Is it reasonable to take a low dose Ambien if

Patient

Q: Is it reasonable to take a low dose Ambien if I'm the only adult caring for 2 young children overnight or might I be too sedated if a need arises? It is also reasonable to drive the children first thing in the morning even if I feel awake?

Symptoms:  Sleep problems
Doctor

A:   Welcome to Ask The Doctor.
We are here to help you on this medical health advice platform.

Ambien contains Zolpidem which is used for short term treatment of insomnia. This medicine makes you sleep immediately after it's intake (however effect is dose dependent). So, if you have to take care of small kids, i would not advice you to take it, as the sedation can be so much that you may not get up, in night if your kids need you. It is usually said it's hangover effects are very less next morning, but it is not the rule as many people do get them. Now, if we see particularly in your case, you would take the in the night and get a disturbed sleep due to recurrent awakenings by your kids, you will have the hangover effect the next morning which might interfere with your judgement abilities while driving which can pose a risk to yourself and your kids while you drive with effected judgment ability.

So, personally, i don't use this medicine in my patients with case scenario's like as of yours and even won't recommend you to use it.
In case you have trouble inducing sleep in the night, you can try mild anxiolytics like Etizolam for the purpose. It will have an advantage of very minimal sedation as well as it doesn't cause hangover the next morning as it's half life is just a few hours.
Share my opinion with your doctor before acting upon it.

I hope it helps. If you have any further query, please ask me.
Stay Healthy.

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: Thank you. Can I ask what your board certified specialty is?
Doctor: Hello, I am an Internal Medicine Specialist.
Good Luck.

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