stethascope 99Recently, Ambien safety has been called into question with particular attention to the dose used for sleep.  The concern is that over-medication effects, particularly in small women, may lead to episodes of amnesia or confusional states during sleep.

These do occur, and I have occasionally had patients report them.  Typically this occurs in the setting of exhaustion combined with using the medication, or alcohol, or mixing medications.  When taken alone, I’ve not seen Ambien effects like this in my practice.

That said, like all sleeping medications, Ambien should be used ‘as needed’ and in the lowest dose necessary to achieve the desired effect—this is just prudent use and prescribing approach.

At this time, if you feel you are getting over-medicated with your current dose, discuss lowering the dose, or taking 1/2 dose, to see how you would do with the medication, but do know that this warning is part of a long line of FDA issues that relate to sleeping medication and which occurs with all of the popular sleep aids.