Frequently Asked Questions
Is Ambien a controlled substance?
Yes. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has labeled Ambien a Schedule IV substance. This means that it is thought to have relatively lower potential for abuse and risk of dependence compared with higher scheduled drugs such as heroin and cocaine.8 However, this classification does not mean that it cannot be abused or cause tolerance or dependence.2
Is Ambien safe?
Ambien is safe to use, provided that a medical professional has prescribed it and that you use Ambien as intended. Ambien does have side effects, even when used properly, including:1
- Allergic reactions such as swelling and skin reactions.
- Dry mouth.
If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor. If Ambien doesn’t help your sleep problems after 7-10 days, it’s recommended you talk to your doctor about different options.1
Does Ambien cause weight gain?
Weight gain is not listed as a side effect by the company or the FDA.1 However, there have been a handful of incidences where complex behavioral changes—such as sleep eating—have led those who take Ambien to consume food while asleep.9
Does Ambien cause dementia?
There has been some evidence that Ambien may increase the potential for a patient 65 years old or older to develop a type of reversible dementia.10 It has not been definitively proven, and there’s a theory that lack of sleep—not the use of Ambien—could be the potential catalyst.11