Author: John Carter

Ambien and Interactions: Other Drugs, Alcohol, and More

drinking ambien

Some scientists believe the faster rate of zolpidem metabolism in men may be due to the enzyme-enhancing effects of testosterone. This means that Ambien’s effects are more likely to last longer in women. Plasma levels of zolpidem can be up to 50 percent higher in women. The inner layer dissolves more slowly and helps you stay asleep.

Over time, you could end up with a chemical dependence on this deadly cocktail of depressants. If you or a loved one cannot stop using Ambien and alcohol, it’s time to seek professional help. Ambien (zolpidem) is a prescription drug approved by the FDA, which is indicated for short-term use to treat insomnia. Ambien tablets contain the active ingredient zolpidem tartrate, a sedative-hypnotic drug. The brand-name and generic are available in immediate or extended-release form—called Ambien CR or zolpidem tartrate extended release. Do not share this medication with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.

Treatment for Ambien and alcohol addiction

Interactions can also occur if you have certain health conditions. But mixing Ambien or Zolpidem with alcohol enhances the consequences of both. Taken together, the substances are “potentiating”—meaning the depressant effects are exponential when mixed rather than linear—and the withdrawals are amplified. Because the mixture can lead to overdose and death, combining any amount of the two is unsafe.

Many people take zolpidem for legitimate reasons, for example, it is often taken by those with sleep disorders in order to get a more restful sleep. However, like many prescription drugs, it has habit-forming potential. Ambien, a brand name of the sedative zolpidem, is a hypnotic drug generally prescribed for insomnia. The drug works to calm your central nervous system by altering your brain chemicals, creating a conducive state for sleep. However, continued usage of Ambien decreases your ability to do ordinary tasks, like driving, and can lead to psychological and physical harm and fatal overdose. Before quitting, contact your nearest healthcare provider to discuss drug discontinuation.

Never take this medicine if you do not have a full 7 to 8 hours to sleep before being active again. See other ways you can address lack of sleep and think about joining the Sleep Disorders Support Group to ask questions and voice concerns. Consider doing yoga, a meditation course, or downloading a sleep App, such as Calm, Simple Habit, or Insight Timer. Your mind at night is a reflection of your mind during the day and finding ways to unburden it during the day of stressful thoughts can help with your sleep at night.

Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures. This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Do not stop using Ambien suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

drinking ambien

Some people using Ambien have engaged in activity such as driving, eating, walking, making phone calls, or having sex and later having no memory of the activity. If this happens to you, stop taking this medicine and talk with your doctor about another treatment for your sleep disorder. The immediate-release tablet is used to help you fall asleep when you first go to bed.

Alcohol, Ambien and Parasomnia

It’s also important to read Ambien’s label and other paperwork that comes with the drug. You may see colored stickers on the label that describe interactions. And the paperwork (sometimes called the prescribing information) may have other details about interactions. If you need help understanding this information, your doctor or pharmacist can help. Cannabis (marijuana) and cannabis products, such as cannabidiol (CBD), have been specifically reported to interact with Ambien. Cannabis may affect CYP3A4, which is an enzyme responsible for breaking down Ambien.

  1. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals.
  2. The prescription drug has central nervous system (CNS)-depressant effects, and mixing it with alcohol can increase the risk of severe health problems.
  3. Insomnia symptoms may also return after you stop taking Ambien, and may be even worse than before.
  4. Consider doing yoga, a meditation course, or downloading a sleep App, such as Calm, Simple Habit, or Insight Timer.
  5. Do not stop using Ambien suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Ambien (zolpidem) is a prescription drug used to treat insomnia (trouble sleeping) in adults. You can take this medication if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. The importance of proper treatment for substance abuse cannot be overstated. Recovery from addiction is not simply stopping Ambien use, alcohol or other drugs. The underlying causes of the addiction and damaging effects of substance abuse and related behaviors on physical and mental health should be identified and addressed.

How Long After Taking Ambien Can I Drink Alcohol?

Because they are both depressants, combining alcohol and Ambien can lead a person to an Ambien overdose, which requires intensive care as it can be fatal. Some people with alcohol use disorders may take Ambien as a short-term sleep aid without realizing the dangers. Others may have an Ambien addiction alongside other drug addictions. Taking Ambien when drinking or after drinking alcohol is not recommended. It’s also a good idea to avoid other depressants that may interact with Ambien. Even on its own, Ambien can have potentially severe and unpredictable side effects, and these negative outcomes are more likely if you mix Ambien with alcohol.

Tell your doctor if you’ve experienced unusual sleep behaviors, such as sleepwalking, sleep-driving, or other unusual behaviors after taking Ambien. These behaviors can be serious and even life threatening to you or others. If you’ve experienced these side effects from Ambien, your doctor will recommend a different treatment option for you. For more information on unusual sleep behaviors, see the “Boxed warning” section at the beginning of this article. The Recovery Village Ridgefield offers the best in comprehensive, professional drug detox and addiction treatment programs.

Drug information

Drugs such as Ambien (zolpidem) reportedly induce this side effect more than benzodiazepines do. So much so, that the terms “Z-drug Zombie” or “Ambien Zombie” are in common usage. These range from sleep-walking, hallucinations, cooking meals, binge eating, cleaning the house or even driving the car while in an altered state of consciousness.

Tell your doctor if your insomnia symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse after using this medication for 7 to 10 nights in a row. Do not take this medicine for longer than 4 or 5 weeks without your doctor’s advice. Ambien (zolpidem) affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with sleep problems (insomnia).

Likewise, any underlying mental health disorders should be diagnosed and properly treated. Although marketing literature might claim otherwise, the use of Zolpidem and Ambien can prove both habit-forming and addicting. For some individuals, Ambien abuse can trigger the desire to use other depressant drugs.

These same synergistic effects apply to the long-acting controlled release formulation of Ambien, Ambien CR. However, mixing Ambien CR and alcohol may result in prolonged side effects. Because of their similar effects on the brain, using alcohol and Ambien together can be dangerous.