Zolpidem is used for a short time to treat sleep problems (insomnia) in adults. If you have trouble falling asleep, it helps you fall asleep faster, so you can get a better night's rest. Zolpidem belongs to a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics. It acts on your brain to produce a calming effect.
Read the Medication Guide and the Patient Instructions for Use provided by your pharmacist before you start using zolpidem and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Prime the product according to the instructions before you use it for the first time and if you have not used it for at least 14 days. Point the spray away from your face and other people while you are priming it.
Spray this medication into your mouth over your tongue as directed by your doctor, usually once a night. Since zolpidem works quickly, use it right before you get into bed. Use it on an empty stomach. Do not use it with or right after a meal because it will not work as quickly.
Do not take a dose of this drug unless you have time for a full night's sleep of at least 7 to 8 hours. If you have to wake up before that, you may have some memory loss and may have trouble safely doing any activity that requires alertness, such as driving or operating machinery. (See also Precautions section.)
Dosage is based on your gender, age, medical condition, other medications you may be taking, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose, use it more often, or use it for longer than prescribed. Do not use more than 10 milligrams a day. Women are usually prescribed a lower dose because the drug is removed from the body more slowly than in men. Older adults are usually prescribed a lower dose to decrease the risk of side effects.
This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as nausea, vomiting, flushing, stomach cramps, nervousness, shakiness) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately.
Along with its benefits, this medication may rarely cause abnormal drug-seeking behavior (addiction). This risk may be increased if you have abused alcohol or drugs in the past. Use this medication exactly as prescribed to lessen the risk of addiction.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists after 7 to 10 days, or if it worsens.
You may have trouble sleeping the first few nights after you stop using this medication. This is called rebound insomnia and is normal. It will usually go away after 1-2 nights. If this effect continues, contact your doctor.
Dizziness may occur. If this effect persists or worsens, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Tell your doctor if you are drowsy during the day. Your dose may need to be adjusted.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: memory loss, mental/mood/behavior changes (such as new/worsening depression, abnormal thoughts, thoughts of suicide, hallucinations, confusion, agitation, aggressive behavior, anxiety).
Rarely, after using this drug, people have gotten out of bed and driven vehicles while not fully awake ("sleep-driving"). People have also sleepwalked, prepared/eaten food, made phone calls, or had sex while not fully awake. Often, these people do not remember these events. This problem can be dangerous to you or to others. If you find out that you have done any of these activities after using this medication, tell your doctor right away. Your risk is increased if you use alcohol or other medications that can make you drowsy while using zolpidem.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Before using zolpidem, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, mental/mood problems (such as depression, thoughts of suicide), personal or family history of regular use/abuse of drugs/alcohol/other substances, personal or family history of sleepwalking, lung/breathing problems (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD, sleep apnea), a certain muscle disease (myasthenia gravis).
The effects of this drug can last even after you wake up the next day. If you did not get 7 to 8 hours of sleep or took other medications that made you sleepy or are more sensitive to this drug, you may feel alert but not think clearly enough to drive. Wait at least 8 hours after taking this drug before driving, and do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. This medication may also increase the risk of falls. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness, confusion, unsteadiness, and excessive drowsiness. These side effects can increase the risk of falling.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Infants born to mothers who have used sedative-hypnotics near the time of delivery may have undesirable effects such as breathing problems or withdrawal symptoms. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
A product that may interact with this drug is: sodium oxybate.
The risk of serious side effects (such as slow/shallow breathing, severe drowsiness/dizziness, decreased alertness) may be increased if this medication is used with other products that may also affect breathing or cause drowsiness. Therefore, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products such as alcohol, other medicine for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, lorazepam), muscle relaxants, and narcotic pain relievers (such as codeine).
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include slowed breathing or a deep sleep from which you cannot be awakened.
Do not share this medication with others. It is against the law.
As you get older, your sleep pattern may naturally change and your sleep may be interrupted several times during the night. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for ways to improve your sleep without medication, such as avoiding caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime, avoiding daytime naps, and going to bed at the same time each night.
If you miss a dose, do not use it unless you have time to sleep for 7 to 8 hours afterwards.
Store upright at room temperature. Keep away from heat. Do not freeze. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised October 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
With WebMD's Medicine Cabinet, you can check interactions with drugs.Go to medicine cabinet