Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Intermittent Zolpidem Dosing Works for Insomnia. (3-Month Randomized, Controlled Study)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Intermittent Zolpidem Dosing Works for Insomnia. (3-Month Randomized, Controlled Study)

Article excerpt

SEATTLE -- Intermittent dosing of zolpidem for insomnia was effective over a 3-month period, with no evidence of adverse events, Dr. Andrew D. Krystal said at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

Because of concerns about tolerance, withdrawal, and the potential for abuse, the Food and Drug Administration has approved sedative hypnotics for "short-term" use, defined as 1 month or less. "The problem is that insomniacs don't follow that pattern," said Dr. Krystal, director of the Sleep Research Laboratory at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C. "We would like to have a tool that's useful for a longer period of time."

According to Dr. Krystal, about 90% of sleep-medication users actually use intermittent dosing on their own, but few studies have tested this practice.

In research supported by Lorex Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Krystal and his colleagues recruited 192 patients with insomnia for a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of intermittent zolpidem (10 mg). Patients were instructed to take the medication a minimum of three times and a maximum of five times per week on any nights of their choosing. …

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