Zolpidem is sleeping pill used for treating insomnia as well as symptoms related to the condition. Zolpidem is also known by the brand name Ambien and has a near perfect success rate as an insomnia treatment.
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Zolpidem is the name of the active ingredient in the first approved non-benzodiazepine sleep aid medication. It was introduced to the market in France in 1988 by Synthalabo. Synthalabo and Searle collaborated to bring it to market in the US, and it was approved for use in the United States by the FDA in 1992 under the brand name "Ambien". In 2007 when the patent expired, zolpidem became available in generic versions.
It is a GABA receptor agonist and works by increasing GABA effects in the central nervous system by binding to the GABA receptors. By specifically targeting the neuro transmitters that affect sleep, and by not working as an anticonvulsant or muscle relaxant Ambien sleeping pills are considered more suitable for Insomnia and various other sleep disorders. Sedative hypnotic medications such as Z drugs are also considered less habit forming than benzodiazepines.
Although it is primarily used for sleep conditions, zolpidem also proves effective for the treatment of anxiety or stressed based insomnia. Too many sleepless nights are attributed to this and all too often people spend more time worrying about their problem than getting the adequate amount of sleep to deal with the underlying cause. By working to relax people with a high level of apprehension, Ambien helps to get the required amount of sleep, ensuring a less stressful and more productive day.
Around 30% of the world's population suffer from insomnia and experience sleepless nights on an all too regular basis. In the UK alone 16 million adults suffer from sleep conditions such as Insomnia, frequent awakenings and sleep apnoea.
Insomnia is defined as the inability or difficulty to get to sleep, stay asleep or sleep long enough for at least 3 nights per week for at least 1 month despite adequate opportunity. Frequent awakenings or sleep maintenance insomnia is characterised by having difficulty returning to sleep after waking up during the night or early in the morning. Sleep Apnoea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts.
The consequences of sleep disorders are significant and if left untreated can result in depression, impaired work performance, illness and poorer quality of life.
Zolpidem otherwise known by the brand names Ambien or Stilnox is a medication that is popularly prescribed to Insomnia patients and has a number of generic versions. It is classified as a sedative hypnotic medication and is known to help restore the body's natural sleep cycle routine especially when taken in conjunction with sleep promoting lifestyle changes.
Doctors often prescribe zolpidem 10 mg for people who have insomnia, the trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep. There are 4 different types of insomnia, each type is characterised by how long it lasts, how it affects your sleep, and the underlying cause.
Acute Insomnia - is a short-term insomnia that can last from a few days to a few weeks. Also known as adjustment insomnia it typically occurs after a stressful event, such as starting a new job or the death of a loved one. Changes to your sleeping pattern i.e., light or noise disruption, an unfamiliar bed, or even illness or injury can also cause acute insomnia.
Chronic Insomnia - Insomnia is considered chronic when you have trouble sleeping for at least 3 nights per week for at least 1 month. Chronic insomnia can also be primary or secondary. Primary insomnia or idiopathic insomnia does not have a cause or underlying medical condition. Secondary insomnia or comorbid insomnia is chronic insomnia with another condition. Common causes include diabetes, Parkinson's disease, hyperthyroidism, depression, anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Onset Insomnia - Is the trouble getting to sleep. It can be caused by a trigger (sudden change in lifestyle) or can be due to poor sleep hygiene. Good Sleep hygiene consists of having a regular sleep routine, going to bed at the same time, avoiding day time naps, minimising tv, phone and computer time before bed, avoiding caffeine late at night and sleeping in a dark, quiet environment.
Maintenance insomnia - is difficulty staying asleep or waking up too early and having trouble getting back to sleep. This type of insomnia causes you to worry about not being able to fall back asleep and not getting enough sleep. This interferes with sleep further, creating a vicious cycle. Maintenance insomnia can be caused by mental health conditions, such as depression. Other medical conditions that can cause you to wake up include sleep apnoea, respiratory conditions including asthma and restless leg syndrome.
While Zopiclone and Zolpidem are classed as sedative hypnotic medications, they are also referred to as non-benzodiazepine Z drugs. The term Z drug refers to the most recently approved sedative hypnotic medications, zopiclone and zolpidem to reach the market. The goal was to achieve a medication that had a fast hypnotic action onset, with rapid clearance overnight to eliminate/minimise residual daytime sedation. It is this lack of day time sedation that is the main difference between a medication such as zolpidem and benzodiazepines.
