Zolpidem (Zolpidem Tartrate)

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Zolpidem is a type of sleeping pill prescription medicine. Zolpidem is prescribed as a short term treatment for acute periods of the medical condition insomnia (difficulty sleeping), sleep disorders / sleep problems. It has a calming effect for insomnia patients, helping you to fall asleep, and prevents you waking up during the night. This can help you to improve the quality of your sleep and to feel better rested. Zolpidem is a generic drug which can also be found under the brand name ‘Ambien’.

  • Helps you to fall asleep
  • Part of the sedative-hypnotic group of medicines
  • Reduces the number of times you wake up in the night
  • Genuine medication
  • Shipped from EU Pharmacies
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Type of drugNonbenzodiazepine (Z drugs) / Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants / Sleeping pill
Health conditions prescribed forInsomnia (including primary insomnia and chronic insomnia)
Active IngredientsZolpidem tartrate
Available strengths10mg
Available asTablets, modified release tablets (Zolpidem MR / Ambien CR)
Possible side effectsBitter / metallic taste in the mouth, dry mouth, feeling sleepy / tired the next day, headaches, feeling dizzy, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, back pain

Zolpidem - Key Information

  • Zolpidem is a type of sleeping pill medicine
  • Zolpidem is prescribed to help a person suffering from a short period of insomnia
  • Zolpidem is not usually prescribed for more than four weeks at a time
  • Zolpidem takes around one hour to work
  • Zolpidem belongs to a group of prescription drugs called Nonbenzodiazepine (Z drugs) / CNS depressants
  • Zolpidem has no anticonvulsant or muscle relaxant properties
  • You should avoid drinking alcohol when taking zolpidem, as the two combined may make it more difficult to wake up the following morning
  • Zolpidem is sometimes known by its brand name, Stilnoct, Ambien, Ambien CR
  • It is important to read the patient leaflet for a full list of side effects and cautions.

Take a look at the video below to get a simple overview of Zolpidem, including what it is used for, dosages, side effects and precautions:

Zolpidem is a prescription medicine that works by increasing the amount of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) in your brain. An increase in GABA receptors blocks certain chemicals in the brain, helping to calm your central nervous system. This, in turn, makes you feel more relaxed and sleepier. Consequently zolpidem improves sleeping health a lot.

The body can become accustomed to the effect of zolpidem, making you feel dependent on it if you take it for longer than a few weeks. This also means that stopping it can lead to feelings of withdrawal in the detox process. This is why your doctor, pharmacy or healthcare provider will only prescribe a short course of zolpidem to help you manage an acute period of difficulty sleeping to treat whatever sleep problem a patient may be experiencing. Taking it for short periods is unlikely to lead to dependence.

Zolpidem Tablets

Zolpidem is taken at night, just before going to bed. Zolpidem will make you feel sleepy or drowsy, so it is important to only take it when you are ready to get into bed.

Zolpidem is available in tablet form. The tablets should be swallowed with some water. Zolpidem can be taken with or without food.

Every patient suffering from a sleep disorder / insomnia has a unique individual experience when taking Zolpidem as a treatment.

User Reviews for Zolpidem

There are many Zolpidem user reviews available at Drugs.com and Web MD.

For more information on the prescription medication please refer to the Zolpidem (Zolpidem tartrate) patient information leaflet.


Zolpidem 5mg / 10mg

Zolpidem is available in 10mg and 5mg tablets. The usual dose is 10mg at bedtime.

A 5mg dose is sometimes recommended for people aged over 65, or those with kidney or liver disease. This is because these groups may be more sensitive to zolpidem, and may therefore feel excessively sleepy the following day.

Your doctor may prescribe a zolpidem tablet once every three nights, rather than every night. You may be prescribed zolpidem but be given the medical advice to only to take it when required. It is important to take zolpidem exactly as your doctor has prescribed it. 

Side Effects

Like all medications, zolpidem use can have some side effects. The most common side effects include:

  • A bitter or metallic taste in your mouth
  • Dry mouth
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Trouble breathing
  • Feeling sleepy (drowsiness) the following day – this may persist for a few days, so it is important to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery if you feel sleepy or more drowsy than usual.
  • Ambien addiction
  • Hepatic impairment

These side effects are likely to settle in time, but if they are particularly troublesome you should speak to a doctor or pharmacist.

Occasionally, more serious side effects can occur when taking zolpidem. These include:

  • Memory loss (amnesia)
  • Falling over – especially in the elderly
  • Hallucinations – seeing things that are not real
  • Delusions – believing things that are not true
  • Feeling low or depressed.

You should speak to a doctor straight away if any of these side effects occur.

If you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) including breathlessness, lip or tongue swelling, call 999 immediately.


Zolpidem may not be suitable for everyone. You should tell your doctor if you:

  • Have had an allergic reaction to a medication in the past
  • Have liver disease
  • Have kidney disease
  • Have myasthenia gravis
  • Have breathing problems
  • Have sleep apnoea (difficulty breathing at night)
  • Have ever had mental health problems
  • Have alcohol or drug dependence, or have ever been dependent in the past
  • Are pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding.

Some medications can interact with zolpidem or make its sedative effect greater. You may be advised that zolpidem will not suit you (due to drug interactions) if you already take:

  • Other sleep medicine
  • Strong pain killers including codeine, tramadol, methadone or oxycodone
  • Antihistamines that make you drowsy including chlorphenamine and promethazine
  • Medicines used to treat schizophrenia or bipolar disorder
  • Medicines used to treat depression
  • Medicines used to calm the symptoms of anxiety
  • Medicines used to treat fungal infections including itraconazole and ketoconazole
  • Ritonavir – a medication used to treat HIV.

You should also tell your prescriber about any herbal remedies or supplements you take. This will allow your prescriber to check that zolpidem will not interact with them.

Zolpidem is a sleeping medication, much as diazepam. Diazepam is also commonly prescribed for anxiety. If the cause behind your sleeping problems is anxiety, ask your doctor about buying diazepam.

Zolpidem FAQs

Below EU Meds answer some of the most common questions our customers ask about Zolpidem.

Is Zolpidem the same as Zopiclone?

No, Zolpidem and Zopiclone are not the same medication. Whilst they are both prescribed for sleeping problems, they are both different medications. Zopiclone can be purchased in it's branded form of Zimovane. Zolpidem can be purchased under the brand name of Ambien.

Google Web Story - Is Zolpidem Better Than Zopiclone?

Whilst many customers ask if Zolpidem is better than Zopiclone as a treatment for sleeping problems, the only way to be sure is to speak with your doctor or healthcare provider. EU Meds have created a Google Web Story explaining the differences between the two sleep medications which you can view below:

Buy Zolpidem

It is important that your doctor checks that zolpidem will suit your needs. To receive a doctors prescription for this medication, your doctor should complete a thorough health questionnaire and review your current medications before prescribing this medication. You can buy zolpidem for your sleep disorder at EU Meds following a successful online consultation assessment, where you will receive a prescription for zolpidem if approved.

Medical Reviewer

Medical Reviewer

Irfan Siddique

Deputy Medical Superintendent (DMS) • MBBS

Dr. Irfan Siddique is a Medical Doctor with a license to practice in the United Kingdom, awarded by the General Medical Council. He graduated in 2017 from the University of Health Sciences, Lahore.

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