Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Do I need a prescription for Ambien?"

ZocdocAnswersDo I need a prescription for Ambien?


I can't sleep well. I want to take Ambien. Do I need a prescription for it?


Ambien is a special medication that helps people get to sleep and stay asleep. It is a great medicine for people with insomnia, and those that need to sleep at odd times (such as someone that works at night). I prescribe it frequently to people with sleep difficulties who have tried other measures to get to sleep such as improving the sleeping area (the bedroom) and creating more regularity to the sleeping pattern. Other sleep aides such as trazodone are better options, especially in older people. You do need a prescription for ambien because it does have the potential for abuse and the potential for addiction. The good news is that this risk is fairly low, and so most doctors don't have much of a problem prescribing it. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. The two of you need to have a discussion about your sleep to make sure that there are no other conditions that could be playing a role in your insomnia. It is important to rule out any other causes such as sleep apnea before a medicine such as this is used. Remember that medications such as Ambien are useful only when the cause of the sleep problems is unknown or not fixable. Good luck.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.