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