Adult Medication

Brand Names: US

Ambien; Ambien CR; Edluar; Intermezzo; Zolpimist [DSC]

Brand Names: Canada


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 have an allergy to zolpidem or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you are taking any other drugs that can make you sleepy. There are many drugs that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
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?

All products:

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • This drug may be habit-forming with long-term use.
  • When sleep drugs are used nightly for more than a few weeks, they may not work as well to help sleep problems. This is known as tolerance. Only use sleep drugs for a short time. If sleep problems last, call the doctor.
  • Do not take naps.
  • To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, rise slowly over a few minutes when sitting or lying down. Be careful climbing stairs.
  • 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 other drugs and natural products that 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.
  • This drug may cause sleepiness or lower alertness. This may lead to falls and injuries that may be very bad. Very bad injuries like broken hips and bleeding in the brain have happened. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you are a woman, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
  • If you are 60 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
  • This drug is not approved for use in children. The chance of side effects like dizziness and hallucinations may be raised in children. However, your child’s doctor may decide the benefits of taking this drug may outweigh the risks. Talk with the doctor if you have questions about giving this drug to your child.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

Extended-release tablets:

  • You may not be alert. Do not drive or do other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert on the day after you take this drug.

All other products:

  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert after you take this drug. You may still feel sleepy the day after you take this drug. Avoid these tasks or actions until you feel fully awake.

Under the tongue (sublingual) tablet:

  • If you have phenylketonuria (PKU), talk with your doctor. Some products have phenylalanine.

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 or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
  • Trouble swallowing.
  • Trouble breathing, slow breathing, or shallow breathing.
  • Feeling confused.
  • Change in the way you act.
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
  • Change in balance.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • Memory problems or loss.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.

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:
  • Dizziness.
  • Feeling sleepy the next day.
  • Headache.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • 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.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

All products:

  • Use this drug only for short periods of time (7 to 10 days).
  • If you still have trouble sleeping after 7 to 10 days, call your doctor.
  • Take this drug at bedtime.
  • Take this drug only 1 time per night.
  • Take on an empty stomach.


  • Take this drug right before you get into bed.
  • 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.

Extended-release tablets:

  • Take this drug right before you get into bed.
  • Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
  • 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.


  • Take this drug right before you get into bed.
  • Spray into mouth over the tongue.
  • Prime pump before first use.
  • Prime pump by spraying it 5 times.
  • If you have not used the spray for more than 14 days, you will need to prime the pump with 1 spray or until you see a fine mist.
  • 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.

Under the tongue (sublingual) tablet:

  • Be sure your hands are dry before you touch this drug.
  • Place under tongue and let melt all the way. Do not chew, suck or swallow tablet.
  • Do not eat, drink, or smoke while the tablet is melting.
  • Take this drug right before you get into bed.
  • 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.


  • Take only as needed if you wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble going back to sleep. Only take a dose if you have 4 or more hours of bedtime left. Do not take more than 1 dose per night.
  • Only keep 1 pouch with this drug in it at your bedside. Store all other pouches away from your bedside. Do not remove the drug from the pouch until you are ready to take a dose. After you take this drug, leave the empty pouch where you can see it. This will help remind you that you have taken your dose.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Many times this drug is taken on an as needed basis. Do not take more often than every 24 hours unless told to do so by your doctor.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

All products:

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.


  • Store upright with the cap on.
  • Do not freeze.
  • Throw away after the stated number of sprays have been used, even if it feels like there is more drug left.

All other products:

  • Protect from light.

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.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date



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