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Zolpidem is a prescription medication used for the treatment of insomnia, as well as some brain disorders. It is a short-acting nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic of the imidazopyridine class that potentiates gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an inhibitory neurotransmitter, by binding to GABAA receptors at the same location as benzodiazepines. It works quickly (usually within 15 minutes) and has a short half-life (two to three hours). Zolpidem has not adequately demonstrated effectiveness in maintaining sleep (unless delivered in a controlled-release form); however, it is effective in initiating sleep. Some users take zolpidem recreationally for these side effects. However, it may be less common than benzodiazepine abuse. Zolpidem can become addictive if taken for extended periods of time, due to dependence on its ability to put one to sleep or to the euphoria it can sometimes produce.
Zolpidem, a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic, is very effective and widely prescribed in clinical practice for the treatment of insomnia and is thought to have few adverse effects. However, zolpidem-induced adverse effects have begun to be reported in the literature, but few systemic descriptions of the adverse effects (especially for psychotic reactions) of zolpidem have been undertaken. In light of the accumulating reports of adverse reactions to zolpidem, we present 2 case reports of zolpidem-induced adverse effects and review the literature on this subject.
Inagaki, T., Miyaoka, T., Tsuji, S., Inami, Y., Nishida, A., & Horiguchi, J. (2010). Adverse reactions to zolpidem: case reports and a review of the literature. Primary care companion to the Journal of clinical psychiatry, 12(6).
Zolpidem modified-release (MR) is the first hypnotic agent to be marketed in an extended-release formulation. Zolpidem MR is a two-layered, biphasic release tablet indicated for the management of induction of sleep and sleep maintenance. The pharmacokinetics of the drug are similar to those of immediate-release zolpidem. Two double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trials demonstrated efficacy in adults and elderly patients treated with zolpidem MR for 3 weeks without significant impairment in next-day psychomotor functioning. The most common adverse effects with zolpidem MR were dizziness, somnolence, and headache. A starting dose of zolpidem MR 12.5 mg is recommended for adults and 6.25 mg for elderly patients.
Kirkwood, C., Neill, J., & Breden, E. (2007). Zolpidem modified-release in insomnia. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment, 3(5), 521.