The efficiency and safety of Ambien can be altered by the food or other drugs we take alongside. Use this article to find out about the most common Ambien interactions.
Ambien Food and Drug Interactions
Ambien is one of the most widely used sedatives. More than half a million Americans take this drug to normalize their sleep. However, not all of them apply this drug safely either because of the lack of knowledge or because of neglecting the common recommendations to the drug intake.
The question of the safety of concomitant use of different medications with Ambien is now as important as it can only be. Why? Based on the statistics, about 250,000 people in the United States abuse Ambien. The main problem in this regard is that the bulk of these people use the drug without consulting their healthcare providers. Naturally, many people get into serious trouble when they don’t know the way Ambien impacts other medications and vice versa.
Ambien: the General Notion about the Drug
Zolpidem is a generic name for Ambien. This substance is considered to be habit-forming, thus the preparations containing it, including Ambien, are on the list of the prescription-only drugs.
Ambien belongs to the sedative-hypnotic group of drugs. They have a similar effect with the benzodiazepines, yet their potential for abuse is considered lower. Zolpidem affects the levels of gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the human brain. This chemical performs the function of an inhibitory neurotransmitter. The growth of its amount results in slowing down the nerve reactions of the organism, in other words, you get relaxed and calm when on Ambien.
Ambien is generally recommended to be used on an empty stomach. If taken with or after a meal, the onset of action of the drug is delayed. Based on the results of the study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, the absorption of the drug from the gastric tract is significantly altered in patients taking the medication with a meal. The scientists claim that taking Ambien on a full stomach, the likelihood of residual sedation gets higher with all the possible risks following.
Can you drink caffeinated coffee when on Ambien? According to the studies, caffeine doesn’t impose any antagonist-like effects on zolpidem. What’s more, one of the research revealed that caffeine can even slightly enhance the sedative effects of Ambien. Therefore, a cup of coffee won’t change the way the drug works for you.
Alcohol When on Ambien: Is It Safe?
This one is one of the most hazardous interactions of Ambien. Both the drug and alcohol act by depressing the CNS, they work in synergy, exacerbating their negative impact on all organs and systems. Drinking alcohol and taking an Ambien pill together can result in:
- Shallow, slow breathing;
- Mood changes;
- Poor coordination.
In severe cases, their concomitant intake can lead to cardiac arrest and even death. Therefore, you should never mix these two.
How Does Ambien Interact with Benzos?
The problem of concomitant intake of Ambien and Xanax, Valium, or some other drugs belonging to benzodiazepines, appears mostly in those, who use these medications for getting high. The major threat of such a mixture is that both types of preparations have very similar effects, including side effects.
You should never take Ambien and Xanax or Valium together, as you’ll significantly increase your risks for developing adverse reactions like:
- Impaired thinking;
- Trouble concentrating;
- Problems with coordination;
- Partial memory loss.
These are only some of the possible reactions. The other issue, which is common for either of the drugs, is their potential for abuse. A person may develop the habit several times faster if Ambien and Xanax are taken together. In fact, combining these substances, you may even get into a life-threatening situation.
Knowledge and self-discipline are the only ways to avoid serious health problems associated with Ambien and alcohol and drug interactions. Informing your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take is crucial. Chasing for high, mixing Ambien with benzodiazepines, antidepressants, or other CNS-affecting medications, you risk losing everything, including your life. Is it really worth it?