Non sedating muscle relaxant
Zolpidem may be quantitated in blood or plasma to confirm a diagnosis of poisoning in hospitalized patients, provide evidence in an impaired driving arrest, or to assist in a medicolegal death investigation.Blood or plasma zolpidem concentrations are usually in a range of 30–300 μg/l in persons receiving the drug therapeutically, 100–700 μg/l in those arrested for impaired driving, and 1000–7000 μg/l in victims of acute overdosage.It was recommended that zolpidem be used for short periods of time using the lowest effective dose.Zolpidem 10 mg is effective in treating insomnia when used intermittently no fewer than three and no more than five pills per week for a period of 12 weeks.Also, a 2012 review found that zolpidem's effectiveness is nearly as much due to psychological effects as to the medication itself, so "increased attention should be directed at psychological intervention of insomnia." A lower-dose version (3.5 mg for men and 1.75 mg for women) is administered as a sub-lingual tablet and used for middle-of-the night awakenings.It can be taken if there is at least 4 hours between the time of administration and when the person must be awake.
Such effects may impair the ability of users to drive safely and increase risks of falls and hip fractures.Newer agents with novel mechanisms of action and improved safety profiles, such as the melatonin receptor agonists, were found to hold promise for the management of chronic insomnia in elderly people.Long-term use of sedative-hypnotics for insomnia lacks an evidence base and has traditionally been discouraged for reasons that include concerns about such potential adverse drug effects as cognitive impairment (anterograde amnesia), daytime sedation, motor incoordination, and increased risk of motor vehicle accidents and falls.Also, alcoholics and recreational drug users may have an increased likelihood of abuse and or becoming psychologically dependent on zolpidem.It is not typically prescribed in those with a history of alcoholism, recreational drug use, physical dependency, or psychological dependency on sedative-hypnotic drugs.
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Studies showed that eight hours after a bedtime dose of 10 mg, 15% of women and 3% of men would have blood levels that produce impaired driving skills; for an extended-release dose of 12.5 mg, the risk increased to 33% and 25%, respectively.