Nitrest (zolpidem tartrate) is a prescription medication used by patients with insomina, a sleep-related disorder, to help resolve symptoms 3. This drug is part of a class of medications called sedative-hypnotics and works by decreasing activity within the brain to encourage sleep. Nitrest is marketed under the brand name Ambien within the United States and can cause side effects in certain patients.

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If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Drowsiness, Dizziness or Headache

Patients taking Nitrest can experience sudden and severe drowsiness as an effect of this medication. Drowsiness may be accompanied by side effects of dizziness or headache in certain patients, explains PDR Health, a medical information website established by the publishers of the Physicians' Desktop Reference. These side effects can cause patients to experience difficulty maintaining balance while standing or walking, which can increase the risk of injury from tripping or falling. Sensations of weakness throughout the body may also occur and can exacerbate walking difficulties.

Stomach Upset or Pain

After taking a dose of Nitrest, certain patients can experience an upset stomach, explains Medline Plus, an online medical information resource supported by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health 2. Stomach upset side effects can include constipation, diarrhea, heartburn or gas. Bowel movement changes may also contribute to sensations of pain or tenderness within the abdomen or loss of appetite in certain patients.

Muscle or Joint Aches

During treatment with Nitrest, patients may experience painful or uncomfortable sensations within the muscles or joints as side effects of this medication. Discomfort can arise within any region of the body, such as the joints, back or neck and may occur in conjunction with muscle cramping or weakness.

Abnormal Body Tremors or Sensations

Patients taking Nitrest can develop body tremors or abnormal body sensations as a side effect of treatment. Affected patients may experience uncontrolled shaking of certain parts of the body, such as the feet, legs, hands or arms. Burning or tingling sensations can also arise in these body regions, which may become uncomfortable to certain patients.

Ear Discomfort

Nitrest can cause ear-related side effects to develop in certain patients. Unusual sensations of pain or itching can develop within either one or both ears. Ringing or buzzing of the ears--a condition called tinnitus--can also occur, which may make it difficult for affected patients to remain focused and alert during daily activities. These side effects may also contribute to symptoms of dizziness or headache in certain patients.

Menstrual Changes

Women taking Nitrest can develop menstrual changes as a side effect of treatment, explains Medline Plus 2. These menstrual changes can include longer or heavier menstrual periods, which can be uncomfortable for some women.