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Some people may experience side effects while taking Ambien. This may include lightheadedness, difficulty with coordination, and dry mouth, among other things. The majority are minor and do not require treatment, but there are also a number of potential side effects with Ambien that should be reported to a healthcare provider, such as confusion, strange behavior, and depression.
Ambien Side Effects: An Introduction
As with any medicine, there are possible side effects with Ambien® (zolpidem tartrate). However, not everyone who takes this medicine will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it well. When problems do occur, they are generally minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
In previous research studies, up to 4 percent of people taking Ambien stopped their medicine because of side effects. There also appears to be a relationship between the Ambien dosage and these problems. This is why it is recommended that you take the smallest possible dose of Ambien for sleep.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Ambien. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Ambien side effects with you.)
Ambien has been studied extensively in clinical trials, with 3,660 people having been evaluated. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people taking the drug were documented and then compared to side effects that occurred in another group of people not taking the medicine. As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the group not taking the medicine.
Based on these studies, the most common Ambien side effects include:
- Daytime drowsiness -- in up to 8 percent of people
- Dizziness -- up to 5 percent
- Diarrhea -- up to 3 percent
- Difficulty with coordination -- up to 3 percent
- Lightheadedness -- up to 2 percent.
Other side effects (occurring in more than 1 percent of patients) include, but are not limited to:
- Dry mouth
- Allergic reaction
- Heart palpitations
- Inflammation of the sinuses (sinusitis)
- Unexplained rash
- Abnormal dreams.