Ambien CR Reviews

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Ambien CR is a prescription drug that is only legally available through a doctor’s permission and when that prescription is filled by a licensed pharmacy.  It’s important to understand the ins and outs of this medication before taking it.  The reason is that while these pills can be very helpful in overcoming insomnia symptoms, there are downsides to this drug as well.

By informing yourself, it provides you with the opportunity to ask questions of your doctor or pharmacist before you start taking Ambien CR.  This way, you can know it is the right option for you and that you will be taking it safely and for the best possible benefits.

What is Ambien CR?

Ambien CR is a prescription sleep aid that has been approved for use in the United States since 1992. Its generic form is zolpidem tartrate in an extended-release tablet. Ambien CR is typically prescribed in order to treat insomnia, which is a condition where the patient struggles to be able to fall asleep, or can’t stay asleep for long enough to achieve a satisfactory amount of rest.

How is Ambien CR Used?

The amount of Ambien CR typically prescribed is 12.5 mg. It should be used no more than one time every day, and should be taken right before bedtime, provided that you know that you will have eight full hours in which to dedicate entirely to sleeping. The dose for elderly, debilitated, or hepatically impaired patients should be half as much as the adult dose, at 6.25 mg and should be taken in the same way.

Since Ambien CR, labeled CR on the bottle, is an extended release tablet, it should never be broken, chewed, crushed, or divided, as it must be swallowed whole. This drug should not be taken with food or soon after having eaten a meal. Because it is designed for extended release, if it is taken with food or broken in any way when it is taken, it will cause the medication to be released into the bloodstream all at once, instead of gradually over time. This can lead to health consequences.

What Doses are Prescribed?

The only two doses of Ambien CR available are 12.5 mg and 6.25 mg, and the tablets are not scored as they should not be cut or broken. The packaging for this product should say Ambien CR.


Pay close attention to your sleeping habits while you take this medication so that you know whether or not it is working. If you don’t see any improvements in your symptoms of insomnia after having used the drug for seven to ten days, or if your symptoms worsen, it is important to speak with your doctor to discuss alternative therapies.

If this drug is taken several days in a row, withdrawal symptoms may occur if you stop taking it. Therefore, your doctor should recommend that you gradually reduce your use of the drug over time to limit the possibility of these unpleasant symptoms.

Ambien CR can have a depressant effect, and should therefore be prescribed with care to patients suffering from depression or who have suicidal thoughts, as it can worsen these symptoms. Typically, patients with depression should be given limited amounts so that overdose will not be possible.

Ambien CR And Medical Conditions

Before using Ambien CR, make sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history.  This is particularly true if you have or have had any of the following:

  • A personal or family history of substance use disorder (drugs/alcohol abuse)
  • Mood or mental health problems including suicidal thoughts or depression
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • A personal or family history of sleepwalking
  • Breathing or lung health problems such as sleep apnea or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Myasthenia gravis

Ambien CR affects children and older adults differently.  These age groups may be more sensitive to the drug’s effects.  This can be particularly problematic in terms of more common and severe side effects such as:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Hallucinations
  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Unsteadiness

There is a heightened risk of falling when using this medication, particularly among children and older adults.

This medication should be considered a last resort to be used during pregnancy and only when used with the clear guidance of a doctor who knows of your pregnancy and the impact of this medication.  This medication is known to affect unborn babies.  When this medication is used during the last three months of pregnancy, those babies may develop breathing troubles, unusual sleepiness, withdrawal symptoms, or unusual limpness. If you notice unusual symptoms in your newborn, seek immediate medical assistance.

This medication may pass into breast milk and may have unwanted effects on breastfeeding infants. Always seek medical advice before taking this medication if you are breastfeeding your baby, and if you notice any unusual symptoms in the baby, also seek immediate medical assistance.

2 comments to Ambien CR Reviews

  • Alan Ashworth

    Still unsure, can ambien 12.5, be effective cut in half, in other words, a 6.25 milligram pill for a 4-5 hour sleep ?

  • Ron Smith

    Regular Ambien will almost instantly put me to sleep but only for a couple of hours. Controlled Release will not put me to sleep at all leaving me sleep deprived the next day.

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