FM/CFS/ME RESOURCES - Drug Database - Zolpidem

 

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Drug Database - Zolpidem Zolpidem 10 mg. tablet

Generic Name: zolpidem (zole-PI-dem)

Brand Names: Ambien®, Ambien CR®

Classification: Sedative

Issue Date: 2003

Zolpidem is a sedative, also called a hypnotic. It affects chemicals in your brain that may become unbalanced and cause sleep problems (insomnia). Zolpidem is used to treat insomnia. This medication causes relaxation to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Zolpidem may also be used for purposes other than those listed here.

  • If You Forget A Dose
  • Side Effects
  • About Zolpidem
  • In Case of Overdose
  • Discuss With Healthcare Provider
  • How To Take Zolpidem
  • What To Avoid
  • Drug Interactions
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    About Zolpidem

    Zolpidem will make you fall asleep. Never take this medication during your normal waking hours, unless you have a full 7 to 8 hours to dedicate to sleeping.

    You may be more likely to have amnesia (forgetfulness) if you cannot get a full 7 to 8 hours of sleep after taking Zolpidem. You may also be at an increased risk of accident or injury if you attempt to drive or operate machinery after taking Zolpidem without having enough sleep time afterward.

    Zolpidem can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. You may still feel sleepy the morning after taking the medication. Until you know how this medication will affect you during waking hours, be careful if you drive, operate machinery, pilot an airplane, or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

    Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Zolpidem. It can increase some of the side effects of Zolpidem, including drowsiness.

    Do not take other medicines that make you sleepy such as:

    • cold medicine
    • pain medication
    • muscle relaxants
    • medicine for depression or anxiety

    You may have withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking Zolpidem after taking it over several days in a row. Do not stop taking Zolpidem suddenly without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.

    Zolpidem may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Zolpidem should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

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    How To Take Zolpidem

    Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

    Zolpidem comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Take z olpidem only if you are able to get a full night's sleep before you must be active again. Never take this medication during your normal waking hours, unless you have a full 7 to 8 hours to dedicate to sleeping.

    Take Zolpidem with a full glass of water. Zolpidem is for short-term use only. Tell your doctor if your insomnia symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse after using this medication for 7 to 10 nights in a row. Do not take Zolpidem for longer than 4 or 5 weeks without your doctor's advice.

    You may have withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking Zolpidem after taking it over several days in a row. Do not stop taking Zolpidem suddenly without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.

    Withdrawal symptoms include:

    • Behavior changes
    • Stomach pain
    • Muscle cramps
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Sweating
    • Anxiety
    • Panic
    • Tremors, and seizure (convulsions).

    Insomnia symptoms may also return after you stop taking Zolpidem. These symptoms may seem to be even worse than before you started taking the medication. Call your doctor if you still have worsened insomnia after the first few nights without taking Zolpidem.

    Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow the pill whole. It is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time. Store Zolpidem at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

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    If You Forget A Dose

    Since Zolpidem is usually taken as needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. Never take this medication if you do not have a full 7 to 8 hours to sleep before being active again. Do not take extra medicine to make up a missed dose.

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    In Case of Overdose

    Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of Zolpidem can be fatal when it is taken together with other medications that can cause drowsiness.

    Symptoms of a Zolpidem overdose may include:

    • sleepiness
    • confusion
    • shallow breathing
    • feeling light-headed
    • fainting
    • coma

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    What To Avoid

    Zolpidem can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. You may still feel sleepy the morning after taking the medication. Until you know how this medication will affect you during waking hours, be careful if you drive, operate machinery, pilot an airplane, or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

    Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Zolpidem. It can increase some of the side effects of Zolpidem, including drowsiness. Do not take other medicines that make you sleepy such as:

    • cold medicine
    • pain medication
    • muscle relaxants
    • medicine for depression or anxiety

    Avoid taking Zolpidem during travel, such as to sleep on an airplane. You may be awakened before the effects of the medication have worn off. Amnesia (forgetfulness) is more common if you do not get a full 7 to 8 hours of sleep after taking Zolpidem. Take Zolpidem only if you are able to get a full night's sleep before you must be active again.

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    Side Effects

    Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction:

    • Hives
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat

    Stop using Zolpidem and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

    • Worsening sleep problems
    • Depressed mood, thoughts of hurting yourself
    • Unusual risk-taking behavior, decreased inhibitions, no fear of danger
    • Aggression, feeling agitated
    • Hallucinations, confusion, loss of personality

    Continue taking Zolpidem and talk to your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:

    • Daytime drowsiness;
    • Dizziness, weakness, feeling "drugged" or light-headed
    • Weakness, lack of coordination
    • Amnesia, forgetfulness
    • Headache
    • Vivid or abnormal dreams
    • Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
    • Muscle pain
    • Blurred vision

    Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

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