Ambien belongs to a new class of sleep medication prescribed for insomnia, frequent awakening, or an inability to sleep long enough. Ambien works by slowing the brain's ability to function normally. Ambien focuses on treating insomnia and does not have an effect on muscle relaxation. Ambien comes as a tablet to take by mouth. Ambien is a Schedule IV controlled substance available in 5- and 10-mg tablets. Ambien usually is taken once a day at bedtime as directed. Ambien usually begins working within 15 minutes and is usually is taken for 7-10 days when prescribed by doctors. If prescribed Ambien, take it on an empty stomach (at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals). Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ambien is a controlled substance and may be refilled only a limited number of times. Ambien can be addictive. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or for a longer period than your doctor tells you to.

Before taking Ambien:

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Ambien or any other drugs.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially allergy preparations, antihistamines, barbiturates, cold medicines, medications for depression or seizures, pain relievers, tranquilizers, and vitamins.
  • Tell your doctor if you have, or have ever had kidney or liver disease, a history of alcoholism or drug abuse or depression, asthma, breathing problems, or allergies.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking Ambien, call your doctor.
  • If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking Ambien.
  • You should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
  • Remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by Ambien.
  • Drug Facts
  • Deaths from other common causes such as heart disease, cancer, and stroke were also increased among sleeping pill users.
  • It is dangerous to stop taking Ambien abruptly.
  • Among men, those who took sleeping pills 30 times a month had 7 times the risk of suicide!
  • Sleeping pills, such as Ambien can and do become addictive. In addition, your body developing a tolerance after the first couple of weeks.
  • Ambien is a Schedule IV controlled substance available in 5- and 10-mg tablets.