Table of contents


15 min read

How to get prescribed Ambien

Written by Klarity Editorial Team

Published: Apr 3, 2024

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Zoe Russell

Table of contents

Whether it’s the stress of daily life or underlying health conditions, insomnia can take a toll on a person’s overall well-being. Luckily, there are solutions for people struggling with sleep problems. 

This guide dives into the details of how to get prescribed Ambien (zolpidem)to treat insomnia, who can prescribe Ambien, and Ambien’s availability. Tailored for those seeking information or considering Ambien as part of their mental healthcare routine, we walk you through the information you need to help make an informed decision with your healthcare professional.

Treatment for insomnia is a click away.
Find a provider and have an appointment in as little as 24 hours.

If you think Ambien is the right medication to help you get a full night’s sleep, find a provider online or in person with Klarity today.

Types of doctors that can prescribe Ambien

Various licensed healthcare professionals can prescribe Ambien, depending on the jurisdiction and specific patient needs. Typically, the following professionals may be authorized to prescribe this medication:

  • General practitioners: They often serve as the first point of contact and can assess your sleep disorder.
  • Psychiatrists: Specialists in mental health can prescribe Ambien as part of a broader treatment plan.
  • Sleep specialists: These experts in sleep disorders are well-versed in various treatments, including Ambien.

Steps to get an Ambien prescription online

The process of getting an Ambien prescription online is streamlined and convenient, yet it requires careful attention to detail. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure a safe and legal process.

Schedule an appointment with a medical provider

Choose a reputable telehealth platform that connects patients with licensed healthcare providers. Look for certifications, reviews, and make sure you choose a provider who complis with local regulations. Schedule an appointment at a convenient time.

With Klarity, you can take a free online self-evaluation assessment, andconnect  with a licensed medical provider in less than 48 hours. Pick a time that works for you and begin the journey to better sleep.

Discuss your symptoms

During your virtual consultation, your licensed medical provider will ask questions to understand your symptoms better. The best plan of attack is to openly discuss your symptoms, sleep patterns, and any other health concerns so they can determine what type of treatment plan best suits you.

Get treatment recommendations

Based onyour discussion, your provider will suggest appropriate treatment options, including Ambien if suitable. This is your chance to ask questions about dosage, potential side effects, and how it integrates with your overall health plan.

Obtain a prescription

If Ambien is deemed appropriate for your condition, your healthcare provider will issue an online prescription. This can often be sent directly to a local or online pharmacy of your choice. 

Get your prescription filled

Once your chosen pharmacy fills your prescription, you can pick it up or wait for it to be delivered.

Licensed providers on Klarity provide personalized treatment. Find a provider that matches your needs and preferences.

What does Ambien treat?

Ambien (zolpidem) is primarily used to treat insomnia, a common sleep disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It works by affecting certain chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with sleep issues. 

Ambien helps to initiate sleep and is often prescribed for short-term use. Its effectiveness has made it a top choice for treating transient and chronic insomnia, helping people fall asleep faster, and enjoy a restful night’s sleep.

Can you get Ambien over the counter?

Ambien is a prescription drug and isn’t available over the counter. The reason for this restriction is its potential side effects and the risk of misuse or dependence. 

Ambien is classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule IV federally controlled substance. This means the medication poses the potential risk of misuse and dependence. By being classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance, Ambien has a lower potential of risk and abuse compared to a Schedule II opioid like oxycodone or codeine.

However, it must still be used under the guidance of a licensed healthcare professional to ensure that it is suitable for the patient’s specific condition and that the proper dosage and monitoring are provided. Any attempt to obtain Ambien without a prescription would be unlawful and could pose serious health risks.

How to talk to your healthcare provider about getting an Ambien prescription

Approaching your healthcare provider about getting an Ambien prescription may be awkward, but open communication is vital for effective treatment. Here are some suggestions on how to have the conversation:

  • Prepare ahead: Document your symptoms and be ready to describe them in detail. Note how often and when they occur.
  • Be honest and open: Share your concerns and ask questions about Ambien and other treatment options.
  • Discuss past treatments: If you have tried other treatments for insomnia, share those experiences with your provider.
  • Express your expectations: Be clear about what you hope to achieve with Ambien or other treatments.

Your healthcare provider’s primary goal is to ensure your well-being, so don’t hesitate to initiate this conversation and discuss how Ambien could be right for you.

Who’s a good candidate for an Ambien prescription?

