Chronic insomnia has been a great problem for a few centuries. As industrialization bloomed, sleep pattern among people changed a lot. Mainly, office workers are the prime victims for insomnia. In a medical context, insomnia is a habitual sleep deprivation or inability to stay asleep caused by various factors ranging from stress to being a symptom of some disease. Basically, Ambien is the brand for the chemical formulation zolpidem, which was primarily used as a sedative. Ambien is one of the effective medicines which will induce sleep in insomniac patients by acting on GABA transmission in the brain. If you want to know how Ambien works on the human system, you must understand the chemical nature of the drug. Most of the GABA receptor-based drugs belongs to benzodiazepine families like Xanax and Klonopin, whereas Ambien is a non-benzodiazepine drug which works similar to benzo family. Their generic name is Zolpidem, which is a prescription drug around US, Australia, and Canada. They bind to a specific receptor in the brain (GABA receptor), thereby altering the chemical signal. Its effects are mainly sedative and hypnotic such that, it is a great option to treat insomnia and preferred over benzodiazepine drugs by physicians.
How much time does it take Ambien to get activated?
Unlike other drugs, Ambien has a very quick mode of action by releasing the chemical molecules within 15 – 20 minutes on reaching the stomach. Usually, an insomniac patient would take a pill with a concentration of 2-10 mg as prescribed by the doctor. As soon as the pill dissolves, it starts working by inducing sleep. There is a two layer coating for the pill in the case of Ambien CR, where the first layer helps in inducing sleep and the slower dissolving second layer would help to maintain the sleep. Since it is fast acting drug, doctors prescribe the patients take the pill just before the bedtime, in another case it might result in faintness and loss of consciousness. The pill has a half-life of 3-5 hrs, whereas the effect of Ambien pills can take 7-8 hours long to clear from the body. So, usually, patients are recommended not to engage in any physical activities as soon as they wake up.
Will Ambien cause addiction?
It has been shown in a study that, Ambien do have an addiction syndrome, where a lot of patients find it difficult to live without the aid of the drug. So, physicians suggest the medicine as a short term remedy lasting for 2-6 weeks, before reaching the final course where they would reduce the dosage, before finally stopping the medicine. This artificial exercising of the brain using Ambien would be enough to create a sleep pattern, but still, if the patient has a recurrence of insomnia or on stopping the medication, further check-ups and changes in the course has to be done.