Ambien ( Zolpidem) is a common medication used for the treatment of insomnia. This medication is intended for short-term use, 2-6 weeks, and can be addictive. The Food and Drug Administration approved this medication in 1997, but with restricted controls.
There have been many different side effects associated with the use of Ambien. These include sleepwalking, short-term memory loss, and sleepiness up to eight hours after taking the initial dose. Recently, new information has been released showing the users of Ambien, especially women, have impaired abilities when it comes to driving the morning after they take the medication, even if they “feel” fully awake.
Ambien and Metabolism
Several studies have been conducted on the different effects that Ambien has on men and women. While no specific reason can be found at this time, it has been proven over and over again that men metabolize Ambien faster than women.
Additional studies have also been conducted on the effects of Ambien on driving, eight hours after the medication has been given. These results have found that:
- Ambien 10mg. 15 percent of women and 3 percent of men still had at least 50-ng/ml in their blood stream eight hours after taking the medication. The 50-ng/ml mark is considered to cause impaired driving.
- Ambien CR 12.5mg. 33 percent of women and 25 percent of men had over 50-ng/ml in their blood streams after eight hours.
Out of all these tests, five percent of all patients, regardless of sex, had 100-ng/ml remaining in their bloodstream after eight hours.
Ambien and Car Accidents
Over 700 car accidents have been reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as being directly connected to the use of Ambien. This high number of incidences has made the FDA issue a safety warning on January 10, 2013 stating that the dosage for both of these medications must be decreased in women and it is also recommended that the dosages are decreased for men.
For regular Ambien, the dosage for women will be cut from 10mg to 5mg. Men may take either dose. For Ambien CR, the dosage for women will now be 6.25mg from 12.5 mg. Again, men may take either dose.
Due to the high incidence rate for morning-after car accidents, the FDA has recommended that these dosing guidelines go into effect immediately. The FDA stated in its news release that it will continue to monitor this drug to see if the decreased dosage amount will help eliminate the drowsiness associated with the drug the day after taking it or if further dosing reductions may need to be applied. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, we cannot accept cases involving this product at this time. However, that could change very quickly if the government were to investigate, find a defect and order a recall. Accordingly, we recommend that you contact the Food and Drug Administration (www.fda.gov) and inform them of your concerns.