Being a good candidate for an Ambien prescription requires a thorough evaluation by a licensed healthcare provider. Ambien is typically prescribed for adults struggling with insomnia, specifically difficulty falling asleep. However, it’s not suitable for everyone. Good candidates generally meet the following criteria:

  • Diagnosed with insomnia: A clear diagnosis of insomnia is essential, and Ambien is usually prescribed for short-term treatment.
  • No history of substance abuse: Ambien can be habit-forming, so it might not be suitable for those with a history of addiction or substance abuse.
  • Lack of conflicting medical conditions: Certain medical conditions or medications may interact negatively with Ambien.
  • Not pregnant or nursing: Ambien is generally not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

The recommended Ambien dosage and administration are tailored to the individual, considering factors like age, medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications an individual could be taking.

The standard dosage for adults starts at 5 milligrams for women and 5 or 10 milligrams for men, taken once per night right before bed. It’s important to take Ambien exactly as prescribed, usually on an empty stomach, for rapid absorption. Your healthcare provider may adjust the dose based on your response and any side effects that may arise.

Side effects of Ambien

Ambien is an effective medication for insomnia, but like all medications, it may have side effects. Common side effects may include:

  • Drowsiness or dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Dry mouth
  • Unusual dreams or nightmares

These are generally mild and often subside as your body adjusts to the medication.

Signs of Ambien withdrawal

If you stop taking Ambien suddenly after long-term use, withdrawal symptoms might occur. These could include:

  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue or irritability
  • Insomnia rebound
  • Tremors

Always consult with your healthcare provider before stopping or reducing your Ambien usage, as they can guide you through a safe withdrawal process if necessary.

Warnings with Ambien

Ambien is a potent medication, and there are specific warnings and precautions you need to consider ahead of time. Mixing Ambien with alcohol can increase sedation and other side effects, and also take caution if you’re taking other sedatives, as they can compound the effects of the medications. 

Lastly, Ambien isn’t typically recommended for children, so be mindful of where you store your medication if there are children around.

Medication and drug interactions

Certain medications and supplements may interact with Ambien, altering its effectiveness or causing additional side effects. These can include other types of sleeping pills or sedatives, antidepressants or antianxiety medications, pain medications, and certain antihistamines.

Always provide your healthcare provider with a full list of medications and supplements you are taking to avoid harmful interactions with Ambien.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

It’s generally not recommended to take Ambien during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester, as it may cause harm to the unborn baby. If you’re pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, consult with your healthcare provider to discuss alternative treatment options for insomnia.

Get connected with a medical provider on Klarity in less than 48 hours

Sleep is vital to your overall health and well-being, and it shouldn’t be a nightly struggle. If you’ve explored the information above and believe Ambien might be the solution for your insomnia, Klarity is here to help.

Let a provider on Klarity help you find your path to better sleep. Find a provider online or in person with Klarity today.

Ambien FAQs

Do you need insurance to get prescribed Ambien?

Insurance is not a requirement to get prescribed Ambien, but it can significantly affect the cost of the prescription drug and related healthcare services. Many insurance plans cover the cost of Ambien, subject to copayments and deductibles. 

If you don’t have insurance, several pharmacies offer discount programs, and healthcare providers may have options for payment plans or sliding scale fees based on income. With Klarity, no insurance is needed to meet with a licensed healthcare professional for an initial visit or to get prescribed Ambien, if they determine that to be the best treatment plan for you.

What is the average cost of a visit, follow-up, and prescription refill?

Navigating the financial aspect of healthcare can often be very intimidating. When it comes to getting prescribed Ambien through an online telehealth company, it’s important to understand the average costs. An initial consultation typically ranges from $50 to $250, depending on your healthcare provider and location. Follow-up visits are important for ongoing monitoring of your response to Ambien. You can expect these follow-ups to cost between $30 and $150 each. 

As for getting a refill of your Ambien prescription, the cost varies based on factors like dosage, frequency, and the availability of generic versions. A monthly supply could range from $20 to $200 without insurance. You should always speak openly with your healthcare provider about your financial situation, as many offer payment plans or sliding scale fees. In addition, pharmacies may have discount programs to make the medication more affordable.

What should I do if I miss a dosage?

If you forget to take one or more doses of Ambien, do not double up on doses, and take your next dose at the normal time and in the regular amount. If you’ve missed one dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule the following night. You should also consult your healthcare provider if you have any concerns after missing a dosage.

Can you overdose on Ambien?

Yes, an overdose of Ambien is possible and can be serious. Symptoms may include severe drowsiness, confusion, shallow breathing, fainting, or even coma. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical help immediately. Always adhere to the prescribed dosage and consult your healthcare provider if you have any issues or concerns about the sleep medication.

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