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- What is zolpidem, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for zolpidem?
- Is zolpidem available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for zolpidem?
- What are the uses for zolpidem?
- What are the side effects of zolpidem?
- What is the dosage for zolpidem?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with zolpidem?
- Is zolpidem safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about zolpidem?
What is zolpidem, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- Zolpidem belongs to a class of drugs called sedatives or hypnotics. Zolpidem shares some characteristics of a family of sedatives called benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines cause sedation, muscle relaxation, act as anti-convulsants (anti-seizure medications), and reduce anxiety. Zolpidem has selectivity in that it has little of the muscle relaxant and anti-seizure effects and more of the sedative effect. Therefore, it is used primarily as a medication for sleep. The oral spray form of zolpidem, Zolpimist, has more rapid absorption than the tablet form because it is absorbed through the lining of the mouth.
The FDA approved zolpidem in December 1992.
What brand names are available for zolpidem?
Ambien, Ambien CR, Intermezzo, Zolpimist, Edluar
Is zolpidem available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
Do I need a prescription for zolpidem?
What are the uses for zolpidem?
- Zolpidem is used for treating insomnia.
- Conventional tablets are used for short-term treatment of insomnia associated with difficulty falling asleep.
- Long acting tablets are used for treating insomnia associated with difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
- Zolpidem improves initiation of sleep and keeps patients asleep longer.
What are the side effects of zolpidem?
The most common side effects of zolpidem are:
- A "drugged" feeling, which probably reflect the action of the drug
Other side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Ataxia (balance problems), and
- Visual changes.
Zolpidem can cause withdrawal symptoms (muscle cramps, sweats, shaking, and seizures) when the drug is abruptly discontinued. Zolpidem can cause abnormal behavior with confusion, paradoxical insomnia or "complex sleep-related behaviors," which may include sleep-driving (driving with no memory of having done so). If these side effects occur, zolpidem should be discontinued.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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