Zolpidem Tartrate (zole-PI-dem TAR-trate)
Treats insomnia (trouble sleeping).
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
Ambien, Ambien CR, AmbienPAK, Edluar
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to zolpidem.
How to Use This Medicine
Tablet, Long Acting Tablet
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- This medicine is usually taken just before bedtime, or when you are having trouble falling asleep. You should not use this medicine if you are not able to sleep or rest for about 7 to 8 hours before you need to be active again.
- Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
- Place the sublingual tablet under your tongue. Do not swallow the tablet or drink water when you take it.
- It is best to take this medicine on an empty stomach. It may take longer for this medicine to work if you take it just after eating a meal.
- This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one. Your doctor might ask you to sign some forms to show that you understand this information.
If a dose is missed:
- This medicine is usually given when you cannot sleep. You do not need to keep a schedule for taking it. Never take two doses at the same time.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using itraconazole (Sporanox®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), or rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®).
- Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy. These include sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, and sedatives.
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, myasthenia gravis (severe muscle weakness), or lung disease or breathing problems including sleep apnea.
- Tell your doctor if you have ever abused alcohol or other drugs, or if you have a history of depression or mental illness.
- Older adults may be especially sensitive to the effects of this medicine.
- This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have itching, hives, trouble breathing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth when you take this medicine.
- If you develop any unusual and strange thoughts or behavior while you are taking zolpidem, be sure to discuss it with your doctor. Some changes that have occurred in people taking this medicine are like those seen in people who drink alcohol and then act in a manner that is not normal. Other changes may be more unusual and extreme, such as confusion, worsening of depression, hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there), suicidal thoughts, and unusual excitement, nervousness, or irritability.
- This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
- This medicine may cause sleep-related behaviors such as driving a car (sleep-driving), walking (sleep-walking), having sex, making phone calls, or preparing and eating food while asleep or not fully awake. If these reactions occur, tell your doctor right away.
- This medicine may be habit-forming. If you feel that the medicine is not working as well, do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor for instructions.
- Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
- If you still have insomnia after using this medicine for 7 to 10 days, call your doctor.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
- Chest pain.
- Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat.
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and body aches.
- Lightheadedness or fainting.
- Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not really there.
- Severe depression or thoughts of suicide.
- Trouble breathing or shallow breathing.
- Unusual bleeding or bruising.
- Unusual or disturbing thoughts or behavior.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Confusion, blurred vision, or problems with balance.
- Dizziness or clumsiness.
- Dry mouth.
- Headache, back pain, or muscle pain.
- Memory loss or trouble concentrating.
- Nausea or diarrhea.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
Review Date: 2011-02-04