Zolpidem is a sedative used to treat issues with sleeping in adults, such as difficulty falling asleep, waking up regularly during the night and insomnia. Zolpidem sleeping pills are only intended to be taken temporarily and not for prolonged use. This medication is typically limited to short periods of one to two weeks, or less.
Zolpidem, also sold as Ambien, is prescribed to patients who suffer from symptoms of insomnia, including:
Zolpidem contains the active ingredient zolpidem tartrate and belongs to a group of medicines known as hypnotics, also containing zopiclone. These work by affecting GABA receptors in the brain, specifically GABA-A receptors. These release a neurotransmitter in the brain, which has a naturally sedative effective on the body, to help people who suffer from insomnia to sleep. Neurotransmitters are naturally formed in the body and act as chemical messengers to nerve cells to calm nerve activity and induce sleepiness, reducing anxiety and calming muscles down so the user can sleep.
The immediate-release forms of this medication are Ambien, Intermezzo, Edluar and Zolpimist which help users to fall asleep more effectively. The extended-release form of zolpidem is Ambien CR which comprises of two layers – one which dissolves quickly to help you fall asleep and a second layer which dissolves more slowly to maintain your sleep, so you can get a better night’s rest. However, because the medicine has a potential for dependency and addiction, it is not recommended for use longer than four weeks.
Zolpidem should be taken by mouth with water on an empty stomach, as directed by your health care provider, once a night before bed. The recommended dose per 24-hour period is 10mg of zolpidem for adults – elderly or debilitated patients are usually prescribed a lower dose of 5mg – for up to four weeks.
As zolpidem works quickly, it is recommended that patients take it right before getting into bed. It should not be taken with or after a meal as this can reduce the effectiveness of the medication. Ensure there is a period of at least 8 hours before performing any activities which require you to be alert and do not exceed 10mg in a 24-hour period.
Do not take zolpidem for longer than four weeks without your doctor’s advice. Children and adolescents under 18 years old are not advised to take zolpidem.
Common side effects of zolpidem include:
Inform your health care provider immediately if you experience any of the following side effects:
In rare cases, patients have driven vehicles while not fully awake (known as sleep driving), sleepwalked, prepared or eaten food, made phone calls or had sex while not fully awake. They often have no recollection of these events. If you discover you have carried out any of these activities without your knowledge, inform your GP straight away. Risk of severe side effects is increased if you consume alcohol while taking zolpidem or other medications.
Before taking zolpidem, inform your GP or pharmacist of your medical history. In particular, if you have experience of kidney disease, liver disease, mental health problems, personal or family history of substance abuse problems, sleepwalking, breathing or lung problems (in particular chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or sleep apnoea) and muscle diseases.
You should also inform your GP of any current medication you are taking, as these can impact the side effects you experience and the effectiveness of zolpidem. These include:
It is not recommended that patients take zolpidem with fluvoxamine, cirprofloxacin or St. John’s Wort (a herbal remedy) or any medication that is used for depression or mood swings. If taking zolpidem with antidepressants, there is an increased risk of hallucinations.
Zolpidem contains lactose so if you have been told previously that you cannot tolerate certain sugars, speak to your doctor before taking this medication.
Zolpidem should not be taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. This is particularly important during the third trimester and before or during labour, as this can cause breathing problems, hypothermia and floppiness in the newborn infant, as well as withdrawl symptoms in the baby after birth.
Seek immediate, emergency medical attention in the case of an overdose. Overdosing on zolpidem can be fatal, particularly if taken with other medications which cause drowsiness. Symptoms of overdose can include sleepiness, confusion, shallow breathing, feeling lightheaded, fainting or coma.
Zolpidem can be purchased online by filling out our consultation form. This will then be reviewed by a GP and if approved, your drugs will be sent to you in the post through our quick and safe couriers.
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