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    Zolpidem

    Information about Zolpidem

    Zolpidem uses

    Zolpidem is used in the treatment of insomnia.

    How zolpidem works

    Zolpidem belongs to a group of medicines called non-benzodiazepine hypnotics. It has hypnotic, sedative, and anticonvulsant (manages fits) properties. It works by binding of the GABAA receptor chloride channel macromolecular complex (a chemical messenger) that slows the activity of the nerve cells in the brain and helps fall asleep.

    Common side effects of zolpidem

    Dizziness
    Content Details
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    Written By
    Dr. Swati Mishra
    BDS
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    Reviewed By
    Dr. Khushbu Goel
    DM (Neurology), MD (Internal Medicine)
    Last updated on:
    25 Aug 2019 | 11:54 AM (IST)
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    Expert advice for Zolpidem

    • Your doctor has prescribed Zolpidem to help you fall asleep faster and sleep for longer.
    • It is best taken without food as a high-fat meal can reduce its absorption and effect. 
    • Take it 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime and only when you have time to sleep for at least 7 hours.
    • It makes you feel dizzy next morning. Don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how it affects you.
    • It does not affect total sleep time. However,  it reduces sleep onset time and frequent awakening at night.
    • Never share your medication with any other person who also has a sleep problem.
    • Inform your doctor if your sleep doesn’t improve after 7 to 10 days of treatment.
    • Stop taking medication and inform your doctor If you experience sleep driving or memory loss.
    • Do not stop taking medication suddenly as it may lead to anxiety, mood changes, and restlessness. 

    Frequently asked questions for Zolpidem

    Zolpidem

    Q. Does Zolpidem make you high?

    Zolpidem produces a calming effect on the brain and induces sleep. This calming effect may be perceived as pleasant or feeling high by some individuals. On prolonged use, Zolpidem may also make an individual dependent such that they are not be able to sleep or function normally without taking it.

    Q. Does Zolpidem have paracetamol (acetaminophen) or aspirin in it?

    No, Zolpidem does not have paracetamol (acetaminophen) or aspirin in it.

    Q. Can I take Zolpidem with prednisone?

    No drug-drug interactions have been found Zolpidem taken with prednisone. However always consult with your doctor before taking these medicines together.

    Q. Does Zolpidem help with anxiety?

    Zolpidem is used to treat insomnia, which may help ease anxiety in some patients, although doctors do not prescribe Zolpidem for anxiety alone because it does not work in the same manner as other sedatives anti-anxiety drugs

    Q. Does Zolpidem have abuse potential?

    Yes, Zolpidem has abuse potential. However, it is more commonly seen in patients with a history of drug abuse, alcohol consumption, and drug addiction. Therefore, doctors should carefully take history of drug abuse from the patient. Moreover, patients with a history of drug abuse or addiction should be closely monitored during Zolpidem therapy.

    Q. What are the symptoms of an overdose of Zolpidem?

    The symptoms of Zolpidem overdose include drowsiness, confusion, problems with coordination, floppy muscles, slow or difficult breathing, and even coma (loss of consciousness for a period of time).

    Q. What should I should avoid when taking Zolpidem?

    Zolpidem can make you drowsy during the daytime and also decrease your mental alertness. Therefore, you should not drive or operate heavy machinery until and unless you know how Zolpidem affects you. Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Zolpidem. Alcohol can make the side effects of Zolpidem even worse.

    Q. Who should not take Zolpidem?

    You should not take Zolpidem if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients. You should also avoid Zolpidem if you have a history of depression, mental illness, or suicidal thoughts. A person having a history of drug or alcohol abuse or addiction, having kidney or liver disease, having a lung disease or breathing problems should avoid Zolpidem. Also, its consumption is not recommended if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.

    Q. Can I take Zolpidem with food?

    No, do not take Zolpidem with or shortly after a heavy, high-fat meal. Zolpidem may not work well if it is taken with high-fat foods.

    Q. Can Zolpidem be taken everyday? How long should it be taken?

    Zolpidem is used for short-term (2-4 weeks) treatment of insomnia (difficulty falling asleep). It should be taken exactly as prescribed by the doctor. The dose and duration of treatment should not be exceeded else it may lead to dependence (addiction towards medicine).

    Q. Does Zolpidem cause dry mouth and affect weight?

    Yes, dry mouth is a common side effect of Zolpidem, whereas weight gain is less common with Zolpidem. If you experience weight gain, it could be due to increased appetite.

    Q. How long does Zolpidem take to start working?

    Zolpidem starts working as soon as you take it and may make you very sleepy. You may remain sleepy for some time after you take the medication. Plan to go to bed right after you take Zolpidem and to stay in bed for 7 to 8 hours. Do not take Zolpidem if you will be unable to go to bed right away and remain asleep for 7 to 8 hours after taking the medication.

    Q. What are the withdrawal symptoms of Zolpidem?

    Do not stop taking Zolpidem without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking Zolpidem, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as unpleasant feelings, stomach and muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, shakiness, and rarely, seizures.

    Q. How can I improve my sleep without medicines?

    You can improve your sleep by avoiding caffeine and nicotine, especially late in the day. Avoid exercise during the four hours before bedtime; daily exercise is beneficial to sleep, but can interfere if done close to bedtime. Avoid large meals in the evening. Avoid taking naps. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. Keep the bedroom as dark as possible and maintain a comfortable temperature. Set aside a time to relax before bed and use relaxation techniques.

    Q. What is insomnia?

    Insomnia is a common sleep disorder. People with insomnia experience trouble in falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. As a result, they may get too little sleep or have poor-quality sleep, and they may not feel refreshed after waking up.

    Q. What are the causes of insomnia?

    Insomnia can be of two types- primary or secondary. In primary insomnia, the cause is not known. It can be triggered by life-style changes including long-lasting stress and emotional upset. Whereas, secondary insomnia can be caused due to various reasons such as certain medical conditions (depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease), medicines, sleep disorders, and substances (caffeine and other stimulants, tobacco and other nicotine products, and alcohol).

    Content on this page was last updated on 25 August, 2019, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)