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This article will cover important information about the medication Zolpidem, which is commonly used to treat insomnia. We will answer several questions related to Zolpidem, including its uses, brand names, other forms, how it is taken, side effects, duration of action, and how it is supplied.

Insomnia management

Zolpidem is an FDA approved sleeping aid that is used to treat insomnia. The immediate release version is approved for short-term use, while the Controlled Release (CR) version is approved for long-term use as needed. The common brand names for Zolpidem include Ambien, Ambien CR, Edluar, Zolpimist, and Intermezzo.

Dosage forms

The usage of Zolpidem depends on the form of the medication chosen, such as a tablet, sublingual capsule, or patch. Most forms of Zolpidem are dosed once a day about 30 minutes before sleep onset.

Side effects

Some of the common side effects of Zolpidem include headache, drowsiness, dizziness, and diarrhea. Long-term use can cause side effects such as allergy, sinusitis, back pain, and heart palpitations. Zolpidem is a prescription medication and cannot be dispensed without a valid prescription. It is a DEA schedule IV drug.


Zolpidem is primarily used for treating insomnia. It is important to follow the instructions given by the doctor and not mix it with other depressants of the central nervous system, such as alcohol.

Use in combination with behavior modification

Behavior modification methods such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia should also be considered in the long term or short term management of insomnia and can be combined with the use of Zolpidem if needed.

Storage and disposal

Regarding storage and disposal, Zolpidem should be stored at room temperature, away from sunlight, and disposed of properly as it is a controlled substance.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Q: What is zolpidem? A: Zolpidem is a medication that is commonly used to treat insomnia, a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
  2. Q: How does zolpidem work? A: Zolpidem works by enhancing the activity of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. This leads to a reduction in brain activity and relaxation of the body, which can help people fall asleep and stay asleep.
  3. Q: What are the common side effects of zolpidem? A: Common side effects of zolpidem include drowsiness, dizziness, headache, nausea, and diarrhea. In some cases, zolpidem can also cause more serious side effects such as sleepwalking, hallucinations, and confusion.
  4. Q: Is zolpidem addictive? A: Yes, zolpidem can be addictive if it is taken for a long time or in higher doses than prescribed. It is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance in the United States, which means that it has a low to moderate risk of dependence.
  5. Q: Can zolpidem be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding? A: Zolpidem is not recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding due to the potential risk of harm to the developing fetus or infant. It is important to talk to a healthcare provider before taking any medication during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
  6. Q: How long does zolpidem stay in the body? A: Zolpidem has a relatively short half-life of about 2-3 hours, which means that it is eliminated from the body relatively quickly. However, the exact time it takes for zolpidem to be completely eliminated from the body can vary depending on factors such as age, liver function, and other medications being taken.

How can we help?

If you are experiencing sleep-related issues, W8MD's Sleep Medicine Program can help. They use state-of-the-art technology, including home sleep studies and in-lab sleep diagnostic studies, to diagnose and treat over 80 different sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, and insomnia.

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