Zolpidem: Does It Help People

Numerous studies were made on the efficacy of Zolpidem for insomnia management and reports have been published in various journals about the drug. These reports and studies will greatly help you if you are planning to take the medication to treat your insomnia and improve the quality of your sleep.

Studies and Reports on Medical Uses of Zolpidem

The nightly use of Zolpidem for up to 24 weeks was examined in a 1991 single-blind trial while its efficacy were assessed in a 1992 open-label study that lasted 180 days and in a 1993 trial that lasted 179 days. All these studies concluded that the drug’s sleep onset action is more effective than its sleep maintenance capacity.

Zolpidem was one of the hypnotic agents approved by the U.S. Air Force for use to help special duty personnel and aviators attain quality sleep in support of mission readiness. However, ground tests are yet to be conducted to assess the safety and efficacy of the drug in an operational situation.

Studies and Reports on Side Effects

Sleepwalking has been reported by some users of Zolpidem, with others reporting binge eating, driving, having sex, sleep talking and other activities performed while sleeping. A study by researchers at the National Prescribing Service in Australia showed that these events happened after the first time the patient has ingested the drug or within a few days after starting on the medication.  There were also reported cases of sexual parasomnia episodes which indicated that sleepwalkers can perform tasks they normally do when they are awake.

Sleepwalkers are difficult to identify because they usually carry on conversations normally and respond coherently unlike sleep talking which is easy to detect as the speech is incoherent. Many people will think that the sleepwalker is wide awake. People, under the influence of Zolpidem and sleepwalked, are not fully aware of their environment even though they appear to be awake. And most of them will not have any memory of their nighttime activities when they wake up in the morning.

The “Sydney Morning Herald” reported in 2007 about a man who sleepwalked to death when he fell 30 meters from a high-rise balcony. It was reported also that the man was under the influence of a drug with Zolpidem. The incident prompted more than 40 readers of the newspaper to share their own experiences with Zolpidem-related automatism. The Adverse Drug Reactions Advisory in Australia decided to place the drug under review following numerous reported cases of sleepwalking.

If you are planning to take Zolpidem as insomnia treatment, ask a friend or relative to monitor you during the first few days after starting the therapy. Inform your doctor immediately about any unusual behavior or mood disturbances.

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