Ambien (Zolpiderm) and Ambien CR (extended release) are commonly prescribed medications for insomnia marketed in the US by Sanofi-Aventis. The good news is that you will feel the sleep inducing effects of these meds very quickly. The bad news is that for some individuals, that’s the just the beginning. Unintended Ambien side effects impact not just the user but potentially others as well. There have been media reports of people going out for a sleep-drive on Ambien, which is very disturbing thought, as it per the side effect label, Ambien and Ambien CR “can impair alertness and motor coordination.” If you have depression, “worsening of depression or, suicidal thinking may occur.” Again, these are both warnings taken directly from the prescribing information supplied by Sanofi.
More common side effects experienced by about 20% of the people that use Ambien or Ambien CR are daytime drowsiness, dizziness and headaches. Factor in anxiety, disorientation, constipation, binge eating, hallucinations, nausea and GERD (heartburn); all in all there’s enough side effect potential to keep you up at night. Medicinenet.com has a more thorough listing.