This medicine contains as active ingredient zolpiden, a non- benzodiazepine sleeping medicine that works in much the same way as do benzodiazepine sleeping pills and sedatives. Non-benzodiazepine hypnotics and sedatives belong to the group of psychoactive medicines that influence the activity of the brain, in general by way of a specific effect on chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) that are responsible for transmitting signals between nerve cells.
Unlike the benzodiazepines, however, this medicine has little muscle- relaxing or antiseizure effects. It is meant for short-time use – 7-10 days – and should not be taken regularly for longer periods than that without your doctor’s knowledge.
The controlled-release (CR) formation was created to address the problem of people not getting a full night’s sleep when taking the older, immediate- release product. It does not act as quickly as the older formulation because the drug enters the bloodstream much more slowly.
The drug is prescribed for:
• Insomnia (sleep disorders)
• Trouble falling asleep
• Waking up too early
• Sleep problems in Alzheimer patients
Sleep problems often result from physical or psychological illnesses, including worsening of sleep problems, abnormal thinking, and behavioral changes, including hallucinations, bizarre behavior, agitation, and depersonalization. This medicine does not affect the underlying causes of insomnia. It should be taken only with your doctor’s knowledge. If you cannot sleep after 7-10 days taking this medication, contact your doctor.
Before using this medicine
Before you use this medicine check with your doctor:
• if you ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to benzodiazepines.
• if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant while using this medicine. Some hypnotics have been reported to increase the chance of birth defects when used during the first 3 months of pregnancy.
• if you are breast-feeding an infant. Hypnotics may pass into the breast milk and cause drowsiness, unusually slow heartbeat, shortness of breath, or troubled breathing in infants of mothers taking this medicine.
• if you have any of the following medical problems: asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, or other chronic lung disease; epilepsy or history of convulsions; hyperactivity (in children); kidney or liver disease; mental depression or illness; myasthania gravis.
• This medication is used to relieve or prevent the symptoms of your medical problem. Take them as directed. Do not take more of them and do not take them more often than recommended on the label, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
• Usual dosage: The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regime.
Immediate-release tablets: The usual dosage for adults is 10 mg immediately before bedtime. Seniors: 5 mg immediate before bedtime. The medicine is not recommended for children.
Controlled-release tablets: The usual dosage for adults is 12.5 mg immediately before bedtime. Seniors: 6.25 mg immediate before bedtime. The medicine is not recommended for children.
• For the most rapid effect, take this medication on an empty stomach at least two hours after a meal.
Warnings and Cautions
• The medicine can be abused if taken for long periods of time and it is possible to develop withdrawal symptoms if you discontinue the therapy abruptly.
• Suddenly stopping this medication after having taken it for some time may produce drug withdrawal syndrome, including:
• Stomach cramps
• General discomfort
People with a history of substance abuse may be more likely to develop drug dependence on this medication.
Along with the needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Minor side effects are: bitter taste in the mouth, dizziness, drowsiness, depression, constipation, dry mouth, excessive salivation, fatigue, flushing, headache, heartburn, loss of appetite, nausea, nervousness, sweating or vomiting. As your body adjusts to the medicine, these side effects should disappear.
• Tell your doctor about any side effects that are persistent or particularly bothersome. It is especially important to tell your doctor about:
Symptoms of overdose are: drowsiness, tremor, stupor, coma. Apply, if necessary, cardiac massage and mouth-to-mouth breathing.
• This medicine may interact with several other drugs. This medicine will add to the effects of alcohol, and CNS depressants.
• Taking a benzodiazepine with this medication may result in excessive depression, tiredness, sleepiness, breathing difficulties, or similar symptoms.
• Be sure to tell your doctor about any medications (including over-the– counter drugs) you are currently taking.
Driving or Hazardous Work
Do not drive until you learn how the medicine affects you. Do not work around dangerous machinery. Do not climb ladders or work in high places. Danger increases if you drink alcohol.
Store at room temperature in tightly closed, light-resistant containers. Keep out of the reach of children since overdose may be especially dangerous in children.