But can this sleeping pill be addictive? Experts say nonot if it's used as directed. However, people who take Ambien at higher-than-recommended doses or for long periods of time may be unaware that they are boosting its addictive potential.
Ambien is far less likely than some other prescription medications to provoke misuse and dependence, but it's not entirely benign, either. "We're now seeing more and more case reportsmany case reportsof people becoming genuinely addicted," says Stephen Ross, MD, an addiction expert at the New York University School of Medicine.
The medication can become habit-forming if taken too oftena possibility that is more likely in those who have a family history of addiction or are currently addicted to other drugs, Dr. Ross says. Ambien can also be dangerous when taken recreationally, especially if mixed with alcohol or other drugs.