How does it work?
Zolpidem (Zolbien, Stilnoct)10 mg works by acting on receptors in the brain called GABA receptors, specifically the GABA-A receptors. This causes the release of a neurotransmitter called GABA in the brain.
Neurotransmitters are natural body chemicals that act as chemical messengers between nerve cells. GABA is a neurotransmitter that acts as a natural ‘nerve-calming’ agent. It helps keep the nerve activity in the brain in balance, and is involved in inducing sleepiness, reducing anxiety and relaxing muscles.
Zolpidem can be used as a short-term treatment for insomnia. This includes difficulty falling asleep, waking in the night, waking early in the morning and sleeping problems that are causing severe distress.
Zolpidem decreases the time taken to fall asleep and the number of times you wake up in the night, as well as increasing the total amount of time spent sleeping. However, it is only suitable for short-term treatment of insomnia (up to four weeks), as when used for longer periods it has a potential for dependence and addiction. The medicine should be taken just before going to bed at night.
Zolpidem is also available without a brand name, as the generic medicine.
What is it used for?
Short-term treatment of insomnia. This medicine should not be used for longer than four weeks.
How do I take it?
-You should only take this medicine if you will able to have an uninterrupted sleep of seven to eight hours.
-Adults over 18 years of age should take one 10mg tablet at bedtime. Elderly or weak people and those with liver problems should take one 5mg tablet at bedtime.
-The tablets can be taken either with or without food.
-Do not take a second dose in the same night.
-You should only take this medicine before going to bed at night. If you forget to take it at bedtime don’’t take it at any other time, or you will end up feeling drowsy, dizzy and confused during the day.
Not to be used in
-Children and adolescents under 18 years of age.
-People with sudden or severe breathing difficulties, or slow, shallow breathing (respiratory depression).
-People with sleep apnoea syndrome, which is a condition in which breathing stops for short spells during sleep.
-People with a condition called myasthenia gravis, which involves abnormal muscle weakness.
-People with psychotic illness, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
-Severely decreased liver function.
Zolpidem tablets contain lactose and are not suitable for people with rare hereditary disorders of galactose intolerance, Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Use with caution in
-People with decreased liver function.
-People with breathing problems.
-People with a history of alcoholism or drug abuse.
-People with a history of psychiatric illness.
-People suffering from depression.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
Common (affect between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 people)
-Seeing or hearing things that are not really there (hallucinations).
-Nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain.
Some people may find this medicine makes their sleeping problems worse. Tell your doctor if this is the case.
Uncommon (affect between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 people)
-Aggression and anger with disturbance in behaviour.
-Sleep disorders, eg sleep walking, sleep driving.
-Psychosis or delusions.
-Change in sex drive.
-Skin reactions such as rashes, itching or excessive sweating.
-Elevated levels of liver enzymes.
-Reduced ability to walk normally, which may increase risk of falls.
-Slow, shallow breathing.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine’s manufacturer.
Zolpidem should be stored at room temperature in a container it comes in. Protect from heat, sun light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep away from pets and children.