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What is Intermezzo? What is zolpidem used for?
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.
What brand names are available for Intermezzo?
Is Intermezzo available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for Intermezzo?
What are the side effects of Intermezzo?
The most common side effects of zolpidem are:
Other important side effects include:
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. Zolpidem is a controlled substance because it is likely to be abused and may cause dependence.
What is the dosage for Intermezzo?
The recommended dose is 1.75 mg for women and 3.5 mg for men once per night when a patient wakes up in the middle of the night and has difficulty falling back to sleep. Tablets should be placed under the tongue and allowed to dissolve completely before swallowing. Tablets should not be swallowed whole. The action of Intermezzo may be delayed by food if food is consumed with or immediately prior to administration of Intermezzo.
Which drugs or supplements interact with Intermezzo?
Alcohol has an additive effect with zolpidem and the two should not be combined. Zolpidem should not be combined with other sedative drugs because of the additive effects.
Itraconazole (Sporanox) and ketoconazole (Nizoral, Extina, Xolegel, Kuric) may increase the blood concentration of zolpidem by reducing the activity of the enzymes that breakdown zolpidem in the liver. Conversely, rifampin may reduce the concentration of zolpidem by increasing the activity of of the enzymes that breakdown zolpidem.
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Is Intermezzo safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies of zolpidem use in pregnant women.
Zolpidem is excreted in human breast milk and may adversely affect the infant.
What else should I know about Intermezzo?
How should I keep Intermezzo stored?
Intermezzo should be stored at room temperature, 20 C - 25 C (68 F - 77 F).
Zolpidem (Ambien, Intermezzo) is a medication prescribed for the treatment of insomnia in the middle of the night (awakening and experiencing difficulty returning to sleep). Side effects, drug interactions, patient information, and pregnancy efficacy should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Related Disease Conditions
Sleep Disorders (How to Get a Good Night's Sleep)
A number of vital tasks carried out during sleep help maintain good health and enable people to function at their best. Sleep needs vary from individual to individual and change throughout your life. The National Institutes of Health recommend about 7-9 hours of sleep each night for older, school-aged children, teens, and most average adults; 10-12 for preschool-aged children; and 16-18 hours for newborns. There are two stages of sleep; 1) REM sleep (rapid-eye movement), and 2) NREM sleep (non-rapid-eye movement). The side effects of lack of sleep or insomnia include: Irritability Tiredness Feeling sleepy during the day Concentration or memory problems Lack of sleep and insomnia can be caused by medical conditions or diseases, medications, stress, or pain. The treatment for lack of sleep and insomnia depends upon the cause.
Insomnia is the perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep because of difficulty falling asleep; waking up frequently during the night with difficulty returning to sleep; waking up too early in the morning; or unrefreshing sleep. Secondary insomnia is the most common type of insomnia. Treatment for insomnia include lifestyle changes, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medication.
Insomnia Treatment (Sleep Aids and Stimulants)
Insomnia is difficulty in falling or staying asleep, the absence of restful sleep, or poor quality of sleep. Insomnia is a symptom and not a disease. The most common causes of insomnia are medications, psychological conditions, environmental changes and stressful events. Treatments may include non-drug treatments, over-the-counter medicines, and/or prescription medications.
Sleep and Sleep Disorders in Children and Teenagers
Sleep needs in children and teenagers depend on the age of the child. Sleep disorders in children such as: sleep apnea, parasomnias, confusional arousals, night terrors, nightmares, narcolepsy, and sleepwalking which can affect a child's or teen's sleep. Healthy sleep habits and good sleep hygiene can help your infant, toddler, preschooler, tween, or teenager get a good night's sleep.
Sleep Related Breathing Disorders
Sleep-related breathing disorders are characterized by disruptions of normal breathing patterns that only occur during sleep. Snoring and sleep apnea are the most common sleep-related breathing disorders.
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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.