Ambien

(zolpidem)

3.7/ 5 average rating with 1375 reviewsforAmbien
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Helps you sleep.

Skip Upsides & Downsides section. Skip to side effects section.

Our bottom line

Ambien (zolpidem) aids in falling asleep and staying asleep, but it can be habit-forming and might be more likely than other sleep medicines to cause side effects.

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    $19.00
Quick facts about Ambien
  • Drug class: Mental health
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (zolpidem)

Upsides

  • Effective at helping people fall asleep faster and sleep longer.
  • Extended release form is particularly good for staying asleep, and you can use it for longer than the immediate release form.
  • Generic is available.
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What to expect from Ambien, on one page

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People’s experience with Ambien

1375reviews so far. What do you think?

Downsides

  • Not typically used for long-term treatment because it can be habit-forming.
  • Some people find that Ambien (zolpidem) becomes less effective over time.
  • More likely to cause sleep-walking, sleep-driving, and sleep-eating.
  • Might not be safe if you have problems with your liver, kidneys, lungs, or if you have a history of depression.
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What to expect from Ambien, on one page

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How it works

Ambien (zolpidem) is in a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics. It interacts with your brain to make you relaxed and sleepy.

Quick facts about Ambien
  • Drug class: Mental health
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (zolpidem)

Dosage forms

  • Pill
  • Oral spray
  • Sublingual pill
People’s experience with Ambien

1375reviews so far. What do you think?

Prices and coupons

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What to expect when you take Ambien (zolpidem) for Insomnia

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  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Effectiveness
  • Full effects
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Possible side effects
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Allergic reactions
  • Drowsiness
  • Abnormal dreams
  • Memory impairment
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Side effect rates for Ambien (zolpidem)

From 1158 clinical trials of Ambien when taken for insomnia
  • Drowsiness
    8%8%
    5%5%
  • Headache
    7%7%
    6%6%
  • Dizziness
    5%5%
    1%1%
  • Allergic reactions
    4%4%
    1%1%
  • Sinus infection
    4%4%
    2%2%
  • Dry mouth
    3%3%
    1%1%
  • Back pain
    3%3%
    2%2%
  • Lack of energy
    3%3%
    1%1%
  • Drugged feeling
    3%3%
  • Diarrhea
    3%3%
    2%2%
  • Sore throat
    3%3%
    1%1%
  • Drowsiness
    2%2%
  • Flu-like symptoms
    2%2%
  • Racing heart
    2%2%
  • Lightheadedness
    2%2%
    1%1%
  • Depression
    2%2%
    1%1%
  • Abdominal pain
    2%2%
    2%2%
  • Constipation
    2%2%
    1%1%
  • Rash
    2%2%
    1%1%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Ambien.

Ambien (zolpidem)
Placebo

People taking Ambien felt side effect more

People taking Ambien felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Ambien (zolpidem)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Continuous use of Ambien (zolpidem) for 2 weeks or more

    All prescription sleep-aid medicines in the same category as Ambien (zolpidem) have a risk of physical dependence. Dependence means that you'll feel withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking the medication all at once. Talk to your doctor about natural ways to improve sleep or treat underlying conditions that prevent sleep.

Pharmacist Q&A

Ambien (zolpidem) questions for

Frequently Asked Questions

Zolpidem treats insomnia characterized by difficulty sleeping, either falling asleep or staying asleep through the night.

Who is this drug for?

Zolpidem treats insomnia characterized by difficulty sleeping, either falling asleep or staying asleep through the night.

Common concerns from people taking Ambien (zolpidem)

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Alcohol
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs when taking Ambien (zolpidem).
  • Worth it
    Low hassle
    Reviewed Ambienon 9/20/2017It worked very well for me for 15 years, but I don't drink alcohol. Most people I know that had a problem with ambien also drank wine and beer. Dr will no longer prescribe because I'm over 65. Taken Tramadol and Restirol neither work as well. Its very sad when they put everyone in the same box. I also have sleep paralysis.
    67
    Woman
    Two years or more
    Insomnia (long-term treatment)
  • Worth it
    Low hassle
    Reviewed Ambienon 7/2/2016Do not consume alcohol before taking this medication. You may not be yourself, or remember what you did.
    37
    Man
    Insomnia (short-term treatment)
Food
  • Worth it
    Low hassle
    Reviewed Ambienon 8/23/2015Works best without food -3 hours prior to sleep!!!
    52
    Man
    Insomnia (long-term treatment)
Kidneys and liver
  • Might not be safe if you have problems with your liver, kidneys, lungs, or if you have a history of depression.
Pain
  • Not worth it
    Big hassle
    Reviewed Ambienon 9/8/2016Causes back pain while your asleep in weird positions.womt feel it till u wake up.
    24
    Man
    Insomnia (short-term treatment)
Sleep
  • Ambien (zolpidem) makes you feel drowsy and sleepy, potentially leading to falls and severe injuries. This is especially a risk if you're older. Falls from sleep medicines like Ambien (zolpidem) have caused severe injuries such as hip fractures and head injury. You may need a lower dose if you're taking other medications that also cause drowsiness. Check with your doctor first.
  • Only take it if you have time to sleep for at least 8 hours.
  • Effective at helping people fall asleep faster and sleep longer.
  • Worth it
    Some hassle
    Reviewed zolpidemon 10/4/2017Sleep eating and not being able to remember what happen the night before.
    38
    Woman
    Two years or more
    Insomnia (long-term treatment)
  • Worth it
    Low hassle
    Reviewed Ambienon 7/3/2017Good sleep, hard time getting up even after 8 hrs.
    34
    Woman
    Two years or more
    Insomnia (long-term treatment)
  • Worth it
    Big hassle
    Reviewed Ambienon 1/24/2017didn't make me sleep all night- but was great for nighttime anxiety. I would wake up in the middle of the night (on the clock), let my dog out to pee, and go back to sleep.
    22
    Woman
    Insomnia (short-term treatment)
Weight
  • Worth it
    Low hassle
    Reviewed Ambienon 8/5/2017Gain weight
    61
    Woman
    Two years or more
    Insomnia (long-term treatment)