Zolpidem is a sedative, also called a hypnotic. It affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with sleep problems (insomnia).
Zolpidem is used to treat insomnia. The immediate-release forms are Ambien, Intermezzo, Edluar, and Zolpimist, which are used to help you fall asleep. The extended-release form of zolpidem is Ambien CR which has a first layer that dissolves quickly to help you fall asleep, and a second layer that dissolves slowly to help you stay asleep.
Ambien, Edluar, and Zolpimist are used to help you fall asleep when you first go to bed. Intermezzo, is used to help you fall back to sleep if you wake up in the middle of the night and then have trouble sleeping.
Your doctor will determine which form of zolpidem is best for you.
Zolpidem may cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking zolpidem and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Do not share this medication with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have. The recommended doses of zolpidem are not the same in men and women, and this drug is not approved for use in children. Misuse of this medication can result in dangerous side effects.
Zolpidem may impair your thinking or reactions. You may still feel sleepy the morning after taking this medicine, especially if you take the extended-release tablet, or if you are a woman. Wait at least 4 hours or until you are fully awake before you do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
Never take this medicine in larger amounts or for longer than prescribed.
Do not take zolpidem if you have consumed alcohol during the day or just before bed.
Before taking this medicine
Some people using zolpidem have engaged in activity such as driving, eating, walking, making phone calls, or having sex and later having no memory of the activity. If this happens to you, stop taking zolpidem and talk with your doctor about another treatment for your sleep disorder.
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to zolpidem. The tablets may contain lactose. Use caution if you are sensitive to lactose.
Zolpidem is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
depression, mental illness, or suicidal thoughts;
drug or alcohol addiction;
lung disease or breathing problems;
sleep apnea (breathing stops during sleep); or
liver or kidney disease.