Is Ambien A Controlled Substance
Ambien has become one of America’s most popular sleep medications for treating insomnia. It was developed by Eli Lilly & Co., which markets it under brand names such as Restoril and Ambien. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Ambiens use in 1994, after studies showed that it reduced time spent sleeping from an average of 6 hours per night down to 4 hours on average.
The active ingredient in Ambien is zolpidem tartrate; its main purpose is to reduce the effects of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Zolpidem works differently than other sedative hypnogens like barbiturates and benzodiazepines. Instead of altering your overall level of consciousness, it affects specific areas of your brain, including those responsible for keeping you alert and maintaining memory.
Zolpidem causes drowsiness but does not make you feel groggy. You should still get up out of bed if you need to go to the bathroom during the night. If you wake up feeling confused or disoriented, call your doctor right away. These side effects are more common when taking higher doses over longer periods of time:
Sleepwalking, talking, laughing, or being unresponsive
If you experience any of these symptoms, take another dose at bedtime until they stop. Never drive or operate machinery while using Ambien. In addition, do not drink alcohol while taking this medication.
You should also avoid consuming grapefruit products before or with your Ambiens intake and avoid certain herbal remedies used to treat anxiety or depression, including St John’s wort, kava kava, valerian root, and chamomile tea. Taking Ambien with any of these substances could cause serious health problems, including potentially fatal outcomes.
Because of the risk of dependency, Ambien must only be taken under medical supervision. People who have had heart attacks or strokes should consult their doctors before taking it. Those with high blood pressure, breathing problems, or liver disease should also ask their physicians about taking it.
People who suffer from severe allergies should also check with their doctors, since some types of food interact badly with this drug. For people with diabetes, taking Ambien can raise blood sugar levels, so talk with your physician before doing so. Some people with epilepsy have reported seizures while taking Ambien. If you smoke cigarettes, drinking alcohol, or regularly use street drugs, you may want to consider avoiding Ambiens altogether.
While we know that Ambiens helps millions of Americans fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer, there are some questions regarding how exactly it works in the body. Is it actually possible to overdose on Ambien? And what happens if you mix Ambien with another type of tranquilizer? Let’s find out.
What Happens When Someone Overdoses On Ambiens?
According to the National Poison Data System, between 2000 and 2009, there were 7,867 cases of accidental poisoning due to tranquilizers. Of these, 5,948 involved benzodiazepine derivatives like Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, and Prozac. An additional 1,819 victims took antidepressants like Effexor, Paxil, Lexapro, Zoloft, Celexa, and Pristiq.
In 2010 alone, poison control centers received reports of more than 2 million exposure cases involving prescription sedatives and tranquilizers. This means that someone somewhere will likely receive a phone call from a concerned friend or family member in the next few weeks asking them whether they’ve experienced any unusual behavior following their last trip to Walgreens or CVS.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out well when people take too much of anything. For example, caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant found naturally in coffee beans and many other plants. As a result, it is often referred to as the “cocaine” of the plant world. Because of its popularity, however, it is also commonly used as a performance enhancer and energy booster.
When taken without moderation, caffeine can produce adverse reactions ranging from mild headaches to deadly cardiac arrhythmias. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, caffeine toxicity accounts for around 80 percent of all accidental deaths related to recreational drugs.
Since Ambiens contains relatively small amounts of both zolpidem and nordiazepam, users aren’t expected to show signs of overdosing on it. However, it would be wise to keep this information in mind if you ever happen across someone who appears to have overdosed on something containing either of these ingredients.
Mixing Other Drugs With Ambiens
It is important to note that mixing other drugs with Ambiens can produce dangerous results. While no fatalities have been directly linked to mixing Ambien with another drug, taking it in combination with other CNS depressants can increase the risk of death significantly.
Some of the most common combinations include combining Ambien with alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and/or other sedative hypnotics. To learn more about these risks, visit our website.
Given the widespread use of Ambiens, it makes sense that plenty of people wonder if it is considered a controlled substance. We’ll explore this question further below.
How Does Ambiens Work In Your Brain?
We already mentioned that Ambiens works by blocking receptors in your brain where GABA (gamma amino butyric acid) binds. But how does this affect your overall state of consciousness?
Gamma amino butyric acid is a natural brain chemical produced inside your cells. Its function is to help regulate your neurons’ activity. If there is less gamma amino butyric acid available to perform this role, then your neurons don’t communicate effectively to each other. They lose their ability to function properly, causing various neurological disorders.
This is why Ambiens prevents your brain from producing enough gamma amino butyric acid in order to maintain normal brain chemistry. Since your neurons cannot produce adequate amounts of this essential brain chemical, they begin to shut down, resulting in lower electrical impulses throughout your entire brain.
Your overall level of consciousness becomes lowered, allowing you to drift off into dreamland. As far as we know, Ambiens produces no physical addiction potential or withdrawal effects when taken as prescribed. However, we advise you to speak with your doctor before beginning treatment.
Are There Any Side Effects From Using Ambiens?
There are some minor side effects associated with long-term use of Ambiens, but none that are particularly harmful. Most of these side effects disappear within a day or two once you discontinue use.
One of the most common side effects is daytime drowsiness. Another is dizziness, especially when moving suddenly. Headache occurs in roughly 20 percent of patients taking Ambiens. Eye pain, dry mouth, constipation, and nausea also occasionally occur.
Other rarer side effects include hallucinations, difficulty urinating, increased appetite, rash, sweating, and trembling. In some cases, these side effects can be very uncomfortable and require immediate attention. Should you notice any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
Most people tolerate Ambiens fairly well, although some may experience unpleasant side effects from time to time. Patients who experience extreme discomfort or side effects should discuss their options with their healthcare providers.
Can Ambiens Be Used Abroad Or Internationally?
Yes, Ambiens can be purchased legally worldwide. Many countries allow this medication to be sold over-the-counter, usually under a different name. Make sure you purchase your medicine from reputable retailers, preferably pharmacies instead of grocery stores or convenience shops.
Amniens is classified as a Schedule IV substance in the United States. As such, it is illegal to buy, sell, trade, give away, distribute, dispense, or possess it with intent to manufacture or distribute. Anyone caught purchasing, selling, trading, or possessing Ambiens faces heavy penalties.
Should you accidentally come into possession of this medication, do not consume it. Call your local poison control center or emergency services immediately. Do not put Ambiens down any drain or waste water system. Throw it away rather than flush it down the toilet. If you suspect that someone else has consumed it, seek professional assistance immediately.
Is Ambiens Illegal Elsewhere?
Many countries have similar laws prohibiting anyone from obtaining, owning, or even just having access to schedule IV narcotics like Ambiens. Although it might seem strange, the reason for this is simple. Like any other powerful addictive substance, Ambiens can easily lead to addiction. Once addicted, it is extremely difficult to break free from the habit.
For this reason, governments worldwide ban the sale of Ambiens unless absolutely necessary. Even though Ambiens has never been proven to pose a threat to public safety, it is simply too risky to leave it uncontrolled.
As stated above, if you think that someone else has ingested Ambiens, please consult your nearest hospital or call 911 immediately. Do not attempt to induce vomiting yourself. Get the victim to a medical facility as soon as possible.
Does Ambiens Have Generic Options Available?
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