Ambien (Zolpidem) is an effective medication to treat insomnia by inducing sleep. Commonly known as a sleeping pill, It has relieved many by imparting sedative effects that keep the body and mind at peace.
But like any other hypnotic drug, a lot of side effects, abuse potential, and dependency issues are linked with the drug which has led the to study about the fatal risks that may follow Ambien administration. And one such buzz about Ambien is its association with increased risk of heart attacks.
Risks associated with Ambien administration
Ambien works by affecting the chemicals in the brain that are unbalanced leading to restless nights. The drug’s mode of action where neurotransmitters are involved contributes to abuse potential and several other side effects, some of which are anxiety, hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, sleep eating, poor motor coordination, impaired decision making and reasoning and the list doesn’t end here.
Recognizing all this, Ambien has been classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance in the US which means that the drug should be used only on the prescription that too with caution.
How ambien causes heart attacks?
The side effects of Ambien overdose or abuse has been known since long but it has been only recent that fatal cardiovascular effects such as heightened probability of heart attacks have been associated with this drug.This has been explained in terms of the correlation between apnea and heart attack. Studies suggest that over due course of time, Ambien worsens sleep apnea which is followed by heightened blood pressure, which in turn contributes to heart attacks, heart failures and strokes.
Not only this, another study found that exposure to Ambien can actually cause aortic dissection. The aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body, which if damaged would eventually lead to internal bleeding and might even end up in death too.So, the answer to the query that does Ambien increase risk of heart attacks is, unfortunately, yes! It can. There are scientific studies supporting this side of the debate.
But this does not confirm in any way that every individual consuming Ambien will eventually suffer from heart attack or any other cardiac issues. A generalized statement can still not be claimed as more research needs to be done to determine the extent of severity of this adverse effect as well as the contribution of other factors such as dosage in increasing the risk of the same effects in different individuals.
How to reduce the risk of heart attacks while on Ambien?
It may increase the risks of heart attacks but to what extent cannot be determined. Healthcare organizations and researchers are working towards understanding the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of the medication so that effect of the drug on the body can be clearly understood and the usual recommended dose can be revised to safer limits.
If you are already taking Ambien, a rule of thumb that you can follow is consume the medication strictly under health care provider’s supervision and do not ignore even mild side effects that you observe and believe is linked to drug administration. Going online to buy your medications may not be a good idea but it can be a great help in terms of savings if you could find a legitimate pharmacy online. Get to know how to order Ambien online safely without being prey to fraud pharmacies online. Inform your health care provider immediately so that mere ignorance of mild side effects does not turn into adverse or fatal ones such as heart attacks.
- Huedo-Medina TB, Kirsch I, Middlemass J, et al. Effectiveness of non-benzodiazepine hypnotics in treatment of adult insomnia: meta-analysis of data submitted to the Food and Drug Administration. BMJ 2012; 345:e8343. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
- Blennow K, de Leon MJ, Zetterberg H. Alzheimer’s disease. Lancet 2006; 368:387–403. [PubMed]
- Colten HR, Altevogt BM. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington (DC): National Academies Press; 2006. [PubMed]