Just because it is doctor prescribed doesn’t always mean it is safe. Learn about the dangers of Ambien before you start taking this medication.
While prescription sleep medications like Ambien are effective in combatting insomnia, the dangers of Ambien can outweigh the benefits it offers for many who take it. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that an estimated 50 to 70 million adults in the United States suffer from a sleep or wakefulness disorder, and it has become a public health problem. The amount of sleep we get has an effect on almost everything we do while we are awake, and insufficient sleep causes low energy levels, as well as poor mood and performance throughout the day. In addition, sleep deficiencies can cause a variety of health and wellness problems, including:
- Chronic hypertension
- Reduced productivity
- Stress and anxiety
- Reduced quality of life
Because a lack of sleep can cause a person to feel poorly both physically and mentally, many sleep sufferers seek relief from their doctor and are often prescribed Ambien or another prescription sleep aid. These prescription sleep aids should only be used for a short period of time. AARP reports that Ambien should not be used for longer than a ten-day period. There are dangers of Ambien when the drug is used long term, which everyone should be aware of before they decide to start taking the medication. In addition to the dangers of Ambien, there are reported Ambien side effects can be hazardous as well. As reported by the FDA, Ambien side effects include:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Memory loss – amnesia or dementia
Someone taking Ambien will experience impairment of mental alertness, even the morning after taking the medication, and even if they feel completely awake. This is known as a “hangover” state, and users are at a higher risk for accidents and falls during this time. There is a risk of addiction when taking Ambien longer than four weeks, especially for those that have a history of drug or alcohol dependency. Overdose and drug interaction deaths are also likely when taking Ambien. Those that develop a dependency to the drug will also eventually experience Ambien withdrawal. Dangers of Ambien are still present during the Ambien withdrawal process, and it is recommended that users seek the guidance of a physician when they wish to stop using the medication. Dangers of Ambien during the Ambien withdrawal process include:
- Possible seizures
- Rebound insomnia – insomnia that returns and is even worse than it was before the individual starting taking Ambien.
- Withdrawal symptoms that include, emotional distress, muscle cramping, insomnia, nausea and vomiting, anxiety and confusion.
Dangers of Ambien include known reports of individuals occasionally sleepwalking and exhibiting strange behavior. Other rare Ambien side effects include “sleep driving”, “sleep eating”, and other activities while sleeping, all of which can obviously result in hazardous and even catastrophic outcomes. Ambien can cause a type of mania associated with bipolar and manic-depressive disorders. Those who have developed a dependence on Ambien should work with their doctor to gradually discontinue using the drug over time. This will lessen the Ambien withdrawal symptoms and make them easier to manage. Also, gradual Ambien withdrawal is safer. A physician will know how to slowly taper the dosage and may also prescribe anti-anxiety medication during the withdrawal period to make it more comfortable for the patient.
If you are ready to take the first step in recovery to end your dependence on Ambien, speak with your physician or an addiction specialist at our treatment center about the different types of rehabilitation programs offered. Get expert advice to help you determine which program would be best suited to your needs. Take the first step toward recovery to end your Ambien dependence, and create a healthier, well-rested life.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.