Drugs:Fact and Fiction/Depressants/Zolpidem (Ambien)

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Terbutaline molecule

One of the most popular prescription sedative-hypnotics, zolpidem, commonly known as Ambien is used as a sleep aid. At prescribed doses, the patient will notice drowsiness within 20-60 minutes within consumption of dose.

Prescription doses of zolpidem include:


  • 5 mg
  • 10 mg

Ambien CR (Time-Release version)

  • 6.25 mg
  • 12.5 mg

How Zolpidem Works

Zolpidem works by binding preferentially to the omega-1 (BZ-1) receptor subtype of the GABAA receptor complex. This subtype is thought to be the one most closely associated with sleep.

In contrast, benzodiazepines do not have a receptor preference, so they bind to—and activate—all omega (BZ) receptor subtypes. Other omega (BZ) receptor subtypes are associated with anxiolytic, myorelaxant, and anticonvulsant activity.

As Described on Ambien.com