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Zolpidem

Why is this medication prescribed?

Zolpidem is used short-term to treat insomnia (to help you fall asleep and stay asleep for a proper rest).

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

Zolpidem comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken once a day at bedtime as directed. It usually begins working within 15 minutes. This medication usually is taken 7-10 days. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take zolpidem exactly as directed.

Zolpidem can be habit-forming. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or for a longer period than your doctor tells you to.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking zolpidem,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to zolpidem or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially allergy preparations, antihistamines, barbiturates, cold medicines, medications for depression or seizures, pain relievers, tranquilizers, and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have, or have ever had kidney or liver disease, a history of alcoholism or drug abuse or depression, asthma, breathing problems, or allergies.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking zolpidem, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking zolpidem.
  • you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
  • remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Take zolpidem on an empty stomach (at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals).

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Do not take a missed dose when you remember it. Skip it completely; then take the next dose at the regularly scheduled time.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Although side effects from zolpidem are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • drowsiness
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • dry mouth
  • muscle aches

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • skin rash
  • itching
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • chest pain
  • difficulty breathing
  • fever
  • behavior changes
  • mental confusion
  • abnormal thinking or dreams
  • depression

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature, away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Zolpidem is a controlled substance. Prescriptions may be refilled only a limited number of times; ask your pharmacist if you have any questions.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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