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Zolpidem is a generic name for a sedative or hypnotic medication that is usually prescribed to help patients who have problems falling asleep. However, it is also prescribed to those who have suffered from recent brain injuries or TBI. It is now being reported that the drug can help patients who are in the vegetative state for a short amount of time. There is evidence that Zolpidem can be used to treat some pain symptoms like back pain, especially when they’re linked to insomnia.

The more commonly known names are Ambien CR, Zolpimist and Edluar. It comes in the form of a dissolving tablet, oral spray and a film coated tablet. You can now get this medication in an immediate release form such as in Ambien CR, which will help you fall asleep fast, or in the extended release form, which will help you stay asleep through the night. It is usually only used during short periods of time and in many cases no longer than one month and works best if taken on an empty stomach. It should only be taken before bed and only if you have at least eight hours to devote to sleeping.

Patients who use Zolpidem over an extended amount of time should be aware that there is a risk of chemical dependency. If this medication is being prescribed to treat insomnia, then all other illnesses should be ruled out first.

Side Effects of Zolpidem?

There are several side effects that have been reported, and they are different in each patient. The following are the most frequently reported:

  • Sleepwalking
  • Unusual dreams
  • Impaired memory or concentration
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Fatigue and Drowsiness
  • Numbness, tingling or burning sensation in limbs
  • Uncontrollable shaking of one or more parts of the body
  • Headache
  • Feeling unsteady
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Excess gas
  • Constipation
  • Gastrointestinal pain
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Changes in appetite
  • Dry mouth or throat
  • Redness or dryness of the eyes
  • Ear pain or ringing
  • Muscle pain or cramping
  • Back or neck pain
  • Aching joints
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding

Side effects are not reported in every patient; however, you should speak with your doctor immediately if you experience any of them. Like all medications that increase drowsiness, Zolpidem cannot be taken while driving or using other heavy machinery.

Patients should also be aware that there is a chance of sleepwalking that has been reported, as well as driving or carrying on whole conversations that you will not remember while using this medication. If you or a family member notices any unusual behaviors, you should notify the doctor.

Is Zolpidem Right for You?

If you currently suffer from insomnia and want to try Zolpidem, talk to your doctor to see if you’re a good candidate for this medication. You may initially be prescribed a low dose to see how your body responds to the medicine.