Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Zolpidem Becomes First Drug Prescribed Differently for Women

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Zolpidem Becomes First Drug Prescribed Differently for Women

Article excerpt

In 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) notified the public of new information about zolpidem, a widely prescribed medication for insomnia. The agency recommends that the bedtime dose be lowered because new data show that blood levels in some patients may be high enough the morning after use to impair activities that require alertness, including driving. This announcement focuses on zolpidem products approved for use at bedtime. The products are marketed as generic medications and under the brand names Ambien[R], Ambien CR[R], Edluar[R], and Zolpimist[R].

Drowsiness is already listed as a common side effect in the labeling of all insomnia drugs, along with warnings that patients may still feel drowsy the day after they take these products. Patients can experience impairment of mental alertness the morning after use even if they feel fully awake.

The risk of next-morning impairment is highest with the extended-release forms of these drugs (Ambien CR[R] and generic brands). Women-appear to be more susceptible to this risk because they eliminate zolpidem from their bodies more slowly than men do. …

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