An Ambien overdose can occur when an individual ingests more of this medication than the body can readily process. Ambien (zolpidem tartrate), is reported to be one of the most commonly prescribed prescription sleep medications in the United States. Ambien is a sedative that is supposed to be used for the short-term treatment of insomnia; instead, this sleep aid is currently being liberally prescribed by physicians throughout the United States for the long term treatment of insomnia a person can develop an addiction to Ambien, when they use the medication regularly for an extended period of time. An addiction to Ambien can occur if the user begins to take more of the drug than has been prescribed, or by the improper use of the medication; improper use can include crushing the drug in order to snort or to melt it down for injection. Injecting or snorting leads to the rapid release of the drug into the bloodstream and will increase the user's risk of an Ambien overdose.
Ambien use can cause a number of negative side effects that can impair the user's thinking or reaction, and a person who takes the drug may still feel groggy the morning after they have taken the drug. Until a person knows exactly how they will respond to this potent sleep aid during waking hours, they should not drive or do any other type of activity that requires them to be awake and alert. Ambien has been classified as a sedative, but it is also reported to be a hypnotic; Ambien (zolpidem tartrate), belongs to a group of medications that slow down the nervous system (CNS depressants). The high incidence of Ambien overdose reports in the United States have commonly been linked to individuals that have developed a tolerance to the powerful sleep aid, and must take more and more of the drug in order to be able to be able to attain the desired, initial effect.
Ambien abuse refers to an individual using the drug apart from the primary reason of solving insomnia, which is what the drug is prescribed for. When Ambien is taken in larger amounts than the recommended dosage, it has been reported to cause a number of possible side effects, which could include, an increased risk in the incidence of sleepwalking episodes, unusual drowsiness, and, in rare instances, may induce a coma; additionally, taking large doses of the drug could cause the user to experience an Ambien overdose. Combining Ambien with alcohol can greatly increase some of the medication's side effects; additionally, combining alcohol or other drugs with this medication puts the user at a higher risk for an Ambien overdose.
Even when it has been taken as prescribed, Ambien may possibly cause a number of side effects that can include: disturbances in motor coordination, slurred speech, body weakness, strange thinking patterns that may be characterized by suicidal thoughts, agitation, nervousness, depression, emotional instability, anxiety, joints and muscle pains, double vision, nasal and throat irritation, constipation and amnesia. Additional sides effects of Ambien, that are not as common may include, back pain, panic attacks, and depression. The most unusual and bizarre Ambien side effect are the reports of users wandering around and exhibiting extremely erratic behavior. There has also been an increase in the number of reports in which Ambien users have engaged in activities such as eating, drinking, driving or making phone calls, and having absolutely no memory of the activity; when an individual is in this fugue type of a state, they could unknowingly take more of the medication an experience an Ambien overdose.
An Ambien overdose can cause the user to become confused and to be extremely sleepy; additional symptoms of an overdose of the drug may include, but are not limited to: heartbeat irregularities slowed breathing and other respiratory complications, slow pulse rate, and in some instances, an Ambien overdose could lead to death. If a person thinks that they have taken too much of this medication, they may be at a risk for an Ambien overdose and should immediately seek emergency medical attention as soon as possible.
The treatment for an Ambien overdose could include medical personnel administering certain medications or placing a tube in the stomach of the user to "pump the stomach" of its contents; however, once the drug has been absorbed into the body, there is no treatment that can remove it completely. Medical treatment for an Ambien overdose will involve the close monitoring of both the heart and the lungs.