Zolpidem

"Zolpidem" Wikipedia (via DBPedia)

Zolpidem (brand names Ambien, Ambien CR, Intermezzo, Stilnox, Stilnoct, Sublinox, Hypnogen and Zolsana) is a prescription medication used for the treatment of insomnia and some brain disorders. It is a short-acting nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic of the imidazopyridine class that potentiates GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter, by binding to GABAA receptors at the same location as benzodiazepines. It works quickly, usually within 15 minutes, and has a short half-life of two to three hours.Zolpidem has not adequately demonstrated effectiveness in maintaining sleep, unless delivered in a controlled-release (CR) form. However, it is effective in initiating sleep. Its hypnotic effects are similar to those of the benzodiazepine class of drugs, but it is molecularly distinct from the classical benzodiazepine molecule and is classified as an imidazopyridine. Flumazenil, a benzodiazepine receptor antagonist, which is used for benzodiazepine overdose, can also reverse zolpidem's sedative/hypnotic and memory-impairing effects.As a muscle relaxant and anticonvulsant, the drug's effects are not evident until dosages 10 and 20 times those required for sedation, respectively, are reached. For that reason, zolpidem has never been approved for either muscle relaxation or seizure prevention. Such drastically increased doses are also more inclined to induce one or more of the drug's adverse side effects, including hallucinations and amnesia. Contrary to early studies, more recent research has indicated that zolpidem is in fact a potent anticonvulsant. The anticonvulsant effects are not realized until the normal dosage range has been surpassed (meaning sedation would still be a major side effect) but the threshold for this effect is now believed to be considerably lower than original estimates.The United States patent for zolpidem was held by the French pharmaceutical corporation Sanofi-Aventis. On April 23, 2007, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved 13 generic versions of zolpidem tartrate. Zolpidem is available from several generic manufacturers in the UK, as a generic from Sandoz in South Africa and TEVA in Israel, as well as from other manufacturers such as Ratiopharm and Takeda GmbH (both Germany).On 2012, a study published in the BMJ Open journal revealed that sleeping pills, including zolpidem, are associated with a higher risk of death and cancer diagnosis. Nevertheless, the study showed only a link, and did not prove the deaths were caused by the pills or by other symptoms related to insomnia.On January 10, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration announced it is requiring the manufacturer of Ambien and Zolpimist to cut the recommended dosage for women in half, after laboratory studies showed that the medicines can leave patients drowsy in the morning and at risk for car accidents. The FDA recommended that manufacturers extend the new dosage cuts to men as well, who process the drug at a faster rate; however, the reasons men and women metabolize the drugs at different rates are still unknown. In May 2013, the FDA approved label changes specifying new dosage recommendations for zolpidem products because of concerns regarding next-morning impairment. more »

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