Insomnia is estimated to affect up to 50 percent of all Americans at one time or another. Chronic insomnia may affect 10 to 20 percent of the people. There are several prescription medications that can treat the symptoms of insomnia.
One of those meds is Ambien which is also known by the generic name of zolpidem tartrate. If a patient has difficulty falling asleep or waking up many times at night, Ambien can help. It comes as a pink 5 mg film-coated tablet or a white 10 mg film-coated tablet. Ambien CR (zolpidem tartrate extended-release) is available in pink 6.25 mg round tablets.
Ambien dosage typically starts at 10 mg and is taken just before bedtime. Your healthcare provider may prescribe an Ambien dosage of 10 mg or 5 mg. It usually depends on your age, other medical conditions and other prescriptions you may be on. For example, elderly patients may be particularly sensitive to zolpidem tartrate, so the dosage for senior citizens is usually 5 mg.
According to the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, even the healthiest oldsters are prone to grogginess, falling and confusion when they awake after taking the drug. Healthy volunteers older than 60 were involved in a study that showed up to 58 percent stumbled when awakened as opposed to those who took a placebo and had no effects.
Patients with liver disease or who are otherwise hepatically impaired may start with an Ambien dosage of 5 mg. However, the best advice is to proceed with caution since the drug may damage the liver cells and actually contribute to liver problems. The liver breaks down substances including medications. Zolpidem is broken down into molecules that resemble alcohol.
Most folks are aware of the relationship between alcoholism and liver disease, so it makes sense that the drug should not be prescribed at higher doses.
Ambien dosage should be measured exactly as the doctor prescribes it, to avoid overdose. Symptoms of an overdose include pin-point pupils, excessive sedation and depressed respiratory function. This could lead to coma and even death. It should never be combined with alcoholic beverages, opiates or CNS depressants as this could also be fatal.
Still, there are many people who take the medicine with no appreciable side effects, and it can work wonders for those who are losing sleep!