Ambien Side Effects
Generic name: zolpidem
Note: This document contains side effect information about zolpidem. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Ambien.
Some side effects of Ambien may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.
For the Consumer
Applies to zolpidem: oral tablet, oral tablet extended release
Other dosage forms:
Along with its needed effects, zolpidem (the active ingredient contained in Ambien) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking zolpidem:Less common
- Chest pain
- confusion about identity, place, and time
- false or unusual sense of well-being
- fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
- feeling sad or empty
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- lack of appetite
- loss of interest or pleasure
- shakiness and unsteady walk
- trouble concentrating
- trouble sleeping
- unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- bladder pain
- bloody or cloudy urine
- burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
- cold sweats
- decreased awareness or responsiveness
- difficult, burning, or painful urination
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from lying or sitting position
- dry mouth
- frequent urge to urinate
- irregular heartbeats
- lower back or side pain
- quick to react or overreact emotionally
- rapidly changing moods
- seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
- severe sleepiness
- shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
- shortness of breath
- trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
- Attack, assault, or force
- black, tarry stools
- change in walking and balance
- clumsiness or unsteadiness
- difficulty swallowing
- lack of feeling or emotion
- pale skin
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- skin rash
- sore throat
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
- swollen glands
- thoughts of killing oneself or changes in behavior
- tightness in the chest
- troubled breathing with exertion
- unusual bleeding or bruising
Some side effects of zolpidem may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:More common
- muscle aches
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
- stuffy or runny nose
- Abdominal or stomach discomfort
- acid or sour stomach
- back pain
- being forgetful
- body aches or pain
- difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
- difficulty with moving
- double vision
- feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
- longer or heavier menstrual periods
- loss of memory
- muscle pain or stiffness
- pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
- seeing double
- sensation of spinning
- tender, swollen glands in the neck
- unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness
- voice changes
- Bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
- breast pain
- change in taste
- changes in patterns and rhythms of speech
- increased sweating
- itching of the vagina or genital area
- pain during sexual intercourse
- paleness of the skin
- slurred speech
- thick, white vaginal discharge with no odor or with a mild odor
- Blemishes on the skin
- blurred vision
- change in near or distance vision
- decreased interest in sexual intercourse
- difficulty in focusing eyes
- eye pain
- feeling of warmth
- frequent urge to defecate
- inability to have or keep an erection
- increased appetite
- increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
- lack or loss of strength
- loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
- redness or other discoloration of the skin
- severe sunburn
- stomach upset
- straining while passing stool
- weight loss
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to zolpidem: oral spray, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release, sublingual tablet
In general, zolpidem (the active ingredient contained in Ambien) is well-tolerated and causes little or no residual daytime effects in most young adult volunteers. Additionally, zolpidem does not significantly alter sleep architecture at recommended doses.
General side effects including fatigue have been reported.
Chronic use in high doses and subsequent withdrawal may induce grand mal seizures. Cases of falls have been reported in elderly patients.
Nervous system side effects most frequently have included visual disturbances, ataxia, and dizziness. Headache, drugged feeling, confusion, anterograde amnesia, excessive sedation, lightheadedness, delirium, nightmares, hallucinations, nervousness, and agitation have also been reported.
Hypersensitivity side effects including rare cases of angioedema involving the tongue, glottis or larynx have been reported in patients after taking the first or subsequent doses of sedative-hypnotics, including zolpidem (the active ingredient contained in Ambien) Some patients have had additional symptoms such as dyspnea, throat closing, or nausea and vomiting that suggest anaphylaxis.
Some patients have required medical therapy in the emergency department. If angioedema involves the throat, glottis or larynx, airway obstruction may occur and be fatal. Patients who develop angioedema after treatment with zolpidem should not be rechallenged with the drug.
Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia, anorexia, and diarrhea. In clinical studies on the sublingual tablet, one patient developed transient sublingual erythema and another patient developed transient paresthesia of the tongue.
Other side effects including tolerance to the pharmacologic effects of zolpidem (the active ingredient contained in Ambien) have been reported rarely. Withdrawal symptoms after either abrupt cessation or fast tapering may occur. Withdrawal symptoms may include agitation, restlessness, anxiety, depression, insomnia, tremor, nausea, abdominal discomfort, and sweating.
Other side effects associated with the oral spray have included dry mouth.
A case of sleep driving has also been reported.
Psychiatric side effects including cases of psychotic reactions have been reported in association with zolpidem (the active ingredient contained in Ambien) therapy.
Zolpidem-induced respiratory depression may be responsive to flumazenil. Zolpidem-induced respiratory depression is generally not clinically significant at the usual hypnotic doses even in patients with impaired respiratory function.
One study has suggested that zolpidem (the active ingredient contained in Ambien) doses of 20 mg (twice the usual dose) may cause apneic episodes in patients with obstructive sleep apnea.
Respiratory side effects have included respiratory depression which may occur at high doses. Upper or lower respiratory tract infection and rhinitis have also been reported.
Cardiovascular side effects including palpitations have been reported in patients taking zolpidem (the active ingredient contained in Ambien)
Genitourinary side effects including urinary incontinence and urinary tract infection have been reported.
Hepatic side effects include one case of hepatotoxicity associated with zolpidem (the active ingredient contained in Ambien) given alone at therapeutic doses.
Immunologic side effects including infection have been reported infrequently.
Musculoskeletal side effects including arthralgia and myalgia have been reported.
More Ambien resources
- Ambien Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- Ambien Monograph (AHFS DI)
- Ambien Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Ambien MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Ambien Consumer Overview
- Zolpidem Prescribing Information (FDA)
- zolpidem Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- Ambien CR extended-release tablets MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Ambien CR Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Edluar Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Edluar MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Edluar Consumer Overview
- Intermezzo Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Intermezzo Consumer Overview
- Intermezzo MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- ZolpiMist Consumer Overview
- Zolpimist Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Zolpimist oral spray MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This drug information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.