This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.
Brand Names: US
What is this drug used for?
- It is used to treat sleep problems.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?
- If you are allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you have any of these health problems: Falling asleep when you do not expect to (narcolepsy) or liver problems.
- If you are taking any drugs or natural products used for sleep. There are many products used for sleep. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
- If you take any drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) that must not be taken with this drug, like certain drugs that are used for HIV, infections, or seizures. There are many drugs that must not be taken with this drug.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert for at least 8 hours after you take this drug. Avoid these tasks or actions until you feel fully awake.
- You may still feel sleepy the day after you take this drug. This can affect how you drive and may raise the chance of falling asleep while driving. Call your doctor if you feel sleepy during the day after you take this drug and you drive.
- Do not take more of this drug or use it more often than you have been told. If sleep problems last, call the doctor.
- This drug may be habit-forming with long-term use.
- Avoid alcohol while taking this drug. Do not take this drug if you drank alcohol that evening or before bed.
- Talk with your doctor before you use marijuana, other forms of cannabis, or prescription or OTC drugs that may slow your actions.
- Some people have done certain tasks or actions while they were not fully awake like driving, making and eating food, and having sex. Most of the time, people do not remember doing these things. Tell your doctor if this happens to you.
- If you drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit often, talk with your doctor.
- This drug may make you feel sleepy and less alert. This may lead to falling. The chance of falling is higher in older people. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
- If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- New or worse behavior or mood changes like depression or thoughts of suicide.
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there) while going to sleep or waking up.
- Not able to move or speak for up to several minutes while going to sleep or waking up.
- Muscle weakness can happen with this drug. This can last from seconds to a few minutes and can happen both at night and during the day. Call your doctor right away if this happens to you.
What are some other side effects of this drug?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Feeling sleepy the next day.
- Feeling tired or weak.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
How is this drug best taken?
Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take within 30 minutes of bedtime.
- Take with or without food. If taken with or right after a meal, this drug may take longer to work.
- If you still have trouble sleeping after 7 to 10 days, call your doctor.
- Do not take this drug unless you can get a full night’s sleep (at least 7 to 8 hours) before you need to be active again.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as possible.
- If you will not be able to get a full night’s sleep (at least 7 hours) after taking the missed dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take more than 1 dose of this drug in the same day.
How do I store and/or throw out this drug?
- Store at room temperature in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Store this drug in a safe place where children cannot see or reach it, and where other people cannot get to it. A locked box or area may help keep this drug safe. Keep all drugs away from pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
General drug facts
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- This drug comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time this drug is refilled. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
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