Insomnia Home > Ambien CR

Ambien CR is an extended-release sleep medicine that is often prescribed for the treatment of insomnia in adults. It has proven to be effective in treating a number of sleep difficulties, including problems falling asleep and waking up often during the night. Ambien CR is available in two strengths and comes in a tablet form that is taken once a day, immediately before bedtime. Possible side effects include headache, dizziness, and daytime drowsiness.

What Is Ambien CR?

Ambien CR™ (zolpidem tartrate extended-release tablets) is a prescription sleeping medication that has been licensed to treat insomnia in adults.
 

Who Makes It?

Ambien CR is manufactured by sanofi-aventis.
 

What Is Ambien CR Used For?

As mentioned, this medication is used to treat insomnia. It is used for a various number of sleep difficulties, including:
 
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Waking up often during the night.
     

How Does It Work?

Ambien CR is part of a class of medications called sedative/hypnotics, which are known more commonly as sleep medicine. Based on clinical studies, when compared to people who did not take Ambien CR, those who took the drug:
 
  • Fell asleep faster
  • Had higher-quality sleep
  • Had fewer awakenings.
     

When and How Do I Take It?

Some general considerations for when and how to take Ambien CR include the following:
 
  • The medication comes in tablet form. It is taken once a day, immediately before bedtime.
     
  • It is recommended that you take your Ambien CR dose with a glass of water, not after a meal, and not with food.
     
  • Ambien CR works quickly. Make sure that you are ready for sleep before taking it. Do not take the drug before driving or performing any tasks that require concentration.
     
  • Do not break, chew, or crush the tablets.
     
  • For Ambien CR to work properly, you have to take it as prescribed. The medication will not work if you take it differently than your healthcare provider has prescribed.
     
  • If you are still having trouble sleeping after seven to ten days, make sure to talk with your healthcare provider, as this may be a sign that something else (such as a medical condition) may be causing your insomnia.
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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