Mixing Ambien with alcohol

What are the effects of mixing Ambien and alcohol? Does drinking alcohol while taking Ambien cause overdose? More here on harms and warnings for mixing Ambien with alcohol.

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Are you considering mixing Ambien with alcohol?

Weigh in on the risks and dangers here. In this article, we review what happens in your body when you mix Ambien with alcohol. We also outline what can go wrong. Plus, we invite you to ask questions about being addicted to Ambien or mixing Ambien and alcohol in the comments section at the end. All questions about Ambien receive a personal and prompt response.

Ambien and alcohol effects

The main ingredient in Ambien is called zolpidem and is a sedative. Zolpidem can cause a euphoric high or even hallucinations when taken in large amounts, or without going immediately to bed.  Snorting Ambien effects are even more dangerous.  But some people like to enhance these effects by mixing the zolpidem in Ambien with alcohol. In self-reported examples, some people who mix Ambien and alcohol have reported the following effects:

  • drowsiness
  • relaxation
  • feelings of well-being
  • clumsiness
  • poor motor control
  • mild visual hallucinations
  • memory loss
  • sleep walking and other activities (including driving)

As you can see, some of the effects of mixing Ambien and alcohol can be very dangerous, particularly when someone acts out activities in their sleep. Ambien also chemically reacts with alcohol,having an additive effect in the body and brain when combined. So the effects of both alcohol and Ambien are intensified when taken together. While the feeling of relaxation and euphoria might be pleasant, it can also be dangerous.  FYI: How long does Ambien stay in your urine? 12-60 hours after ingestion.

Dangers of mixing Ambien and alcohol

When alcohol is taken with Ambien, dangerous side effects can occur. This is mainly because mixing alcohol and Ambien can intensify the effects of both alcohol and Ambien. Some potentially dangerous effects of mixing Ambien with alcohol include:

  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • loss of consciousness or coma
  • shallow breathing
  • impaired motor control
  • impaired judgment and thinking
  • memory problems
  • overdose
  • unusual behavior

Keep in mind that the additive effect of combining sedatives goes both ways – Ambien can enhance the effects of the alcohol itself, as well. Alcohol is a sedative, which makes you sleepy, drowsy, and lightheaded, so drinking while taking Ambien can cause trouble concentrating and difficulty with coordination, which can put you at risk of accidents. Not only that, but you might engage in dangerous activities without being fully aware of what’s going on – and you may not even remember later. Ambien can cause people to drive, prepare food, and even have sex during their sleep. Obviously, this can be extremely dangerous and cause serious accidents. Even if you’re only sleepwalking, you are at risk of falls or serious injuries when mixing Ambien with alcohol. In some cases, mixing the two can be deadly.

Ambien and alcohol overdose

Risk of overdose on Ambien increases when used with alcohol. Because these drugs enhance one another, the effects of both are much stronger than when they are taken separately. Although Ambien is unlikely to kill you when taken alone, it can absolutely be deadly when combined with alcohol.

Ambien and alcohol deaths

Alcohol is one of the most prevalent drugs used in combination with Ambien that can cause death. Because of the increased likelihood of sleep-driving and other dangerous behaviors, even normal doses of Ambien are too dangerous to take with alcohol. NOT DRINKING ALCOHOL is the only way to stay safe while taking Ambien.

Is it safe to drink on Ambien?

No. Mixing Ambien with alcohol just enhances the dangerous effects of both drugs. In fact, doctors recommend never mixing Ambien and alcohol, and even instruct people who have had a drink during the day not to take Ambien that night. You can ask your prescribing doctor for more information on taking Ambien and drinking. But the FDA warns against mixing the two at all, or even taking them hours apart.

Mixing Ambien (zolpidem) and alcohol can increase your risk of addiction. If you feel that you need help coping with your zolpidem and alcohol seeking behavior and would like quit, you should consider talking with a doctor or entering Ambien rehab. Learn more about zolpidem addiction and treatment considerations, what you can do to address it, and your long-term rehab and recovery options.

Mixing Ambien alcohol questions

Do you still have questions about mixing Ambien with alcohol or other substances? Please leave your Ambien questions here. We try our best to answer all questions personally, and promptly. And if we don’t know the answer, we will refer you to someone who can help. Your experiences with mixing Ambien and alcohol are also welcome.

Reference Sources: NIAAA pamphlet: Harmful Interactions, Mixing Alcohol with Medicines
PubMed Health: Zolpidem
FDA Medication Guide: Ambien Tablets
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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