What is this medicine?
ZOLPIDEM (zole PI dem) is used to treat insomnia. This medicine helps you to fall asleep and sleep through the night.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. It is better to take this medicine on an empty stomach and only when you are ready for bed. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. If you have been taking this medicine for several weeks and suddenly stop taking it, you may get unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Your doctor or health care professional may want to gradually reduce the dose. Do not stop taking this medicine on your own. Always follow your doctor or health care professional’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 pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine 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.
What may interact with this medicine?
• antihistamines for allergy, cough and cold
• certain medicines for anxiety or sleep
• certain medicines for depression, like amitriptyline, fluoxetine, sertraline
• certain medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole and itraconazole
• certain medicines for seizures like phenobarbital, primidone
• dietary supplements for sleep, like valerian or kava kava
• general anesthetics like halothane, isoflurane, methoxyflurane, propofol
• local anesthetics like lidocaine, pramoxine, tetracaine
• medicines that relax muscles for surgery
• narcotic medicines for pain
• phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
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.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your doctor or health care professional 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 medicines are used every night for more than a few weeks, they may stop working. Talk to your doctor if you still have trouble sleeping.
After taking this medicine for sleep, you may get up out of bed while not being fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing. The next morning, you may have no memory of the event. Activities such as driving a car (sleep-driving), making and eating food, talking on the phone, sexual activity, and sleep-walking have been reported. Serious injuries or death have occurred in rare cases. Stop the medicine. Call your doctor right away if you find out you have done any of these activities. Do not take this medicine if you have used alcohol that evening or before bed or taken another medicine for sleep. The risk of doing these sleep-related activities will be increased.
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 medicine 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 doctor 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 medicine, 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 doctor right away.
After you stop taking this medicine, you may have trouble falling asleep. This is called rebound insomnia. This problem usually goes away on its own after 1 or 2 nights.
What if I miss a dose?
This does not apply. This medicine should only be taken immediately before going to sleep. Do not take double or extra doses.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
• allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
• breathing problems
• changes in vision
• depressed mood or other changes in moods or emotions
• feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
• loss of balance or coordination
• loss of memory
• numbness or tingling of the tongue
• restlessness, excitability, or feelings of anxiety or agitation
• signs and symptoms of liver injury like dark yellow or brown urine; general ill feeling or flu• like symptoms; light• colored stools; loss of appetite; nausea; right upper belly pain; unusually weak or tired; yellowing of the eyes or skin
• suicidal thoughts
• unusual activities while not fully awake like driving, eating, making phone calls, or sexual activity
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
• drowsiness the day after you take this medicine
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.