Ambien was an effective non-benzodiazepine drug, which was doctor’s favorite in therapeutically fixing sleep disorders like insomnia. The early version of Ambien was fast acting but it was very ineffective in maintaining the drug effect after the initial hike. Thus an extended formulation was later released in the market. Recently FDA suggested some change with the dosing of Ambien and Ambien-CR (the extended formulation) in order to optimize a safe usage. The basic dosage was devised according to the biological factors like body weight, the presence of anemia, history of heart disease, hyper bilirubin etc. After considering several biological interactions the dosage was revised in April 2013 by the FDA. Earlier it was prescribed 10 mg for an insomniac patient, but now they cut the dosage to half that.
Zolpidem, the active compound in Ambien like to retain in the blood even after 7- 8 hours of usage. An average person only sleeps around 7 hours before they leave for work, next day. In such cases, Ambien presence might affect their daily chores. FDA has recommended the company to reduce the dosage in women due to certain hormonal interaction. Also, the dosage should be as low as possible in case of this medication because they have been processed by the liver and high dose might damage the functioning of the liver.
What is current dosage status of Ambien approved by the FDA?
For treating insomnia the recommended initial Ambien dosage is 5mg for women and 5mg or 10 mg for men, where it is decided by the doctor depending on the health condition of the user. It is strictly recommended not to use more than 10 mg of Ambien a day, for both men and women. The drug should be taken only before your bed time. Since it is fast action drug, preferably 15 minutes before the bed is convenient time duration one should follow.
According to the latest news, FDA approved Ambien dosage for CR or the extended release version has been reduced from 12.5 mg to 6.25 mg for women, whereas the dosage can be either 6.25 or 12.5mg for men depending upon doctor’s decision. The presence of the drug in blood even after waking in the morning makes it riskier for the user to engage in normal daily doings like driving, reading, jogging etc. Also, FDA has issued a warning that people suffering from hepatic disorder or liver disease are not entertained to use the Ambien drug, but lowest dose might be preferred under special conditions.
How does dose strength influence medication?
Ambien has powerful drug effect, unlike other benzodiazepine drugs. Even a 1 mg increase of the dosage has 10 times more impact on the brain. Ambien acts on a special population of GABA receptors unlike the more generally acting benzodiazepine drugs. So, even a small variation in strength might have drastic output. With an idea to decrease the morning hangover of Ambien, FDA decreased the dosage to halves of its original. So never self-medicate Ambien and make sure you stick utterly with your doctor’s recommendation.