Wednesday February 20th 2019

You're leaving and will be automatically redirected to

Go back to


What is Ambien?

Ambien is the brand name of a medication called zolpidem. Zolpidem is a hypnotic sedative that helps physically put you sleep; it works by slowing activity in the brain to allow sleep.

Ambien is prescribed by doctors to help people with insomnia or those diagnosed with sleeping problems caused by psychiatric disorders. Ambien can be purchased in pharmacies on a strictly prescription only basis. Ambien is usually taken orally in pill or tablet form.

Ambien is available in two formulations: Ambien and Ambien CR. Ambien CR is a controlled-release tablet that gradually releases the medicine to prolong its effects. Ambien and Ambien CR are available in pills with different colors and shapes, but generally appear in the following forms:

  • Ambien 5 mg appears as a pink capsule-shaped tablet
  • Ambien 10 mg appears as a white capsule-shaped tablet
  • Ambien 6.25 mg appears as a pink round tablet
  • Ambien 12.5 mg appears as a blue round tablet
  • Ambien CR 6.25 mg appears as a pink round tablet
  • Ambien CR 12.5 mg appears as a blue round tablet

Ambien effects

Ambien causes you to feel relaxed, have lower muscle tone and feel very sleepy. But how does Ambien cause these effects?

Basically, zolpidem (the main ingredient in Ambien) works as a “hypnotic” by interacting with the neurotransmitter GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) in the brain. GABA receptors work by inhibiting signalling synapses that excite neurons. When Ambien inhibits neural synapses, neurons become less excited and have lower levels of activity, causing relaxation and drowsiness.

Because Ambien only affects certain GABA receptors, the main effect of the drug is to induce sleep. Because it induces sleep, doctors prescribe Ambien as a sleep aid (more popularly known as sleeping pills) for people with insomnia problems. People with difficulty falling asleep, or waking up in the middle of the night and have difficulty returning to sleep, can use Ambien after scheduling a medical checkup and getting a prescription from the doctor.

Adverse effects of Ambien

Ambien is a drug that is available by prescription only because it can cause serious adverse effects. In fact, high doses of Ambien can cause fatigue, pain, hypertension and rapid heart rate, ventricular tachycardia (very fast beating cycle of ventricles), suicidal thoughts, enteritis, formation of blood clots and decreased white blood cells, ear infections, liver disorders and muscle pain, pruritus and acne, vision changes and sensitivity to light and urinary tract infections. If you manifest any of these symptoms, this can be an indication that the body has problem(s) with Ambien.

Further, there are reports of patients who performed complex behaviors while seemingly asleep after using Ambien. In the reports, patients are reported to prepare and eat food, drive vehicles, make phone calls or perform sexual activities while half-asleep on using Ambien. Upon awakening, patients have difficulty recalling or remembering, or cannot totally recall, their behavior or activities done because Ambien causes short-term amnesia.

Some people use Ambien for recreational purposes. Some use Ambien for its intoxicating effects. Users report that Ambien causes bouts of difficulty in distinguishing imagined things and reality, false sensory perception, disorientation, and drifting in and out of consciousness.

For more detailed information about Ambien, see:


2 Zolpidem Addiction Treatment

Zolpidem Addiction Treatment

March 24th, 2017

What is zolpidem addiction and how can it be treated? Read this COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE on zolpidem addiction, rehabilitation treatment, and aftercare services for long-term recovery.

Pentobarbital Addiction Treatment

Pentobarbital Addiction Treatment

March 20th, 2017

A COMPLETE REVIEW of Pentobarbital addiction, the stages of addiction rehab and treatment process, including what you can do to quit Pentobarbital TODAY.

Physical addiction to Ambien

Physical addiction to Ambien

February 16th, 2017

Are you physically addicted to Ambien? Check the signs and symptoms to see if you may need help.

1 Ambien rehabilitation: How long?

Ambien rehabilitation: How long?

October 2nd, 2016

You can expect to stay in rehab for Ambien from 28 days up to 3 months inpatient. Outpatient programs average about 10 weeks in length, with multiple sessions per week. More details on length of rehab stays here.

Senior sleep problems: 5 Solutions OTHER THAN sleeping pills

Senior sleep problems: 5 Solutions OTHER THAN sleeping pills

July 23rd, 2016

Why not try these 5 solutions for insomnia before you turn to a doctor for prescription sleeping medications? You may be getting a quality night’s sleep sooner than you think.

How to help an Ambien addict?

How to help an Ambien addict?

July 3rd, 2016

Are you looking for help with Ambien addiction? Do you suspect a loved one is an addiction? Read about evidence based treatment options suggested for you or a loved one. More here in this article.

1 Ambien rehab treatment: What can you expect from a rehab program?

Ambien rehab treatment: What can you expect from a rehab program?

January 31st, 2016

You’ve admitted that you have an Ambien problem. Good for you! … now what? We review evidence-based treatments for Ambien rehab settings here. Get informed.

8 Ambien effects

Ambien effects

November 16th, 2015

What are the main effects of Ambien on the body and brain? A thorough review of common side effects of Ambien here, with a section for your questions at the end.

4 Adverse or negative effects of Ambien (INFOGRAPHIC)

Adverse or negative effects of Ambien (INFOGRAPHIC)

September 18th, 2015

Ambien is a prescription sedative that belongs to a class of medications called sedative-hypnotics. This medication is usually limited to short treatment periods of 6 weeks or less. What can happen when you use Ambien for longer? We review here.

2 Effects of Ambien on sex and pregnancy (INFOGRAPHIC)

Effects of Ambien on sex and pregnancy (INFOGRAPHIC)

June 30th, 2015

AN EASY-TO-UNDERSTAND GRAPHIC! Ambien can cause decreased libido, hormonal imbalance, impotence, and/or risky sexual behaviors. More on the serious effects of Ambien on sex, as well as how it affects a fetus and early childhood here.

Page 2 of 6123456

Leave a Reply

4 Responses to “Ambien
6:23 pm October 19th, 2016

How long will Ambien show in a urine drug test?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
10:49 am October 21st, 2016

Hi Pippa. Ambien won’t be detected in a standard urine screen, but it can be detected in urine using specialized tests. Peak concentrations of Ambien show up about 12 hours after taking Ambien, but can be detected for up to 60 hours after ingestion. If you have any other questions on Ambien drug testing, download our free e-book here:

9:23 am May 9th, 2017

I have gone to 3 rehabs and stopped zolpediem abruptly, Nothing happens. The Americans rip off by frightening people. Also most people in rehab I met had got addicted. But fortunately one can just stay home for a long weekend and get detoxed. With republican health care rehabs will have problems attaracting. Is there a non addictive sleeping pill availablefor long term use. Thank you.

3:40 pm January 20th, 2018

I am on the ambien I was on it before can’t remember what happened why I was off it… But I take the 10mg although it may not be good for long term it could work for others I also take the 150 bupropion and I take that when I go to work overnight along with cymbalta and when I come home then I take ambien and yes I wake up but am able to go back to sleep after awhile being up but when I get up for work I am refreshed alert I feel it helps my anxiety, depression, my pain, and my add so I always forget things, without it I have bad nightmares scary ones that sometimes come true….it works for my chemical body for long term use with no problems

Leave a Reply