20 Apr 2023
Zolpidem, commonly known as Ambien, is a medication often prescribed to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders. Although widely used and effective for many, it is vital to understand the side effects of Zolpidem before beginning treatment. Here we aim to provide a comprehensive look at the potential side effects of Zolpidem, from the most common to the rare and severe. Finally, we will conclude with precautions for individuals considering Zolpidem as a treatment option.
Dizziness and lightheadedness
Many patients report feeling dizzy or lightheaded after taking Zolpidem, especially when standing up too quickly. This side effect can increase the risk of falls, so it's essential to rise slowly and maintain your balance when getting out of bed.
It comes as no surprise that a drug meant to induce sleep also causes drowsiness. While this may be an intended effect of Zolpidem, it can become troublesome if it lingers throughout the day, impairing your ability to think clearly and stay alert.
Zolpidem can cause gastrointestinal issues, including constipation, diarrhoea, and gas. However, drinking plenty of water and maintaining a balanced diet can help alleviate these side effects.
Some users experience headaches after taking Zolpidem. Over-the-counter pain relievers like paracetamol, or ibuprofen. Still, it is always wise to consult with your doctor if headaches persist.
Although rare, some users report experiencing hallucinations shortly after taking Zolpidem. These can be visual or auditory and might include seeing or hearing things which are not there.
Changes in Appetite
Zolpidem may cause appetite changes, increasing or decreasing the desire to eat. This can result in weight fluctuations, so it is essential to maintain a balanced diet and exercise routine.
Zolpidem can sometimes result in lowered inhibitions, causing individuals to engage in risky or reckless behaviour. Discussing this possibility with your doctor before starting treatment is essential.
Sleepwalking (and Other Complex Behaviors)
Certain users may experience complex sleep behaviours while on Zolpidem. For example, sleepwalking, sleep-eating, or even sleep-driving can occur. These actions can put individuals at risk of injury or harm, and discontinuing Zolpidem may be necessary.
Severe Allergic Reactions
Although rare, some people may experience a severe allergy to Zolpidem. Symptoms may include swelling of the face, tongue, or throat, difficulty breathing, and severe rash. Seek medical attention immediately if any of these symptoms occur.
Get in touch with your
doctor immediately if you experience any unusual side effects, including
swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat swelling, difficulty breathing, or
severe skin rash.