You will be hearing about a new FDA warning regarding the dosage of the widely used sleep aid “zolpidem”.  It’s not widely understood by the general public that after a new drug in released post-marketing studies and trials continue for a long time amassing more data on the safety and efficacy of the drug.  In the case of zolpidem is was found that after a bedtime dose enough drug may remain in the bloodstream the next morning to impair driving and other activities that require alertness.  Is was also found that women are more susceptible to the risk because they metabolize the drug more slowly.  Based on this new information the FDA revised zolpidem dosage as follows:

  • For immediate-release zolpidem products the new recommended dose for women is 5mg at bedtime.  For men, it is 5mg-10mg at bedtime.
  • For sustained-release zolpidem products the new recommended dose for women is 6.25mg at bedtime.  For men it is 6.25-12.5mg at bedtime.

For all sleep medication it is important that a person take the lowest possible dose that works for them in preventing insomnia.  Not everyone responds to a particular dose in the same manner.  If you are taking a medication to prevent insomnia consider reducing the dose especially if you notice any morning “hangover” or lack of alertness.  Check with your pharmacist or doctor if you have any questions.

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