Zolpidem (By mouth)


Zolpidem Tartrate (zole-PI-dem TAR-trate)

Treats insomnia.

Brand Name(s)

Ambien, Ambien CR, AmbienPAK, Gabazolpidem-5, Sentrazolpidem PM-5

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet, Long Acting Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • This medicine is not for long-term use.
  • This medicine is usually taken just before bedtime, or when you are having trouble falling asleep. You should not take this medicine if you are not able to sleep or rest for 7 to 8 hours before you need to be active again.
  • This medicine should not be taken with food or right after a meal.
  • Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Use this medicine only when you cannot sleep. You do not need to keep a schedule for taking it.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines and foods can affect how zolpidem works. Tell your doctor if you are taking ketoconazole, rifampin, or depression medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol or if you are using any medicine that makes you sleepy, such as allergy medicine or narcotic pain medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney, liver, or lung disease, myasthenia gravis, or breathing problems, including sleep apnea. Tell your doctor if you have ever been addicted to alcohol or drugs, or if you have a history of depression or mental illness.
  • Tell your doctor if you develop any unusual thoughts or behaviors. This includes aggressive behavior, confusion, hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there), anxiety, depression, or thoughts of hurting yourself.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy, especially first thing in the next morning. Do not drive or do anything that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • This medicine may cause you to do things while you are still asleep that you may not remember the next morning, such as driving a car, having sex, or eating food. Tell your doctor right away if you learn that this has happened.
  • This medicine can be habit-forming. Do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor if you think your medicine is not working. If you take this medicine every night, you might have side effects for a few days when you stop using it. This includes nausea, vomiting, crying, and trouble sleeping.
  • Call your doctor if you still have trouble sleeping after you take this medicine for 7 to 10 days.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

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
  • Anxiety, depression, nervousness, unusual behavior, or thoughts of hurting yourself
  • Memory loss
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • Severe confusion, drowsiness, muscle weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Diarrhea, nausea
  • Headache, lightheadedness, or dizziness

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

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/4/2014

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