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Zolpidem is a sedative-hypnotic medication primarily prescribed to treat short-term insomnia.

Last Modified: 07 May 2024

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What is Zolpidem? 

Zolpidem is a sedative-hypnotic medication primarily prescribed to treat short-term insomnia. It works by affecting the brain's neurotransmitters to produce a calming effect, aiding in falling asleep. 

The medication's structure is based on modulating the GABA-A receptor, and it is developed through a synthesis process in pharmaceutical laboratories. Zolpidem's chemical formula is C_19H_21N_3O. 


Global Name

Generic name:  Zolpidem
Brand names: Ambien, Edluar, Intermezzo, Zolpimist, Zolnite, Stilnox


What is Zolpidem used for? 

Zolpidem is used to treat insomnia characterized by difficulties with sleep initiation. It provides short-term relief of sleep disturbances.

How do you use Zolpidem? 


Zolpidem is available in tablet form, including immediate-release, extended-release, and sublingual tablets. 

Dosage information:

  • Adults: 5 mg (women) or 5-10 mg (men) taken orally once a night immediately before bedtime. 
  • Elderlies or debilitated adults: Start with a dose of 5 mg to minimize adverse effects. 


  • Children: Not recommended for use in children. 
  • Adults: Yes, with adherence to prescribed dosages. 
  • Elderlies: Yes, with a lower starting dose due to increased sensitivity. 

Is there anyone who can’t take Zolpidem? 

  • Children: Not recommended. 
  • Adults: Those with a hypersensitivity to zolpidem or history of complex sleep behaviors after taking zolpidem. 
  • Elderlies: Use with caution and lower doses. 
  • Pregnancy: Use only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk. 
  • Lactation: Not recommended due to the passage into breast milk. 
  • Allergies: Individuals allergic to zolpidem or its components should avoid this medication. 

Any warnings and precautions : 

Zolpidem may cause complex sleep behaviors like sleep-driving; use caution with other CNS depressants. Do not take with or immediately after a meal. 

Drug Interactions: 

Concomitant use with other CNS depressants, opioids, and alcohol increases the risk of CNS depression. Zolpidem should not be used with sleep apnea or severe liver disease. 

Side Effects

Common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, and headache. Serious side effects can consist of allergic reactions, abnormal thoughts or behaviors, and memory loss.

Pharmacist Tips

  • Storage information: Store at room temperature, away from light and moisture. 
  • Handling instructions: Handle with care, do not crush or break the tablets, and avoid alcohol consumption. 


Where is Zolpidem available in Hong Kong?

Zolpidem is a prescription medication that can be prescribed by healthcare providers. 



How long does Zolpidem take to work?  

Zolpidem typically works within 30 minutes, so it should be taken immediately before bedtime. 

Can I take Zolpidem every night? 

It's usually prescribed for short-term use. Long-term usage should be discussed with a healthcare provider. 

What should I do if I miss a dose of Zolpidem?  

If you miss a dose, skip it and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose. 

Can I drive in the morning after taking Zolpidem?   

Zolpidem can cause drowsiness. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how it affects you and are sure you can do so safely. 

This website provides content related to drug use and medicine for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not use the information on this website to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. The website's owners and contributors are not liable for any repercussions, adverse effects, or consequences resulting from the use of any medication or information provided herein.

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