zolpidem (Intermezzo)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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GENERIC NAME: zolpidem

BRAND NAME: Intermezzo

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Intermezzo contains a low dose of zolpidem, the same active ingredient in Ambien. Zolpidem belongs to a class of drugs called sedatives or hypnotics. Zolpidem shares some characteristics of a family of sedatives called benzodiazepines which includes diazepam (Valium). Benzodiazepines cause sedation, muscle relaxation, act as anticonvulsants (antiseizure medications), and reduce anxiety. Zolpidem has selectivity in that it has little of the muscle relaxant and antiseizure effects and more of the sedative effect. Therefore, it is used primarily as a medication for sleep. The FDA approved Intermezzo in November 2011. The first formulation of zolpidem (Ambien) was approved in 1992.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Intermezzo is used for treating insomnia involving middle of the night awakening and difficulty returning to sleep. It should only be used if at least 4 hours of sleep will be received.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/27/2015
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