Drugs A - Z
Zolpidem Tartrate Oral tablet, biphasic release
Generic Name: zolpidem extended release
Brand Names: Ambien CR
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.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- history of a drug or alcohol abuse problem
- liver disease
- lung or breathing disease
- suicidal thoughts
- an unusual or allergic reaction to zolpidem, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not crush, split, or chew the tablet before swallowing. 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.
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 may interact with this medicine?
- herbal medicines like kava kava, melatonin, St. John's wort and valerian
- medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole, fluconazole, or itraconazole
- medicines for treating depression or other mental problems
- other medicines given for sleep
- some medicines for Parkinson' s disease or other movement disorders
- some medicines used to treat HIV infection or AIDS, like ritonavir
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 your insomnia worsens or is not better within 7 to 10 days.
You may not be able to remember things that you do in the hours after you take this medicine. Some people have reported driving, making phone calls, or preparing and eating food while asleep after taking sleep medicine. Take this medicine right before going to sleep. Tell your doctor if you are having any problems with your memory.
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.
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. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness the day after you take this medicine. 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.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
If you or your family notice any changes in your behavior, or if you have any unusual or disturbing thoughts, call your doctor right away.
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
- changes in vision
- depressed mood
- feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
- problems with balance, speaking, walking
- restlessness, excitability, or feelings of agitation
- unusual activities while asleep like driving, eating, making phone calls
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- dizziness, or daytime drowsiness, sometimes called a hangover effect
Where should I keep my medicine?Keep out of the reach of children. This medicine can be abused. Keep your medicine in a safe place to protect it from theft. Do not share this medicine with anyone. Selling or giving away this medicine is dangerous and against the law.
Store at controlled room temperature between 15 and 25 degrees C (59 and 77 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.