Ambien: Fatal Rest

Many people are familiar with the name “Ambien,” which is actually one of several brand names for the drug Zolpidem. Zolpidem is classified as a sedative-hypnotic, which is a class of drugs that produce very calming and relaxing effects. Zolpidem is prescribed to treat short-term insomnia in adults. It can help individuals fall asleep faster and get a good night’s rest.

However, it is extremely important to be careful and cautious when taking Ambien or other brand names of Zolpidem, and to be aware of its side effects, which can be hazardous. One should not take Ambien unless they are in a safe environment, and are ready for bed– not getting at least 8 hours of sleep after taking Ambien may result in memory loss upon waking up. If an individual does not get enough sleep, it is imperative that they do not attempt to drive or operate heavy machinery, as their alertness will be insufficient to do such tasks safely. Looking at Ambien as an ordinary sleeping pill has led many people to overlook it’s serious side effects, and in some cases individuals have become unintentionally addicted. Risk for addiction is legitimate and very common; some individuals report a euphoric feeling after taking Ambien, and often attempt to replicate such feeling by taking a higher dose each time. If you are taking Ambien or struggling with insomnia, it’s advised to consider safer alternatives.

The risks of Ambien can be dangerous and, in some cases, deadly. Research conducted by the FDA discovered that, at the time, 66 people died due to various Ambien-related reasons. Some people passed away while sleep-walking, or driving half asleep. There were cases reported of people getting carbon monoxide poisoning after falling asleep in their vehicles in an enclosed area. Going swimming on Ambien can also be fatal, as several people have drowned after taking the drug for the first time. There have also been reports of injuries that did not result in death, including overdoses, burns, broken bones due to falls, self inflicted gunshot wounds, and loss of limbs as a result of falling asleep in cold weather. Norman Sharples, FDA acting commissioner, released a statement saying that “these incidents can occur after the first dose of these sleep medicines, or after a longer period of treatment, and can occur in patients without any history of these behaviors and even at the lowest recommended doses.”

 If you or a loved one have been prescribed Ambien, it is likely that the healthcare professional believes that in this situation, the benefit is greater than the risk of side effects. There are certainly people that have taken the drug successfully without any side effects, however, it is important to be cautious when taking medication with such dangerous potentials, including it’s risk for addiction. Other side effects, include memory loss, new or worsening depression, abnormal thoughts, thoughts of suicide, hallucinations, confusion, agitation, aggressive behavior, and anxiety.

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