Zolpidem is a medication that treats insomnia. It works by helping you get to sleep faster. It also helps you stay asleep throughout the night. You should only use this medication for a short period of time. The brand name of zolpidem is Ambien®.
ZOLPIDEM (zole PI dem) treats insomnia. It helps you get to sleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night. It is often used for a short period of time.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Ambien
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
Take this medication by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. It is better to take this medication on an empty stomach and only when you are ready for bed. Do not take your medication more often than directed. If you have been taking this medication for several weeks and suddenly stop taking it, you may get unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Your care team may want to gradually reduce the dose. Do not stop taking this medication on your own. Always follow your care team's advice.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your care team regarding the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
This does not apply. This medication should only be taken immediately before going to sleep. Do not take double or extra doses.
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Keep a regular sleep schedule by going to bed at about the same time each night. Avoid caffeine-containing drinks in the evening hours. When sleep medications are used every night for more than a few weeks, they may stop working. Talk to your care team if you still have trouble sleeping.
After taking this medication, you may get up out of bed and do an activity that you do not know you are doing. The next morning, you may have no memory of this. Activities include driving a car ("sleep-driving"), making and eating food, talking on the phone, sexual activity, and sleep-walking. Serious injuries have occurred. Stop the medication and call your care team right away if you find out you have done any of these activities. Do not take this medication if you have used alcohol that evening. Do not take it if you have taken another medication for sleep. The risk of doing these sleep-related activities is higher.
Wait for at least 8 hours after you take a dose before driving or doing other activities that require full mental alertness. Do not take this medication unless you are able to stay in bed for a full night (7 to 8 hours) before you must be active again. You may have a decrease in mental alertness the day after use, even if you feel that you are fully awake. Tell your care team if you will need to perform activities requiring full alertness, such as driving, the next day. Do not stand or sit up quickly after taking this medication, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.
If you or your family notice any changes in your behavior, such as new or worsening depression, thoughts of harming yourself, anxiety, other unusual or disturbing thoughts, or memory loss, call your care team right away.
After you stop taking this medication, you may have trouble falling asleep. This is called rebound insomnia. This problem usually goes away on its own after 1 or 2 nights.
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Keep out of the reach of children and pets. This medication can be abused. Keep your medication in a safe place to protect it from theft. Do not share this medication with anyone. Selling or giving away this medication is dangerous and against the law.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F).
This medication may cause accidental overdose and death if taken by other adults, children, or pets. Mix any unused medication with a substance like cat litter or coffee grounds. Then throw the medication away in a sealed container like a sealed bag or a coffee can with a lid. Do not use the medication after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
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Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.