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How Effective Is Zolpidem for Pain?

By Jodee Redmond
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Prescribing zolpidem for pain management is unusual for physicians, although it may help to relieve some symptoms. This medication is also known as Ambien® and is usually prescribed for patients who are experiencing insomnia. Since this drug is a sedative which causes muscles to relax, it can provide some level of pain relief for those who are experiencing this type of discomfort. Using zolpidem may cause muscle pain and cramping in some patients, and this is one of the drug's side effects.

This medication is generally prescribed as a short-term treatment for insomnia. A person who takes it for more than 14 days may find that it no longer helps them to be able to slow down at night and drift off to sleep. People who are still finding they need help to get to sleep after a few weeks should consult their doctor to discuss their medication options, which may include switching to a different drug for longer-term use.

A patient who is experiencing tight muscles due to anxiety or other medical conditions may find taking zolpidem for pain helpful. This medicine is classified as a nonbenzodiazepine. Like other drugs in this category, it works as a sedative, or "downer." It helps the user to relax and drift off into sleep. Once the person has fallen asleep, ambien can help him or her stay asleep longer.

While taking zolpidem for pain is not the usual reason for prescribing this medication, the patient should make sure that his or her doctor knows about any other drugs being taken. Combining zolpidem with alcohol or similar medications can increase the drug's sedative effects exponentially. The doctor needs to know about any medications the patient is taking, whether they are available over the counter, prescribed drugs or illegal ones. The patient should also disclose whether he or she is using any herbal remedies or taking vitamin supplements, since the medication can react with them as well.

Side effects of zolpidem include muscle cramping and aching, feeling drowsy or "hung over" in the morning after taking it and dizziness. A person taking zolpidem for pain or any other reason may also experience headaches, stomach upsets or a dry mouth. Women of childbearing years who take zolpidem may experience heavier than usual menstrual periods. Some people become addicted to the drug, and experience physical withdrawal symptoms if they try to stop using it all at once. Achiness and cramping may be signs of this condition.

A patient who is considering taking zolpidem for pain should discuss the type and severity of the discomfort with his or her doctor. There are a number of choices available for someone who is in pain. The doctor and the patient can work together to find one that works.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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