IRFANA PARVEEN
By Irfana Parveen

B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)

14 July 2022
Medically reviewed by
Freny Menezes
Pharm. D
is-ambien-a-controlled-substance
Table of Contents

The Department of Health and Human Services in the USA recommended that Searle's Ambien, a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic, be categorized in the schedule after research. Before understanding 'In which schedule is the medicine listed' and 'is Ambien a controlled substance' due to an addiction to the drug. Drug addiction is a neuropsychological disorder that leads to an urge to repeat activities; it alters brain functions and results in drug cravings.

Let's understand what Ambien is and how exactly categorizing its information will help us understand medicine more deeply.

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How Does Ambien Work?

Ambien is a 'GABA receptor agonist'. It works by enhancing the GABA effect in the central nervous system. These work exactly like benzodiazepines, such as Xanax and Valium. It is pertinent to fall asleep immediately after taking Ambien. Ambien comes in a quick form as well as an extended relief version. 

Ambien functions by attaching to neuroreceptors that gradually slow down brain activity. In the long run, it helps the user fall asleep more effortlessly and remain asleep. It comes in pill form and is designed to be taken instantly before the user goes to bed. Other brand names for the drug Zolpidem include

Prescription Needed!

Ambien is a prescription drug, meaning no one can buy Ambien without a prescription legally. In 2007 the FDA, i.e., The Food and Drug Administration department, described many situations where individuals who ordered Ambien got medicine with haloperidol. And from then after, it is declared prescription medicine. That means it cannot be purchased without a prescription. 

Is Ambien Addictive? Is It a Controlled Substance? 

Ambien is a Sedative-Hypnotics class drug. Ambien functions by starting the neurotransmitter GABA, which delays the brainiac and the central nervous system (CNS). Ambien is used to treat sleeplessness but is only planned for short-term use. There are two shapes of Ambien, a quick-release form that allows initiate sleep and an extended-release form that allows maintaining bedtime. Usage of either disorder can lead to Ambien's obsession. 

This nonbenzodiazepine "Z-Drug" was developed to maintain the same medical result as Benzodiazepines, like Xanax, without the identical dangerous and habit-forming belongings those drugs are known for. The creators of Ambien sold the drug as a slightly addictive option to Benzos for individuals with acute insomnia. Nevertheless, while it typically takes users extended to invent an addiction to Ambien than to Benzos, and withdrawal from Ambien is usually less severe and dangerous than Benzo withdrawal, Ambien is still an addictive substance. It is now recognized that Ambien has a similar abuse potential to Benzos.

Ambien is a controlled substance, a group of regulated medications, due to their potential risk of abuse and addiction. Ambien is a level IV-controlled substance, meaning it has a lower potential for danger and abuse than most other controlled substances, like opioids. Ambien is a sedative-hypnotic used for insomnia, preferably for short-term use.

Yes, the drug Ambien is a controlled substance due to the presence of abusive addiction to the drug. It is used as a control, meaning the patient takes it.
It would help if you took 10 mg of ambien per day, not more than recommended because it will lead to severe side effects on health.
It is used in insomnia patients; when you use it for more extended periods on a higher dose, it will be challenging to get rid of it, and it will be addictive to the users.

Signs of an Ambien addiction 

  • Refilling medications often.
  • Often taking enormous doses than prescribed.
  • Experiencing cravings for Ambien.
  • Engaging in dangerous situations without any memory of them later.
  • Spending large amounts of money on the drug.
  • Isolating oneself from family and friends.

Side Effects of Ambien-

Some side effects of the medicine are not common but can occur anywhere and anytime. Please keep your pharmacist in the loop with the following side effects.  

Mild Side Effects

Mild Side Effects of Ambien Can Include:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Grogginess
  • Dry Mouth
  • Headache
  • Somnolence
  • Nausea
  • Muscle Pain

Serious Side Effects- 

  1. Memory loss or dementia. 
    Trouble remembering data, names, dates, or places
  2. Anxiety.  
    trouble holding thoughts or emotions of worry
    feeling nervous, irritable, or on edge
  3. Sleep problems, 
     trouble falling asleep
  4. Unusual sleep behaviors,
    sleepwalking. 

Long-Term Side Effects and Next-Day Side Effects-

  • Allergic reaction. 
  • Behavioral changes, such as hallucinations. 
  • Withdrawal symptoms if the drug is stopped suddenly. 

How to fall asleep without Ambien

One needs to make many changes in their daily routine to sleep without Ambien. 

  • Remove color from your phone. 
  • Embrace wiggle room for a weekend wake-up time. 
  • Make your environment sleeping-friendly. 
  • Tap into your inner soul. 
  • Don't sleep on an empty stomach.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Ambien is a Sedative-Hypnotics class drug. Ambien functions by starting the neurotransmitter GABA, which delays the brainiac and the central nervous system (CNS). It works by enhancing the GABA effect in the central nervous system. These work at the exact location of benzodiazepines, such as Xanax and Valium.

Ambien is a controlled substance, a group of regulated medications, due to their potential risk of abuse and addiction. Some side effects of the medicine are not common, but they can occur anywhere and anytime.

  • Harrison, T.S., Keating, G.M. Zolpidem. CNS Drugs 19, 65–89 (2005). https://doi.org/10.2165/00023210-200519010-00008 Obtain On 14/07/2022

  • Caroline Victorri-Vigneau PhD, Marie Gérardin PharmD, Morgane Rousselet MSc, Marylène Guerlais PharmD, Marie Grall-Bronnec MD, PhD & Pascale Jolliet MD, PhD (2014) An Update on Zolpidem Abuse and Dependence, Journal of Addictive Diseases, 33:1, 15-23, DOI: 10.1080/10550887.2014.882725 Obatain On 14/07/2022

  • Scharf MB, Roth T, Vogel GW, Walsh JK. A multicenter, placebo-controlled study evaluating zolpidem in the treatment of chronic insomnia. J Clin Psychiatry. 1994 May;55(5):192-9. PMID: 8071269. 
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