Ambien acts much different from other sedative drug and in fact it is a not a benzodiazepine drug. But still it acts on your brain, thus if Ambien is taken in large amounts, overdoes it going to be a problem. Ambien has been actively on the market since 1992 and the reported overdose effects have been studied since then. The dosage has been very strictly set for the Ambien and it is prescribed that one shouldn’t take more than Ambien 10mg per day. So on a rough sense overdose might by anything that is associated with ingesting Ambien more than 10mg a day. The recreational users and abusers are mostly at the risk of overdose.
How bad is an overdose for Ambien?
An overdose associated with any narcotic drug is dangerous to the human body. Let us see how these drugs work in order to understand how overdose creates a risk. The active compound in Ambien, zolpidem binds to special receptors in the brain which is a major part of the signaling cascade. The signaling is blocked due to a break in signaling process that happened because of binding of an external agent. Now here comes the tricky part either the drug blocks the normal signaling process and stays idle or they have a stimulatory process that will trigger another set of reaction when bound with other receptors which are usually sedation, anti-anxiety, hypnosis, etc. Ambien falls in the second category of medications. As a result, the patients suffering from disorders like insomnia fall asleep upon ingesting the drug.
When Ambien is taken in more than the required dose it creates problems in the brain as well other organs in the body like liver, kidney, spleen etc. The drug is known to worsen pre-existing liver problems like cirrhosis and other kidney problems, so doctors recommend much safer alternatives in such cases. An overdose can cause several effects in the human body like cognitive changes, headaches, nausea, vomiting, respiratory problems like difficulty in breathing, dizziness, fatigue, loss of appetite, stimulatory effects like a hallucination, ataxia, sleepwalking etc.
How Ambien overdose leads to addiction?
The overdose is the starter for addiction. Let us take the case of a recreational user. A person started taking Ambien in 10mg per day dose to achieve a mild sedative effect, but once the brain cells get used to the dose it will demand more intake in order to achieve the same effect that he/she experienced before. So the person will increase the dosage to say, 15–20mg in following days. This trend keeps on going for about a month or so during when if the person try to stop the usage of the drug he/she feels strong withdrawal syndromes pointing the status from dependence to addiction. It’s a warning call to consult a doctor for medical help. Say they continuously upped the dosage Ambien intake, they will finally reach a dosage at which point the organs can no longer withstand the high concentration of chemical components in the drug and the body starts to show unfavorable reactions due to the high dose. The user might lose normal body functions putting him into life threatening conditions. Hence Ambien should always be taken in the doses that are specified by you.