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Zolpidem Ambien


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Zolpidem is a prescription short-acting nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic that potentiates gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an inhibitory neurotransmitter, by binding to benzodiazepine receptors which are located on the gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors.

Zolpidem is used for the short-term treatment of insomnia. It works quickly (usually within 15 minutes) and has a short half-life (2-3 hours). It is classified as an imidazopyridine. As an anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant, the beneficial effects start to emerge at 10 and 20 times the dose required for sedation, respectively. For that reason, it has never been approved for either muscle relaxation or seizure prevention.

Recently, zolpidem has been cited in various medical reports mainly in the United Kingdom as waking persistent vegetative state (PVS) patients, and dramatically improving the conditions of people with brain injuries.

For the short-term treatment of insomnia.



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Zolpidem is a sedative or hypnotic agent with a chemical structure unrelated to benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or other drugs with known hypnotic properties. It interacts with a GABA-BZ receptor complex and shares some of the pharmacological properties of the benzodiazepines.

In contrast to the benzodiazepines, which non-selectively bind to and activate all three alpha receptor subtypes, zolpidem in vitro binds the (alpha1) receptor preferentially.

The (alpha1) receptor is found primarily on the Lamina IV of the sensorimotor cortical regions, substantia nigra (pars reticulata), cerebellum molecular layer, olfactory bulb, ventral thalamic complex, pons, inferior colliculus, and globus pallidus.

Mechanism of action

Zolpidem modulates the alpha-subunit, known as the benzodiazepine receptor, within the GABAA receptor chloride channel macromolecular complex.

Unlike the benzodiazepines, which non-selectively interact with all three alpha-receptor subtypes, Zolpidem preferentially binds to the alpha-1 receptor.


Metabolism: Zolpidem is converted to inactive metabolites in the liver.

Absorption: Zolpidem is rapidly absorbed from the GI tract.

Route of elimination: Zolpidem tartrate tablets are converted to inactive metabolites that are eliminated primarily by renal excretion.

Half life: 2.6 hours.

Side effects

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects.Some medical conditions may interact with Zolpidem.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions.

It helps most people with insomnia, but it may have unwanted side effects in some people. Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you: drowsiness, dizziness, headache, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, muscle weakness. Symptoms of overdose include impairment of consciousness ranging from somnolence to light coma.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider.


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