Zolpidem is used for short-term treatment of insomnia (difficulty sleeping). It helps you fall asleep faster and sleep through the night.


What is this medication used for

Zolpidem is used for short-term treatment of insomnia (difficulty sleeping). It helps you fall asleep faster and sleep through the night.

Zolpidem may also be used for other conditions – check with your doctor.


Dosage and H​​ow to Use

Follow the directions on your medicine label and take the medicine as directed. If you feel that the medicine is not working well, do consult your doctor.

Zolpidem should be taken just before going to bed when you are ready to sleep. Do not take this medicine when your schedule does not allow you to sleep for 7-8 hours.

Zolpidem works faster if you take it on an empty stomach.

You should obtain this medicine from the same doctor or clinic whenever possible.


Side Effects, Precautions, Contraind​ication

Before using this medic​ine:

Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had alcohol or drug abuse; lung, liver or kidney disease; depression; myasthenia gravis; or sleep apnoea (temporary stopping of breathing during sleep).
FOR WOMEN: Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. 

Possible Side Effects   ​​

Like all medicines, this medicine may also cause some POSSIBLE side effects but not everyone experiences them. ​

​Common side effects
​​ What can I do about it?
​​​(Generally affect up to 10% of patients)
Most of the side effects below improve as your body gets used to the medicine. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if they persist, worsen or become too bothersome.​ ​
Tiredness; drowsiness
​​Avoid driving, or engaging in activities requiring concentration.​
DizzinessGet up slowly from sitting or lying down position.
​Nausea or vomiting; stomach discomfort
Take the medicine with or after food.

Take simple meals and avoid rich or spicy foods.
Feeling clumsy or unsteady;

Speak with the doctor if any of these become bothersome.​

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of the following: 

~ Allergic reaction: skin rash, itching, difficulty in breathing, swollen tongue, lips, eyes, or face.

~ Memory loss of recent events

~ Abnormal thinking or changes in behaviour

~ Unusual excitement, nervousness, irritability or agitation

~ Unusual behaviour or activities while partially asleep

~ Confusion

~ Fast, slow or irregular heartbeat

~ Problems with eyesight

~ Fainting 

~ Falling

If you have any concerns about your medicine or have other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions while usin​​g this medicine:

  • ​Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medicine as it can cause excessive drowsiness.  
  • This medicine may be habit-forming when taken excessively or for a prolonged duration, especially at high doses. This may result in: 

    • ​Unintentional, regular use of the medicine 
    • Dependence or overreliance on the medicine ​
    • Decreased effectiveness of the medicine. 

          This can be prevented by taking the medicine: 

    • On a short-term basis (2 - 4 weeks) 
    • At the lowest effective dose ​
    • Intermittently (for example, taking it once every 2 or 3 nights for the relief of insomnia) ​​

  • If you have been taking the medicine on a long-term basis or at high doses, do not stop taking it abruptly as it may lead to withdrawal symptoms such as increased sweating, increased heart rate, tremors, trouble sleeping, increased agitation, hallucinations, increased anxiety, nausea or vomiting, and in severe cases, medical emergencies such as fits.

    If you wish to cut down, discuss with your doctor to come up with a discontinuation plan. It is often best to reduce the dose gradually over a few weeks.​
  • Taking some other medicines with zolpidem may affect how they work. Be sure to tell your doctors, pharmacists, dentists and other health care providers who are treating you about all medicines and natural remedies that you are taking.​ 

Handling and Storage

Store this medicine at room temperature, away from direct light, heat and moisture (not in the bathroom) and out of reach of children. Throw away any medication that is expired or no longer needed.

Do not share the medicine with other people.

If you have questions/concerns about this medicine, please ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Institute of Mental Health

Pharmacy Department
10 Buangkok View
Singapore 539747

For medication enquiries: (during office hours)

IMH Clinic B/ Sayang Wellness: 63892077  

IMH Clinic C (NAMS): 63893666

Community Wellness Clinic, Queenstown: 64715797

Community Wellness Clinic, Geylang: 67461724

Child Guidance Clinic (HPB): 64353807

Child Guidance Clinic (Sunrise Wing): 63892410                                      

Email: enquiry@imh.com.sg



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