Last night, Fox News Boston aired the special report “Is Ambien creating a nation of zombies?” The segment called attention to dangerous or even deadly sleepwalking episodes linked to the prescription sleep drug Ambien.
While these incidents are a reminder that side effects can occur, millions of people regularly take Ambien and other prescription hypnotics without experiencing any problems.
You can minimize the risk if you take Ambien exactly as prescribed by your doctor, moments before bedtime. Never increase dosage or begin taking additional medications without consulting your doctor. And don’t use alcohol before or after taking Ambien. Allow for a full nights sleep when you take the drug.
The FDA warns in its Medication Guide for Ambien, “You may get up out of bed while not being fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing. The next morning, you may not remember that you did anything during the night.”
The AASM recognizes Ambien as a safe short-term treatment for insomnia. For severe or chronic cases we recommend seeing a board-certified sleep specialist for further treatment options, such as cognitive behavioral therapy. To find a sleep specialist contact an AASM-accredited sleep center near you.
Find out more about Ambien and other sleep medications.
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