Zolpidem and Zopiclone are equally effective medications when it comes to the treatment of Insomnia. The main difference being that Zolpidem shows significantly less rebound on discontinuation and is better tolerated. Patients taking zolpidem are also more likely to fall asleep quicker.
Zolpidem 10 mg are nonbenzodiazepine sleeping pills, popular brand names include Ambien or Stilnox. They are prescribed to treat various forms of insomnia over a 2 to 4-week period. This medicine helps patients fall asleep more quickly and makes waking up during the night less likely.
Zopiclone 7.5 mg are nonbenzodiazepine sleeping tablets, popular brand names include Imovane or Zimovane. They are prescribed to treat bouts of chronic insomnia over a short period of two to four weeks maximum. Zopiclone is proven to help patients fall asleep quickly and also helps to prevent frequent awakenings during the night.
The recommended daily dose is no more than 10 mg per 24 hours, administered in 1 dose. Although elderly patients over the age of 65 can benefit from this medication, it is usually prescribed as a half dose (1 x 5 mg tablet) to be taken once a day when necessary. The tablet should be swallowed whole with a glass of water immediately before bed. Do not take another dose during the same night and make sure you have a period of 8 hours free after taking the medication. The tablet should not be chewed, sucked or crunched. Zolpidem should only be taken at bedtime, if you forget do not try to make up for it and never double dose.
Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children and store in a dry place below 30°C.
Do not take zolpidem if:
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking if:
Do not drink alcohol or take other psychoactive substances while you are taking this medication. Use of this medicine is not recommended during pregnancy. A period of at least 8 hours is recommended between taking sedative hypnotic medications and driving, using machinery and working at heights.
Like all medicines zolpidem can cause side effects in some people, although not everyone gets them. If you experience any side effects, talk to your doctor. This may include possible side-effects not listed below.
The more common zolpidem side effects include:
Insomnia sufferers can find zolpidem in most over the counter high street pharmacies under brand names such as Ambien and Stilnox. When prescribing insomnia treatments for their patients, doctors will most likely suggest the use of this medication over the use of a benzodiazepine.
Clinical trials in sleep laboratories have shown that this medicine leads to an increase in total sleep duration, a decrease of stage 1 sleep (from wakefulness to sleep), and increases in the other stages of light, deep, and REM (dream) sleep.
According to the findings of several recent reviews, doctors are more inclined to prescribe their patients sedative hypnotic Z drugs as opposed to a benzodiazepine such as Diazepam for the treatment of insomnia. This is because numerous medical research findings have proven that a Z drug is significantly safer to use.
Numerous clinical reviews and medical journals that have analysed and compared it with benzodiazepine medications. In these comparative studies, the standard dose of zolpidem 10 mg (5 mg for the elderly) demonstrated hypnotic efficacy similar to many benzodiazepines and has, by increasing sleep efficiency, improved patients' daytime functioning in comparison with a placebo. This sleeping aid is also equal to lorazepam in sleep and cognitive function measures in patients with stroke and brain injury.
There are many good reasons for why this sleep aid is as popularly prescribed as it is, and why there are so many brands of this treatment available in the pharmaceutical retail market.
Many equally effective but less expensive generic versions of this treatment are also available, and patients with insomnia and similar sleeping disorders can now buy zolpidem online in the UK.
Do you have difficulty getting to sleep? Do you fall asleep only to wake up long before the alarm clock? Perhaps you wake up tired every morning and never quite fulfil your potential. Visit our established online pharmacy and take the first step to restoring your natural sleep wake cycle and reaching your potential each and every day.
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The tablet promotes the activity of Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA). This is a neurotransmitter that occurs naturally in the brain. It works as a chemical messenger which inhibits brain signals and also decreases activity of the nervous system.
Once zolpidem pills are absorbed into the bloodstream it activates GABA. The increased activity of this chemical stops the activity of neurons which are associated with insomnia. The treatment slows down the brain and promotes relaxation which ultimately leads to sleep.
Zolpidem pills are categorised as hypnotics and belong to the non-benzodiazepine family. The structure of the pill includes a mild muscle relaxant and sedative which helps the brain initiate sleep. Thus many patients benefit from Ambien for sleep purposes.
Once consumed the pill takes a maximum of 30 minutes to start working and the effects last 6 to 8 hours.
The use of this treatment will not affect fertility.
Ambien should not be taken with alcohol as it can cause side effects like extreme drowsiness and deep sleep sessions.
Published: 20 February 2021
Review Due: February 2022