Zolpidem is a sedative drug. It works by reducing brain activity in order to promote sleep.

What is Zolpidem?

Zolpidem is used to treat insomnia. In particular it can be used in the case of difficulty falling asleep or when you can't stay asleep.

How should Zolpidem be taken?

Zolpidem is taken orally. Possible dosage forms include tablets, extended-release tablets (to be swallowed whole), and tablets to dissolve under the tongue as well as oral sprays. Usually, the dosage involves a single administration just before going to bed, preferably on an empty stomach. There are also formulations designed in case of awakening during the night. Typically, the sleeping problems begin to improve between 7 and 10 days after the administration of zolpidem, which generally should not be extended beyond 2 weeks. The risk you run is that of a real addiction. On the other hand, it is also important to reduce taking the medication gradually, as it has effects similar to those of an actual withdrawal.

Side effects associated with Zolpidem

Among the possible side effects of zolpidem are included:

  • eye redness
  • redness, burning or tingling of the tongue (with the tablets that dissolve in your mouth)
  • heartburn, stomach pain or sensitivity
  • changes in appetite
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty walking and maintaining balance
  • pain in the joints, back or neck
  • pain, burning, numbness or tingling in the hands, feet or legs
  • muscle pain or cramps
  • whistles, pain or itching in the ears
  • heavy menstrual bleeding
  • intestinal gas
  • headache
  • nausea
  • dry mouth or throat
  • feeling light-headed or being under the influence of drugs
  • weird dreams
  • drowsiness
  • fatigue
  • uncontrollable tremors
  • dizziness

Some symptoms require the immediate attention of a doctor; therefore, don’t hesitate to immediately contact a physician, especially if you experience any of the following;

  • clouding of vision
  • rapid heartbeat
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • swelling of eyes, face, lips, tongue and throat
  • nausea
  • hives
  • rash
  • hoarseness
  • choking throat
  • vomiting

Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Zolpidem

Before taking zolpidem it is important to tell your doctor if:

  • You have any allergies to the active substance or its excipients
  • You are taking other medications and supplements, especially when it comes to antidepressants, chlorpromazine, itraconazole, ketoconazole, rifampin, anxiolytics, sedatives, sleeping pills, tranquilizers or medications against colds, allergies, psychiatric disorders, pain or seizures
  • You have issues of abuse of alcohol, drugs and medicines
  • You have ever suffered from depression, psychiatric disorders, suicidal tendencies, loud snoring, sleep apnea or other breathing problems, myasthenia gravis and liver or kidney disease
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • You are planning to have surgery or dental work

It is important to remember that zolpidem may impair the ability to drive and operate dangerous machinery and that its effects may be aggravated by alcohol, which can lead to sleepwalking and cause alterations of normal behavior.