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zolpidem side effects

The disturbing side effects of Zolpidem, the most commonly prescribed sleeping pill in the Netherlands

Sleep is essential

Sleep is an integral part of our health. It signals our body to release the hormones that support our memory and immune system. It also lowers our risk of conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. In addition, a good night's sleep makes you feel good.

However, about 20 million people in the Netherlands have sleep deprivation or a sleep disorder. And nearly 12 million of them use it sleep medicine Zolpidem (Ambien) by prescription to achieve better sleep. The medicine has helped many - some with chronic conditions - improve their sleep patterns.

However, it also has a number of side effects, including decreased awareness, hallucinations, changes in behavior, memory problems, sleepwalking, cooking and eating, and even driving during sleep. In fact, the sleep aid has become quite infamous for its weird and crazy side effects. Let's review them together.

Strange behavior linked to Zolpidem

The sleep aid Zolpidem, also known by its brand names Dormizol, Zolpibell, Zolpixdem, Somidem and Stildem, will be sold in packs of no more than 14 sleeping pills in the future. The Ministry also has the manufacturers of sedative and hypnotic drugs asked to update their product labeling and side effects.

This is the result of numerous reports of strange and potentially dangerous side effects, including changes in behavior and mental status such as sleepwalking, preparing and eating food, making phone calls and intercourse. Anger, aggravated insomnia, confusion, agitation, hallucinations and other forms of unwanted behavior are also often noted. Often patients do not remember anything about this. Their memory is failing, but it is important that they are made aware of this.

Sleep related eating disorder

The new interest in this rare, strange side effect has been sparked by recent articles. In the articles in the media. The New York Times reported that thousands of American users experience sleep-related eating disorders.

Eating during sleep is not a new phenomenon. It's a rare sleep problem called a sleep-related eating disorder. It can be related to a nocturnal eating disorder, in which people wake up completely, get out of bed fully conscious, and have binge eating. However, the next morning they don't remember anything about the event.


Maha Alattar, a sleep disorder specialist from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says Zolpidem actually helps people with sleep disorders.

“I've had patients with sleepwalking and bizarre sleepwalking behaviors take Zolpidem, and it helped. It suppressed the warming mechanisms that awaken these patients to do these strange things. Each sleep medication can have bizarre effects. We shouldn't condemn this sleep medication because it has some rare, unpleasant side effects, ”he says. "I still prescribe it to some of my patients."

Driving during sleep

Other New York Times articles also linked the sleep drug to another disturbing side effect: driving. A recent report for a forensic science rally reported that a series of drivers were arrested under the influence of Zolpidem. However, it was subsequently established that they had misused or misused the drug. Normally, it should be taken in ankle before going to bed. These drivers took it before they got behind the wheel. The sleep medicine is not intended to stay awake, alert and active.

Other warnings

Alcoholism increases the risk of such side effects and such reactions can occur in both first time and regular users.

Also included in the warnings are anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) and angioedema (severe facial swelling), which can occur once the product is first taken.

Experts say patients being treated with sleep medications should read the information before taking the drug and speak to their doctors if they have any questions or concerns.

The Department has recommended that drug manufacturers conduct clinical studies to investigate the frequency with which sleep and other complex behaviors occur in conjunction with individual drugs.

Response from the producer

It is stated that they are committed to the safety of the patient and that it is of the highest importance. It is not denied that rare side effects such as sleepwalking have been reported in patients treated with sleep medications. They do stress that while sleepwalking can occur during Ambien treatment, it may not necessarily be caused by the drug. When taken as directed, Zolpidem is safe and effective treatment for insomnia. Its safety and efficacy has been supported by field use for 17 years.

It is repeatedly emphasized that it should only be taken as prescribed. These directions clearly state that the drug should not be used after drinking alcoholic beverages. They also state that patients should only use the drug just before going to bed.

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