Zolpidem is a sleeping pill. It helps you sleep if you have problems sleeping (also known as insomnia).
Take Zolpidem exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Do not take Zolpidem for a longer period of time than instructed by your doctor. See your doctor if Zolpidem does not seem to help you.
Take Zolpidem on an empty stomach, just before going to bed. It should take effect almost immediately. Try not to take this medicine with food as it may take a longer time to take effect.
If you are taking the delayed-release, prolonged-release, sutained-release or extended-release type of tablet (may be labelled “ER”), swallow it whole. Do not divide, chew or crush the tablet.
If you are taking the sublingual type of tablet, do not swallow, chew or crush the tablet; it must be placed under your tongue to be effective.
If you are taking Zolpidem over a certain period of time, do not stop taking it unless instructed otherwise as stopping it suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as headache, restlessness, confusion, depression and anxiety. Your doctor will reduce the dose of Zolpidem gradually before stopping it completely. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Zolpidem is used to help you sleep. You may not need to take it everyday. Take it only when you need it. If you miss a dose, take it at your next scheduled dose.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
Alert your doctor if you have breathing problems such as sleep apnoea or a muscle weakness disorder called myasthenia gravis as Zolpidem may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following:
- liver disease
- kidney disease
- respiratory disease
- history of drug abuse
- depression or history of depression
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Take Zolpidem only when you need to. Try not to make a habit of relying on this medicine to help you sleep.
Practise good sleeping habits to reduce reliance on sleeping pills. These are some good sleeping habits which you should follow:
- Try to relax before bedtime. Do not engage in strenuous activities.
- Try to go to bed at about the same time every night.
- Have a light dinner. A heavy dinner may disturb your sleep.
- Avoid caffeine in the evening. Caffeine-containing food and drink include coffee, tea, certain soft drinks and even chocolate.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom quiet, dark and airy.
- Avoid taking naps especially in the late afternoon.
Zolpidem may cause drowsiness, dizziness and blurred vision. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: some memory loss, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, constipation, difficulty sleeping, nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort, back pain and muscle ache. It may also cause abnormal sleep activities such as driving, cooking, eating and walking while you are still asleep. Inform your doctor immediately if this happens.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- hallucinations (seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not existent)
- unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being too depressed, agitated, or having compulsive and impulsive behaviour)
- numbness or tingling sensation in the hands and feet
- ringing in the ears
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines for epilepsy e.g. phenytoin, valproic acid
- medicine for lung infection known as tuberculosis e.g. rifampicin
- HIV medicine e.g. ritonavir
- medicine for fungal infections e.g. ketoconazole
- medicine for depression e.g. bupropion, desipramine, fluoxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Zolpidem.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid grapefruit juice and St. John's wort.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.