Precautions and Warnings for Zolpidem

Some Precautions and Warnings for Zolpidem

Some precautions and warnings to be aware of with zolpidem include:
  • In January 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lowered the recommended dosage for zolpidem for women and suggested that a lower dosage be considered for men as well. This change was made because the lower dosage is less likely to cause morning drowsiness, which can interfere with your ability to do anything that requires alertness, such as driving (see Zolpidem Dosing for more information).
  • There are certain other medications that zolpidem can interact with (see Drug Interactions With Zolpidem).
  • If you drink alcohol, let your healthcare provider know prior to starting zolpidem. People should not use alcohol when taking zolpidem because it can increase the risks of developing zolpidem side effects.
  • Zolpidem is considered a pregnancy Category C medicine. This means that it may not be safe for use in pregnancy (see Ambien During Pregnancy).


  • If you are nursing, it is recommended that you do not take zolpidem. Therefore, if you are taking zolpidem, talk with your healthcare provider about whether you should stop nursing or discontinue zolpidem.
  • Zolpidem is considered a hypnotic/sedative type of medication. If you notice any changes in your behavior (such as anything unusual and/or disturbing) while taking zolpidem or other sleep medicines, notify your healthcare provider immediately.
  • People who are elderly or debilitated can be quite sensitive to the effects of zolpidem. Because of this, a lower dosage of zolpidem is generally recommended. When taking zolpidem, make sure you have at least seven or eight hours to sleep.
  • Zolpidem not only acts quickly, but there may also be carryover effects to the next day. Therefore, when starting zolpidem, do not do anything that requires complete alertness, such as driving, operating machinery, or piloting an airplane.
  • Zolpidem has been known to cause memory loss (amnesia), when a person cannot remember what has happened for several hours after taking the medicine. This can be a problem for people who use zolpidem when traveling. Unless a person is able to get seven to eight hours of sleep, zolpidem is not recommended.


  • Sedative-hypnotic medications (such as zolpidem) can cause life-threatening allergic reactions. An allergic reaction to zolpidem can occur even with your first dose of the drug. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any signs of an allergic reaction, such as an unexplained rash, itching, hives, wheezing or trouble breathing, or unexplained swelling (especially of the throat, lips, or mouth).
  • There have been reports of "sleep-driving," "sleep-eating," or other unusual behaviors in people taking sedative-hypnotic medications. In general, people do not remember doing these things when they wake up in the morning. These activities can be dangerous, since people are not fully awake or alert.
  • After a couple of weeks, zolpidem may lose its effectiveness in helping people sleep. This is why zolpidem should be used only for a short period of time (one to two days). If you are still having trouble sleeping after one to two weeks of taking zolpidem, make sure to let your healthcare provider know.
  • Withdrawal symptoms are possible with zolpidem if it is used daily for a long period of time (see Ambien Withdrawal).
  • Rebound insomnia is possible when people stop taking zolpidem. Rebound insomnia is when a person has difficultly sleeping after stopping sleep medicine. This usually improves within one to two days.
  • Zolpidem can be addicting. Make sure you do not take the medicine for longer than 30 days (see Ambien Addiction).

Zolpidem Tartrate

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