Medically reviewed on July 4, 2018
Uses of Ambien CR:
- It is used to treat sleep problems.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Ambien CR?
- If you have an allergy to zolpidem or any other part of Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets).
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have liver disease.
- If you are taking any other drugs that can make you sleepy. There are many drugs that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
- If you are taking any of these drugs: Rifampin or St. John's wort.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Ambien CR?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- This medicine may be habit-forming with long-term use.
- When sleep drugs are used nightly for more than a few weeks, they may not work as well to help sleep problems. This is known as tolerance. Only use sleep drugs for a short time. If sleep problems last, call the doctor.
- Do not take naps.
- To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, rise slowly if you have been sitting or lying down. Be careful going up and down stairs.
- Avoid alcohol while taking Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets). Do not take Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets) if you drank alcohol that evening or before bed.
- Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
- Some people have done certain tasks or actions while they were not fully awake like driving, making and eating food, and having sex. Most of the time, people do not remember doing these things. Tell your doctor if this happens to you.
- This medicine may cause sleepiness or lower alertness. This may lead to falls and injuries that may be very bad. Very bad injuries like broken hips and bleeding in the brain have happened. Talk with the doctor.
- If you are a woman, use Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets) with care. You could have more side effects.
- If you are 60 or older, use Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets) with care. You could have more side effects.
- This medicine is not approved for use in children. The chance of side effects like dizziness and hallucinations may be raised in children. However, your child's doctor may decide the benefits of taking Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets) may outweigh the risks. Talk with the doctor if you have questions about giving Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets) to your child.
- You may not be alert. Do not drive or do other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert on the day after you take Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets).
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets) while you are pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is this medicine (Ambien CR) best taken?
Use Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Use Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets) only for short periods of time (7 to 10 days).
- If you still have trouble sleeping after 7 to 10 days, call your doctor.
- Take Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets) at bedtime.
- Take Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets) only 1 time per night.
- Take on an empty stomach.
- Take Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets) right before you get into bed.
- Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
- Do not take Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets) unless you can get a full night's sleep (at least 7 to 8 hours) before you need to be active again.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- If you take Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets) on a regular basis, take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If you will not be able to get a full night's sleep (at least 7 hours) after taking the missed dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
- Do not take more than 1 dose of Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets) in the same day.
- Many times Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets) is taken on an as needed basis. Do not take more often than told by the doctor.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
- Trouble breathing, slow breathing, or shallow breathing.
- Feeling confused.
- Change in the way you act.
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
- Change in balance.
- Change in eyesight.
- Memory problems or loss.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
What are some other side effects of Ambien CR?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Feeling sleepy the next day.
- Upset stomach.
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
- Feeling tired or weak.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Ambien CR?
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Protect tablets from light.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets) is refilled. If you have any questions about Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets), please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about Ambien CR (zolpidem)
- Ambien CR Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 70 Reviews
- Generic Availability
- Drug class: miscellaneous anxiolytics, sedatives and hypnotics