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.
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