Alarm clock by bed The pharmaceutical name for Ambien is Zolpidem.Typically, a physician will offer a patient a 30-day prescription. The goal is to take Ambien for seven to 10 days in the hopes of resetting your sleep cycles. The sleep-inducing effects of Ambien can start within 15 minutes of taking the pill. If a patient begins to use Ambien on a more consistent basis, it can quickly create an addiction problem. The common recommended dosage is 10 mg; however, an Ambien abuser could find themselves taking twice that amount in a single night. If Ambien is ingested in combination with other drugs or alcohol, the effects can become amplified. A recreational drug user might take Ambien and try to stay awake to be induced by feelings of euphoria.