Are you taking, or considering taking, Zolpidem Tartrate (Ambien, Stilnoct) as a sleeping aid? This page provides information on the medication’s benefits, side effects, and other properties.
Type of Medication: Hypnotic
Zolpidem, a non-benzodiazepine, is a Hypnotic, or sleeping tablet. (See “Drug Action Mechanisms”.)
Variants of zolpidem tartrate include Ambien and Stilnoct.
Benefits of Zolpidem (Ambien) for Insomnia
Zolpidem is a hypnotic, prescribed for the short term treatment of insomnia, or difficulty in getting to sleep or staying asleep.
Insomnia is itself not an illness, but it can cause distress and potentially worsen some mental disorders such as mania.
Side Effects of Zolpidem (Ambien)
Please note that the following side effects include only some of the most common and somewhat less common but do not include rarer side effects; the list is not exhaustive. Many people taking Zolpidem (Ambien, Stilnoct) experience none of these side effects. Please consult a physician about any unusual symptoms.
Some of the more common side effects of Zolpidem (Ambien, Stilnoct) include:
- difficulty with coordination
Some of the less common side effects of Zolpidem (Ambien, Stilnoct) include:
- changes in behaviour and thinking
Zolpidem (Ambien) and Alcohol
The manufacturer recommends that alcohol never be consumed while under treatment with Zolpidem or other sleeping tablets.
Alcohol can significantly increase the side effects of Zolpidem or any other sleep medication.
Stopping Zolpidem (Ambien): Discontinuation Effects or Withdrawal Symptoms
It is best to consult a physician before discontinuing hypnotics. These medications can cause withdrawal symptoms even after only being used for a week or two, including unpleasant feelings. Other withdrawal symptoms, while very uncommon, include:
- abdominal and muscle cramps
In addition, discontinuing sleep medications may cause ‘rebound insomnia’. This means that a person may have more trouble sleeping the first few nights after the medicine is stopped than before starting the medicine. Rebound insomnia usually goes away on its own after 1 or 2 nights.
Should You Buy Zolpidem (Ambien) Online?
Particularly in the United States, many individuals choose to purchase medications online, either for reasons of cost savings, privacy, or both. Both brand-name Ambien and so-called ‘generic Ambien’ (i.e., Zolpidem Tartrate without the Ambien brand name) can sometimes be purchased at deep discounts (and sometimes without a prescription) in this way. Before undertaking any purchase of medications online, however — and certainly if you are contemplating doing so without a prior prescription — please consider the integrity of the supplier and the national and/or local laws which may apply where you live.
Information Sources and Disclaimer
The information provided here has been summarized in good faith purely for educational purposes. It is not intended in any way to replace the advice of a qualified medical professional. Please do not take any action on the basis of information contained here without consulting a physician. Unless otherwise specified, information is intended to apply only to adult use of the medication. Drug interaction precautions have not been included; please consult another source for this information.
All registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
- United States FDA-approved Product Insert for Ambien (PDF)
- Your Medicines — Any Questions?
- British National Formulary
- Medication Reference Materials
- Drug Information by Generic Name
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- Venlafaxine (Effexor or Efexor): Benefits and Side Effects
- Zolpidem Tartrate (Ambien, Stilnoct): Benefits and Side Effects
- Medication Action Mechanisms and Warnings
- NIMH Medications Booklet
- Research Literature and Clinical Trials of Mental Health Drugs
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- Drug Information by Generic Name
All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more clinical psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals. This specific article was originally published by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor on .on and was last reviewed or updated by