Finding the right sleep medication for sleep disorders can be a challenging task.  Most commonly used medications such as benzodiazepines are known to cause daytime drowsiness as a side effect in addition to over-sedation and dependency. Later on, Ambien was developed in the 1990s also known by the name zolpidem tartrate. Composition of ingredients that had the same effects without any adverse outcomes. Since then, Ambien has become one of the most commonly prescribed drugs. With increased popularity, more and more people started taking them for non-medical purposes also. 


At the point when it was first presented, Ambien was viewed as a safe to utilize prescription that had no potential aftereffects when compared to the dangers of other opiate tranquilizers. However, with increased usage, the side that occurs has come to light. This article will list the side effects of Ambien when not utilized as the recommendation of your primary care physician. 


Cognitive Impairment

Having a place with a class of prescriptions known as sedative-hypnotics, its synthetic construction was intended to impersonate the impacts of benzodiazepines regarding calming the central nervous system and excessive brain activity with practically no potential for misuse or addiction. Similar to the working of benzodiazepines, the components of Ambien work on the receptor cells in the brain that bind with the GABA receptors. The negative psychological side effects that occur due to excessive consumption of this medication are, 

  • Memory loss issues
  • Loss of emotional affect
  • Anxiety
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Nightmares
  • Not happy with life
  • Have trouble concentrating
  • Depression
  • Self-destructive contemplations


Excessive consumption causes 

  • Increased sedative effects
  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Uncoordinated motor movements
  • Slowed responses
  • Delayed reflex
  • Hallucinations
  • Dizziness
  • Aggression
  • Impaired judgment

Though Ambien was developed with the intention that it is safe for use when compared to other Benzodiazepines, recent reports have shown that excessive use can cause severe side effects that can be life-threatening. The FDA classified the medication as a controlled substance which means it can be bought from a pharmacy only by providing a valid prescription from a licensed practitioner. 

High doses of the medication are known to give the user a euphoric feeling that can cause dizziness, confusion, and clumsiness increasing the risks of accidental falls causing injuries, fractures, and other injuries. Abusing Ambien up to the point of intoxication can cause them to experience the sedative effects of the drug for about 16 hrs. Due to its activity of depressing the nervous system, taking the pills along with alcohol, opioid medication, and other tranquilizers can have serious adverse effects including risks of overdose. 

Depression and suicidal symptoms have been seen in patients who have been taking the medication for so long. It is dangerous even for those who had no history of mood or mental disorders and worse for those with a history of mental health disorders. 



Subsequent to taking Ambien prior to going to bed, a few people have experienced sleepwalking episodes and do different exercises while staying oblivious. Some of these activities are driving, eating, or having conversations with another person. In these reported cases, the individuals claimed that they had no memory of doing this and that they woke to find evidence that they had eaten. After countless reports of such activities, it has been established that they were due to them taking Ambien and the episodes were clinically termed as ‘ Ambien blackouts’ also known as ‘parasomnia’. 


Sleep driving:

Like sleepwalking, there have been instances of people taking out their vehicles and going out for a drive. This caused legal issues for those who are taking Ambien even as per the prescription. Such serious conditions occur only in cases if the person has consumed alcohol or any other drugs alongside Ambien. Performing such activities while in their sleep are not only dangerous for the individual but also those around them. 


Ambien addiction and misuse:

Ambien is a prescription medication that should be taken only as per the guidance and recommendation of your doctor. Improper usage without proper guidance can cause unpleasant adverse effects. Taking them for longer than the prescribed duration can slowly cause tolerance and hence that will eventually lead to addiction. Recreational users take the medication by crushing, breaking, or chewing them. Doing so will cause the components to be absorbed in the human body easily causing early tolerance. Likewise, when you stop the usage of this medication, make sure you do so with proper medical guidance to avoid withdrawal effects.