Ambien, with the generic name of Zolpidem belongs to a class of medicines that effects the central nervous system. These types of medications are called sedative hypnotics. Ambien is closely related to a family of drugs called benzodiazepines. These drugs cause sedation, muscle relaxation, act as anti-convulsants (anti-seizure), and have anti-anxiety properties. Ambien has selectivity, in that it has little of the muscle relaxant or anti-seizure effect and more of the sedative effect. Therefore, it is used as a medication for sleep. Addiction to Ambien can occur with regular use for an extended amount of time.
Ambien withdrawal may occur
when Ambien is stopped suddenly after being used daily for a long time. In some
cases, these Ambien withdrawal can occur even if Ambien has been used for only
a week or two. In mild cases, Ambien withdrawal symptoms may include unpleasant
feelings. This creates a vicious cycle, the user has the desire to quit using
Ambien, but the Ambien withdrawal symptoms they experience are the same if not
worse than their initial reason for using Ambien. In
more severe cases of Ambien withdrawal, abdominal and muscle cramps, vomiting,
sweating, shakiness, and, rarely, seizures may occur.
Ambien withdrawal symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Abnormal extroversion or aggressive behavior
- Loss of personal identity
- Strange behavior
- Worsening of depression
- Suicidal thoughts