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CNS depressants are drugs that consist of hypnotics, sedatives, and tranquilizers. These drugs help in treating panic attacks, anxiety, and sleep disorders. They slow down brain activity and treat different conditions. Ambien and alcohol are also CNS depressants. Ambien induces hypnotic effects on the body. Whereas, Alcohol works as a sedative drug. They both slow down the heart rate and the body of an individual. But the question here is; Can we take both drugs at the same time? Or can we mix alcohol and Ambien?

A glass containing a drink right next to a hand holding a bottle of pills.

Ambien, brand name Zolpidem, is a central nervous system depressant drug having hypnotic characteristics. This drug is basically prescribed to treat insomnia. It calms down CNS by altering brain chemicals. This drug is for short-term use only because of its addictive nature. Doctors prescribe to take Ambien at bedtime so that patients can have seven to eight hours of restful sleep.

Side effects of Ambien

Like every drug, Ambien also has some side effects. These side effects include:

  • Impaired driving
  • Decreased ability to do ordinary tasks
  • Drowsiness
  • Altered vision
  • Dizziness

Ambien has a strong potential for addiction and abuse. When a person uses Ambien for two or more than two weeks, there are chances that he will develop an addiction. This is the reason that it is for short-term use only. On the other hand, withdrawal symptoms are not much severe and dangerous. Most people do not realize that they have become addicted to Ambien. Then, how will they come to know about their addiction? There are some signs/symptoms that help in predicting addiction.

Signs that show Ambien addiction

Here are some signs that show a person has become addicted to Ambien:

  • Often and unusual refilling of prescription
  • Repeated use of a larger dose of the drug than prescribed
  • Cravings for the drug repeatedly
  • Doing dangerous things without any memory of them later
  • Spending a lot of money buying Ambien
  • Isolation from family and friends

The doctor advises strictly to monitor a patient taking Ambien for long-term use on a regular basis. If he becomes a victim of addiction, you should immediately consult a professional to avoid dangerous consequences.

Many people mix zolpidem and alcohol without knowing their severe effects. They basically do so to get relaxation and enhanced sleep. However, is it safe to mix zolpidem with alcohol? When people take Ambien alcohol together, they are more likely to face serious hazards. They together increase the toxic effects of the Ambien or enhance the toxic effects of each other. Therefore, you should not take Ambien with alcohol.

Both alcohol and Ambien slow down the system of the body. They enhance sleep and provide relaxation. Mixing Ambien and alcohol not only slows heart rate but also affects the respiratory system of the body. Physical and psychological impairments are also observed.

Read Also: Types of Alcohol

Patients also face memory problems while taking them together. They produce sedation that can lead to loss of consciousness, coma, or even Ambien and alcohol death in some cases. It is also said that people who consume them together are more likely to end up in the ICU.

Ambien-Alcohol interaction has some potential side effects. When you drink alcohol with Ambien it exaggerates the negative effects of it as well as harms the body more than Ambien alone. Side effects of Ambien-alcohol interaction are following:

  • Hallucinations
  • Memory loss
  • Slow heart rate
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Involuntary shaking
  • Delusions
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Fainting
  • Collapse
  • Dizziness
  • Sleepwalking
  • Drowsiness
  • Trouble in concentration
  • Impaired judgment
  • Less physical activity
  • Drowsiness

Precautionary measures must be taken to avoid the side effects of this interaction. But the question here is what can you do to save yourself from these side effects? The answer to this question is that you should adjust the dose regimen according to your doctor’s advice so that you can save yourself from these harms.

The lethal dose of Ambien and Alcohol

The lethal dose is the amount of drug that can lead to the death of an individual. The lethal dose of Ambien is approximately 2000mg by experts which is 200 times more than the normal dose. It totally depends on a person how he takes Ambien and reaches up to that lethal dose. But in most cases, the overdose of Ambien is noticed way before reaching the lethal dose. Whereas, a lethal dose of alcohol is 5-8g per kg for a 60kg person.

Ambien and alcohol mixing has some dangers as well. It can cause patients to face dangerous scenarios or situations. Somnambulance (Sleepwalking) is one of the fatal effects of taking Ambien and alcohol together. This mixing also slows down functions of the body to a dangerously low rate. Moreover, it increases tolerance and leads to overdosing on these two drugs.

The recommended dose of Ambien is 5-10mg. If a person passes this dose, the dangerous side effects of the drug will start appearing at 70mg. However, the overdose of Ambien is 400-600mg. It does not lead to death but it can cause permanent side effects which cannot be altered. On the other hand, the overdose of alcohol is 5-8g per kg.

Effects of overdosing Alcohol and Ambien

When a person takes an overdose, he will surely have some major effects. Effects in Ambien alcohol overdose are:

  • Pinpoint pupil
  • Cirrhosis
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Enlarged weakened heart
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Liver cancer
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Stroke
  • Respiratory impairment
  • Coma
  • Death

Ambien and alcohol mixing dangers can make a person think that you can die from Ambien and alcohol?  When you take a normal dose there are chances that you will have side effects that can be cured after consulting a professional.

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But overdose or lethal dose of these two can lead to the deathbed. Due to extreme effects like slow breathing and heart rate you can be unconscious or can have a coma which can cause death.

If a drunk person wants to take Ambien as a prescription drug, he should take it after a recommended time to avoid the side effects of mixing. It also depends on the type of alcohol you are taking. Doctors recommend taking Ambien after 2-3 hours of drinking. This will keep you safe from fatal effects. The other factor that we can consider is addiction. An alcohol addict can easily become addicted to Ambien too if he takes it right after drinking. Therefore, you must take it after some hours to avoid Ambien addiction as well as its side effects.

Is there any sleeping pill that is safe with alcohol?

Sleeping pills suppress the central nervous system while alcohol is also a CNS depressant. Mixing these two is extremely hazardous as they both perform the same functions. Doctors do not recommend taking them together whether they are dietary supplements or prescription aid sleeping pills. All sleeping pills have the same clinical uses so they can cause serious side effects. You should take them after hours of drinking alcohol.



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