, insomnia is temporary and requires sleep medication only for a short time.
  • If you require treatment for more than 2 weeks, laboratory and/or medical tests should be performed to find the cause of your sleep problem.As you get older, your sleep pattern may naturally change and your sleep may be interrupted several times during the night.
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist for ways to improve your sleep without medication, such as avoiding caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime, avoiding daytime naps, and going to bed at the same time each night.

Storage
  • Store at room temperature between 59-77 degrees F (15-25 degrees C).
  • Brief storage up to 86 degrees F (30 degrees C) is permitted.
  • Do not store in the bathroom.
  • Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Overdose
  • Symptoms of overdose may include slowed breathing or a deep sleep from which you cannot be awakened.

How To Use
  • Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using zolpidem and each time you get a refill.
  • If you have any questions regarding the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.Take this medication by mouth, usually once nightly immediately before bedtime on an empty stomach, or as directed by your doctor.
  • Do not take it with food because the effect of the medication will be delayed.Swallow this medication whole.
  • Do not crush, chew, or break this medication.
  • Doing so can destroy the long action of the drug and may increase side effects.Dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to therapy.Although unlikely, this drug can infrequently cause temporary memory loss.
  • To avoid this effect, do not take a dose of this drug unless you have time for a full night's sleep that lasts at least 7-8 hours.
  • For example, do not take zolpidem during an overnight plane flight of less than 8 hours.This medication may cause dependence, especially if it has been used regularly for an extended period of time, or if it has been used in high doses.
  • In such cases, if you suddenly stop this drug, withdrawal reactions may occur.
  • Such reactions can include nausea, vomiting, flushing, stomach cramps, nervousness, or shakiness.
  • Report any such reactions to your doctor immediately.
  • When stopping extended, regular treatment with this drug, gradually reducing the dosage as directed will help prevent withdrawal reactions.
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.Though it is very unlikely to occur, this medication can also result in abnormal drug-seeking behavior (addiction/habit-forming).
  • Do not increase your dose, take it more frequently or use it for a longer period of time than prescribed.
  • Properly stop the medication when so directed.
  • This will lessen the chances of becoming addicted.When used for an extended period, this medication may not work as well and may require different dosing.
  • Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.You may have trouble sleeping the first few nights after you stop taking this medication.
  • This is called rebound insomnia and it is normal.
  • It will usually go away after 1-2 nights.
  • If this effect continues, contact your doctor.Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens after 7-10 days.

Side Effects
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, headache, upset stomach, diarrhea, and dry mouth may occur.
  • To minimize the risk of falls, remember to get up slowly when rising from a seated or lying position.
  • If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.This medication may make you sleepy during the day.
  • Tell your doctor if you have daytime drowsiness.
  • Your dose may need to be adjusted.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.
  • Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fast/pounding heartbeat, unusual tiredness, mental/mood changes (e.g., new or worsening depression, rare thoughts of suicide, hallucinations, aggressive behavior, anxiety), memory loss, unsteadiness.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: chest pain.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs.
  • Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions
  • Before taking zolpidem, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, mental/mood problems (e.g., depression), personal or family history of regular use/abuse of drugs/alcohol/other substances, lung/breathing problems (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD, sleep apnea).This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages because they may increase the risk of this drug's side effects.The elderly may be more sensitive to the effects of this drug, especially dizziness and excessive drowsiness.This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy.
  • Infants born to mothers who have taken sedative/hypnotic drugs near the time of delivery may have undesirable effects such as withdrawal symptoms.
  • Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.A small amount of this medication passes into breast milk.
  • Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Missed Dose
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember if it is still near bedtime and you have trouble falling asleep.
  • If it is already the next day, resume your usual dosing schedule that night at bedtime.
  • Do not double the dose to catch up.

Drug Interactions
  • Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for it.
  • Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: sodium oxybate.If you are currently using any of these medications listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting zolpidem.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: drugs affecting liver enzymes that remove zolpidem from your body (such as HIV protease inhibitors-including ritonavir, rifamycins-including rifampin).Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: certain antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine), medicine for anxiety (e.g., alprazolam, diazepam), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., chlorpromazine, risperidone, amitriptyline, trazodone).Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness.
  • Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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