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Ambien is a prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the short-term treatment of insomnia in people who have trouble falling asleep. Ambien is also known by its drug name, Zolpidem. Ambien is sometimes prescribed to treat sleep problems in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Ambien may be considered in cases where non-drug approaches have failed to address these symptoms. Since the FDA has not approved Ambien specifically for use in people with Alzheimer’s, this usage may be considered “off-label.”

Ambien is a hypnotic, or sleeping pill, of the imidazopyridine class. Ambien is believed to work by slowing brain activity.

How do I take it?
Ambien is taken once daily at bedtime.

Ambien is available as a tablet.

Side effects
The FDA-approved label for Ambien lists common side effects including drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, feeling “drugged,” balance and coordination problems, visual changes, feelings of euphoria, sinus congestion, dry mouth, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain.

Rare but serious side effects listed for Ambien can include severe allergic reactions and performing awake activities such as driving while in a sleep-like state.

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