Zolpidem: Sleep Initiation and Maintenance

You know that you have insomnia if you have difficulty initiating sleep, could not maintain sleep or wake up too early and could not return to sleep. Some of the effects of insomnia include impaired social and occupational functioning, stress, fatigue and irritability. A chronic insomnia may develop into serious conditions such as increased risk for ischemic stroke, weight gain, psychiatric disturbances and cardiac morbidity. In some cases, the quality of life of patients is significantly affected, along with occupational and cognitive functioning leading to costly healthcare utilization.

How Zolpidem Can Help You:

Zolpidem has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat insomnia, with the potential clinical benefits of promoting sleep onset and maintenance. This drug is used for short-term insomnia management, usually about two weeks to a maximum of six weeks. The drug has strong hypnotic properties but weak anticonvulsant, anxiolytic and myorelaxant properties. Clinical trials that compared Zolpidem with benzodiazepines showed that little consistent differences between the two drugs in terms of sleep latency and total sleep duration, quality of sleep, rebound insomnia, number of awakenings, daytime alertness and adverse events.

Tolerance and dependence:

Zolpidem should never be recommended for long term use. Some potential effects of long term use include drug dependence, central nervous system (CNS) related adverse reactions, drug tolerance and rebound insomnia. The drug is recommended for short term use and in dosage that suits your health condition and age. Some people may develop tolerance to the effects of Zolpidem a few weeks after they started medication. It is not advisable to stop taking the drug without notifying your doctor as abrupt withdrawal, especially after prolong usage at high dosages, may cause seizures, delirium and other severe effects.

In the event that physical dependence and drug tolerance to Zolpidem has happened, the common treatment includes a gradual reduction in dose for several months so that patient will avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Overdose may happen when taking Zolpidem. Symptoms include pin-point pupils, excessive sedation and impaired respiratory function which can lead to coma, or worst, death. Fatal overdose is a potential effect if you combine Zolpidem with opiates, CNS depressants and alcohol. In the event of an overdose, treatment may include flumazenil, a benzodiazepine receptor antagonist, which acts by displacing Zolpidem and reversing its effects.

Zolpidem is available in various trade names, including Ambien, Ivedal, Adormix, Edluar, Myslee, Nytamel, Sanval, Stilnox, Sucedal, Zoldem, Zolnod, Zolsana, Zolpimist and Zolpihexal. Do not forget to tell your physician if you have allergy to any ingredients of the drug so that he can prescribed the right medication to treat your insomnia.

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