The recommended starting dose of Ambien is 5 milligrams for women and either 5 or 10 milligrams for men which is to be taken one time per day at bedtime. Elderly patients can be given Ambien safely at a dose of 5 milligrams per day immediately before bedtime when carefully monitored by a physician. The FDA urges doctors to tell patients taking Ambien that there is a risk for next-morning impairment when partaking in activities that require mental alertness. Women are at highest risk for this because they eliminate this medication from their systems more slowly than men.
The most common side effects associated with Ambien include daytime drowsiness, feeling dizzy, feeling lightheaded, stuffy nose, dry mouth, throat or nose irritation, constipation, nausea, upset stomach and headache. More serious side effects include chest pains, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, trouble swallowing or feeling as though you will pass out. If any of these side effects are experienced, it is important to stop taking the drug and to contact the prescribing doctor right away.
Ambien can negatively interact with other medications such as certain anti-depressants like imipramine and sertraline, cold medications and medications used for the treatment of seizures and anxiety. This is why it is very important to inform the prescribing doctor about any and all medications one is taking prior to taking Ambien.
Chronic insomniacs often find great relief from their sleeping problems through the use of Ambien. Suffering from chronic insomnia can negatively affect every aspect of one's life from family relationships to workplace issues. However, in order for this drug to work as it's designed, it is important that the patient makes sure they are ready for bed before taking the pill.