Sleep Home > Zolpidem

Zolpidem is a prescription sleep medicine that is used to treat short-term insomnia in adults. It is available in two strengths and is generally taken for only one or two days. In clinical studies, zolpidem has been shown to help patients fall asleep faster, sleep longer, experience higher-quality sleep, and have fewer awakenings. Possible side effects of this drug include dizziness, diarrhea, and daytime drowsiness.

What Is Zolpidem?

Zolpidem (Ambien®) is a prescription medication that has been licensed to treat short-term insomnia in adults.
This article refers to short-acting zolpidem tablets (Ambien). For other forms, see Edluar or Intermezzo (zolpidem sublingual tablets), Zolpimist (zolpidem oral spray), or Ambien CR (zolpidem extended-release tablets).

Who Makes Zolpidem?

Brand-name Ambien is manufactured by sanofi-aventis. Generic zolpidem is made by several different manufacturers (see Generic Ambien).

What Is It Used For?

Zolpidem is used to treat insomnia. It is used for a number of sleep difficulties, including:
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Waking up often during the night
  • Waking up too early in the morning.


(Click What Is Zolpidem Used For? for more information.)


How Does Zolpidem Work?

Zolpidem is part of a class of medications called sedative/hypnotics, which are known more commonly as sleep medicine. Based on clinical studies, when compared to people who did not take zolpidem, people who took it:
  • Fell asleep faster
  • Slept longer
  • Had higher-quality sleep
  • Had fewer awakenings.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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