Zolpidem belongs to psychotropic hypnotics, acting on the central nervous system. It occurs in the following preparations: Nasen, Onirex, Apo-Zolpin, Stilnox, ZolpiGen, Hypnogen.
Zolpidem does not cure insomnia because it does not affect its causes. Only endures the same symptoms – night awakening, too short sleep time or problems falling asleep. The drug lengthens sleep time and shortens the time of falling asleep.
What information can I give you about the dosage?
The drug should be taken just before bedtime, preferably while already in bed, with a sufficient amount of liquid. It should only be used temporarily. Zolpidem is present in tablets at a dose of 10 mg, but for women and people over 65, the recommended dose is 5 mg of zolpidem (ie half a tablet!). In adults under 65, the recommended dose is 10 mg. What to focus on by educating the patient about the medicine or disease?
Zolpidem is a sleeping drug, not soothing – for many patients this difference is not obvious – it is worth paying attention to it.
Talk to the patient, remind him that the medicine works immediately after administration, so after taking the drug should immediately go to sleep, not planning other activities such as dinner or bath. Please note that after taking the medicine, the patient should book a minimum of 8 hours sleep. Is the treatment effective?
Ask the patient if he is feeling better. It should be remembered that using zolpidem for a longer period of time than a few weeks may impair the hypnotic effects of the drug, which can be clearly felt.
Ask what dose of the drug and how often the patient is using. It is important to exclude the possibility of increasing the dose yourself, if the patient feels that the drug for some reason turned out to be ineffective. Warn him about the risk of addiction.
What side effects (ADR) can you expect?
Zolpidem carries the risk of addiction. Remind the patient never to lend, prescribed only for him “sleep pills” or use medicines prescribed to others.
The drug may cause imbalance and coordination, and as a consequence – impair your ability to drive. The highest risk of accidents is in the first days of taking the drug. It is allowed to drive vehicles only if after the recommended dose the patient slept for a minimum of 8 hours.
Elderly people, over 65 years of age, should be informed about the possibility of imbalances, especially in the first hours after taking the drug.
After using zolpidem, parasomnia and lunatomy are also possible. Inform the patient that when taking the drug, during the night may happen activities that he will not remember (eg night food). Pay special attention to the elderly, make sure they do not start the drug therapy if they are alone at home.
Other side effects include: drowsiness, tiredness, pain and dizziness, restlessness, agitation or irritability. Long-term use of the drug may cause memory impairment and increase the risk of dementia. Post-mortem obstruction may occur especially in the absence of 7-8 hours of sleep after taking the drug.
The risk of adverse drug reactions increases in patients over 80 years of age. For this reason, it is not recommended for elderly people.
How to help monitor the treatment and the risk of interaction?
Zolpidem, administered daily, can be used for a few days to two weeks – if necessary, it can be used for 4 weeks. After four weeks, take a break from the medicine to reduce the risk of addiction.
If the drug is taken for more than 4 weeks, you should try to stop the drug from time to time in cooperation with your doctor.
Encourage the patient to ask the doctor how long he / she has been using the medicine when he or she is asking to prescribe another pack of the medicine.
If you notice that the drug is used for more than 6 months, it means that the patient is probably addicted to the drug. Try explaining to the patient that the medicine he is taking may work in this way and refer him to the doctor for help in stopping the medicine.
Please note that you should not take the drug together with alcohol or other sleeping pills, because of the effect of sedation and simultaneous administration. Alcohol also increases the risk of symptoms such as: psychomotor agitation, aggressiveness or irritability).