Ambien and Interactions: Other Drugs, Alcohol, and More

drinking ambien

It takes a team of compassionate, trained professionals to get on the path to true healing. Although Ambien belongs to a different class of medicines than older drugs historically prescribed for sleep (such as benzodiazepines), it works similarly. Ambien (zolpidem) affects substance dependence chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with sleep problems (insomnia). Polydrug addiction – or when a person is addicted to more than one substance – is incredibly common. Unfortunately, polydrug use can also be highly dangerous and even deadly.

The side effects of mixing Ambien result from both Ambien and alcohol suppressing the central nervous system (CNS). Central nervous system depressants like alcohol and Ambien affect brain function, breathing, and heart rate. Therefore, mixing Ambien with another depressant can negatively dampen the CNS.

drinking ambien

Mixing Ambien and alcohol increases the risk of several health consequences. Addiction, on the other hand, affects the reward and learning centers of the brain and represents a much deeper problem. Overcoming addiction means long-term treatment and evidence-based therapies that address multiple issues. Certain medical conditions or other health factors may raise the risk of interactions with Ambien.

Ambien: What are 11 Things You Need to Know?

You may feel relaxed to the point of euphoria and a release of inhibitions. Because of this, sleep aids are sometimes taken in recreational settings where alcohol may also 3 ways to pass a urine drug test be present. To heighten the high, people may be inclined to drink alcohol at the same time. As a CNS depressant, Ambien can be exasperated by the effects of alcohol.

drinking ambien

Before taking Ambien, talk with your doctor about your health history. Before you start treatment with Ambien, tell your doctor and pharmacist if you take cannabis. By sharing this information with them, you may help prevent possible interactions. If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Certain health conditions or other factors could raise your risk of harm if you take Ambien. Keep reading to learn about Ambien’s possible interactions, including a list of drugs that you should not mix with Ambien.

Ambien is a relatively mild depressant when compared to benzodiazepines and barbiturates. They’re less likely to cause overdose, chemical dependence, and addiction. But misusing them can be dangerous, and they’re especially dangerous sleep drunkenness when mixed with other depressants or opioids. Alcohol can react poorly with a plethora of pharmaceutical drugs but mixing it with sleep aids can be deadly. Learn more about the risks that come with mixing Ambien with alcohol.

Treatment Process

With so many people suffering from insomnia, anxiety, and other sleep disorders, the prevalence of anti-anxiety sleep aids is understandable. 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. Do not share this medication with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have. The recommended doses of Ambien are not the same in men and women, and this drug is not approved for use in children. In fact, many of the recorded cases of Ambien overdose involve either intentional suicide or alcohol consumption.

  1. When taken together, Ambien and alcohol can have a number of side effects and potentially dangerous interactions.
  2. Drugs in this category are often called z-drugs because they often start with or incorporate the letter z in their names.
  3. And for more information about Ambien, including details about its uses, see this article.
  4. This is partly because of the prevalence of insomnia, which is the most common sleep disorder, characterized by trouble falling asleep.
  5. This is extremely dangerous since both Ambien and alcohol depress your central nervous system, slowing your heart rate and damaging your respiratory system.

It is intended for general informational purposes and is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your physician or dial 911. Like Ambien, other popular prescription sleep aids for insomnia such as Lunesta (eszopiclone) and Sonata (zaleplon), are CNS depressants. They’re known as “z-drugs” and should not be combined with alcohol, for the same reasons as Ambien. Symptoms can include shaking, stomach cramps, vomiting, nervousness, and panic attacks.

It takes longer to eliminate Ambien from the bodies of cirrhotic (diseased liver) patients. Drinking alcohol or taking other central nervous system depressants may raise the risk of sleep-related disorders. Additionally, older or debilitated individuals who take Ambien face a higher risk of serious alcohol-medication interaction. When you age, the body cannot metabolize alcohol or Ambien as effectively. This effect means both substances remain in the body longer, and alcohol and Ambien continue interacting. It’s also important to read Ambien’s label and other paperwork that comes with the drug.

Withdrawal symptoms of Ambien-alcohol

Many drugs can interact with zolpidem, making it less effective or increasing side effects. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using. When mixing Ambien with alcohol, there is a range of side effects a person may experience. These relate to how the drugs interact and affect the central nervous system. Common side effects usually relate to cognitive impairment as well as mental and physical health.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. The immediate-release tablet is used to help you fall asleep when you first go to bed. The extended-release form, Ambien CR, which has a first layer that dissolves quickly to help you fall asleep, and a second layer that dissolves slowly to help you stay asleep. If you believe someone is experiencing an Ambien overdose, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. Overdosing on Ambien can be incredibly dangerous and even deadly if not properly treated. In fact, individuals who mix alcohol and Ambien are more than twice as likely to require medical attention than those who only take Ambien.

When combined with alcohol or other CNS depressants, the risk of experiencing a fatal Ambien overdose is increased. Because both substances work on the same receptors in the brain, taking them together can cause compounding effects where the receptors are sent into overdrive. Studies show that people who misuse Ambien with alcohol are more likely to require emergency services and intensive care.

Overdose symptoms may include sleepiness, confusion, shallow breathing, feeling light-headed, fainting, or coma. Insomnia symptoms may also return after you stop taking Ambien, and may be even worse than before. Call your doctor if you still have worsened insomnia for the first few nights after you stop taking this medicine. Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Never take this medicine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Do not take zolpidem if you have consumed alcohol during the day or just before bed.

Find Polysubstance Misuse Rehab

The DAWN study reported that 57% of emergency room visits for Ambien overdose also involved another drug or alcohol use. Depression is a serious condition that can cause a lack of sleep. In others, symptoms of depression occur before the onset of sleep problems. As a result, many people with depression take sedatives such as Ambien.

Alcohol and Ambien Addiction Treatment

For example, sometimes alcohol, another drug, or a supplement can affect how a drug acts in your body. Interactions can also occur if you have certain health conditions. 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. Polydrug abuse (Ambien and alcohol) is an increasingly common — and deadly — issue in America, but it is highly treatable. If you or a loved one is addicted to Ambien and alcohol, do not attempt to detox at home, as this can land you back in square one, abusing drugs again.

For this reason, it’s still important to check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking Ambien. Ambien interacts with the supplement melatonin, which can also be used to aid sleep. So, taking them together may make you too drowsy and increase your risk of serious side effects. Your doctor will likely recommend that you avoid taking melatonin while you’re taking Ambien. You may have a higher risk of side effects from both Ambien and your benzodiazepine if you take these drugs together.

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