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Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Zolpidem Tartrate Stilnox Adult

zolpidem - What is it for

​Zolpidem is used for short term treatment of conditions such as insomnia (sleep problems).

It may be given to you for other reasons. Do check with your doctor what you are taking this for.

zolpidem - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can zolpidem cause?

Potential side effects

All medicines may cause side effects. However, many people do not experience them.

Most of the side effects listed here will improve with time. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if they persist, become bothersome or worsen.


Side effectsWhat to do about it
Upset stomach, nauseaTake this medicine after meals. Eat small but frequent meals to minimize bloating after a meal. Avoid food that is too rich, spicy or has strong smells.
HeadacheConsult your doctor or pharmacist if you need any painkillers

Do not drive or operate any machinery.

You may still feel sleepy the day after you take the medication. Avoid doing tasks that call for you to be alert until you feel fully awake

DizzinessGet up slowly from a lying or sitting position


Serious side effects

Seek medical help as soon as possible if you have any of the following signs or symptoms.

  • Allergy such as rashes, swelling of lips/face/throat, difficulty breathing
  • Feeling excitable, over-talkative, disinhibited and having intrusive thoughts
  • Altered mood including new or worsening thoughts of self-harm.

Take note that the side effects listed here are not exhaustive. Do seek medical attention if you have other symptoms that you think may be related to the medicine.

Before taking zolpidem, what precautions must I follow?

​What do I need to tell my doctor before I take this medicine?

  • Drug allergies; including lactose intolerance (congenital galactosaemia, glucose malabsorption syndrome or lactase deficiency).
  • Pre-existing medical conditions such as lung disease, sleep apnoea (temporary stopping of breathing during sleep), myasthenia gravis or liver disease
  • Whether you are taking any other medicines, supplements or traditional medicines. Some of them may affect how this medicine works.
  • For women: Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding or have plans to become pregnant. If you are pregnant and/or breastfeeding, your doctor would have discussed the potential benefits and side-effects of starting/continuing this medicine with you but should you have further questions or concerns, do consult your doctor.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take zolpidem?

​This medicine may interact with a number of other medicines. This is particularly the case for medicines which may alter your mood, certain painkillers and other medicines which may cause drowsiness. Inform your doctor if you are taking or intend to take other medicines or supplements.

Avoid alcohol while taking this medicine.

zolpidem - Dosage and How to Use

How should zolpidem be used?

​Take Zolpidem before bedtime. This medicine will work faster if it is taken on an empty stomach.

Take this medicine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the instructions on the medicine label or as advised by the pharmacist.

Long term use of this medicine, especially at high doses, may result in dependence. You may start to rely on this medicine and experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it. Repetitive use of this medicine may also result in a reduced effect, even at the same dose.

To prevent this from occurring

  • Take this on a short term basis.
  • Take the lowest possible dose that works for you. Do not take more than what is prescribed.
  • Cut down the frequency of usage if possible.

If you have been taking this medicine on a regular basis for some time, consult your doctor on the appropriate way to discontinue the medicine. Sudden discontinuation of the medicine may result in withdrawal symptoms such as increased anxiety, sleep disturbances and headache. Seek medical attention as soon as possible if such symptoms occur.

Avoid taking alcohol while taking this medicine as it will cause excessive drowsiness.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

​This medicine is usually taken on an as needed basis, do not take it more often than told by your doctor.

If taken on a regular basis take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one at your usual timing. Do not take more than one dose at the same time or during the same day. (Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses).


What should I do if I overdose?

​If you take more than the dose prescribed to you by your doctor, consult your doctor or health care professional immediately.

zolpidem - Handling

How should I handle zolpidem safely?

zolpidem - Storage

How should I store zolpidem?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#Store at room temperature;#

How should I dispose of zolpidem safely?

​Throw away any unused or expired medicines. Consult your medical professional if you are unsure with respect to how to safely dispose of any excess medicines/expired medicines.

zolpidem - Additional Information

​What are the things I need to know or look out for while taking this medicine?

  • Avoid driving or any other activities that requires concentration until you see how this medicine affects you.
  • Inform your other healthcare professionals that you are on this medicine as well.
  • Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist before you take any other medicines or natural products.
  • Taking this medicine along with opioid painkillers such as codeine and morphine may lead to side effects. Inform your healthcare provider if you are taking any painkillers or cough preparations.
  • Ensure that you have at least 7-8 hours of sleep if you take this medicine. It is recommended to wait at least 12 hours before engaging in activities that requires concentration such as driving.
  • Do not share your medicines with others
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about your medicine
  • Updated on Monday, March 11, 2019
  • Article contributed by Pharmacy Changi General Hospital

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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