How and when to take zolpidem
Dosage and strength
Zolpidem tablets come in 2 different strengths: 5mg and 10mg.
The usual dose is one 10mg tablet, taken just before you go to bed. It takes around 30 minutes to work.
If you’re 65 years old or over, or if you have kidney or liver problems, your doctor may start you on a lower dose of 5mg.
Do not take more than your prescribed dose of zolpidem.
How to take it
It’s important to take zolpidem exactly as your doctor tells you. Your doctor might ask you to take a tablet on only 2 or 3 nights of the week, rather than every night.
Swallow the tablet whole with a drink of water. Do not crush or chew it.
You can take zolpidem with or without food.
How long to take it for
You’ll usually be prescribed zolpidem for 2 days to 4 weeks.
It’s only prescribed for a short period because your body gets used to this medicine quickly. After taking it for a few weeks, it’s unlikely to have the same effect. Your body can also become dependent on it.
If you still have problems sleeping after you finish your course of zolpidem, try lifestyle changes for insomnia such as taking a warm bath before bed and not napping during the day. See your doctor again if these changes do not help.
If you forget to take it
If you forget to take your zolpidem, leave out the missed dose. Start again the next night and take your zolpidem at the usual time.
Never take 2 doses at the same time. Never take an extra dose to make up for a forgotten one.
If you take too much
Taking more than your prescribed dose of zolpidem can be dangerous. You may get symptoms including:
- feeling drowsy, feeling confused, sleeping deeply and possibly going into a coma
- feeling dizzy, light-headed or faint due to low blood pressure
- floppy muscles
- falling over or losing your balance
- shallow breathing or difficulty breathing