Ambien and other forms of zolpidem should be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
Tablets are available in strengths of 5 mg and 10 mg.
Extended release tablets are available in strengths of 6.25 mg and 12.5 mg.
If you have taken Ambien before, your doctor may now prescribe a lower dose, because the FDA lowered the recommended dose in 2013.
New information shows that levels of the drug in some patients may be high enough to cause impaired activities, especially those that require alertness, the morning after using Ambien.
The recommend Ambien dose is lower in women than men.
Here are some general rules for taking Ambien:
- Swallow Ambien tablets whole; do not crush, divide, or chew them.
- Do not take with or right after a meal.
- Take right before you get into bed and only when you are able to stay in bed for an entire night (7 to 8 hours) before being active again.
- Within 7 to 8 hours of taking Ambien, do not perform activities that require mental alertness or coordination.
Zolpidem sublingual tablets (Edluar) are available in strengths of 5 mg and 10 mg.
Place the sublingual tablet under the tongue, where it will disintegrate. Do not swallow the tablet or take it with water.
Zolpidem oral spray (Zolpimist) is available as a cherry-flavored spray solution in a container. Each spray delivers 5 mg of zolpidem.
Zolpidem rapid-acting sublingual tablets (Intermezzo) are available in strengths of 1.75 mg and 3.5 mg.
Take the rapid-acting sublingual tablet in bed when you wake up in the middle of the night and have difficulty going back asleep.
While in bed, place the tablet under your tongue and allow it to break apart completely. Do not swallow it whole.
An overdose of Ambien can be fatal.
Symptoms of an Ambien overdose include extreme drowsiness, weakening of heart and breathing function, and coma.
If you think you have taken too much Ambien, or someone else has taken too much, seek emergency medical attention immediately to get appropriate treatment.
Missed Dose of Ambien
Ambien and other forms of zolpidem should be taken only as needed.
You can take Ambien even if it is later than your usual dosage time, as long as you will be able to remain in bed for an entire night (7 to 8 hours) before being active again.
Ambien can cause dependence, so do not stop the medication abruptly without talking to your doctor.
Stopping the medication abruptly can make your insomnia worse, cause you to feel depressed, or lead to withdrawal symptoms such as stomach and muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, tremors, and seizures.