WARNING: Zolpidem may be associated with unusual and potentially dangerous behaviours whilst apparently asleep. These have included sleep walking, driving motor vehicles and other bizarre behaviours. Some medicines may interact with zolpidem and particular caution is needed with other drugs that may also act on the brain; before you take zolpidem refer to the “Taking other medicines” section below or ask your doctor or pharmacist. You must not drink alcohol when you take zolpidem. Do not take zolpidem for more than 4 weeks. If your sleep problems continue, consult your doctor.
Zolpidem Sandoz® Pharma
Active ingredient(s): zolpidem tartrate
Consumer Medicine Information (CMI)
This leaflet provides important information about using Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma. You should also speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you would like further information or if you have any concerns or questions about using Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma.
Where to find information in this leaflet:
1. Why am I using Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma?
2. What should I know before I use Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma?
3. What if I am taking other medicines?
4. How do I use Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma?
5. What should I know while using Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma?
6. Are there any side effects?
7. Product details
1. Why am I using Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma?
Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma contains the active ingredient zolpidem tartrate. Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma is used to initiate and maintain sleep in those with sleep difficulties, also called insomnia in patients over 18 years of age. It is not recommended for use for more than 4 weeks at a time.
Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma has a different chemical structure to other sleeping tablets. Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma works by binding to special sites in the brain which produce sleep.
Your doctor, however, may prescribe Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma for another purpose.
2. What should I know before I take Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma?
Do not use Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma if:
- you are allergic to zolpidem tartrate, or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
- Always check the ingredients to make sure you can use this medicine.
- you have been drinking alcohol or you believe that you may have alcohol in your bloodstream.
- you have sleep apnoea (a condition where you temporarily stop breathing while you sleep).
- you have myasthenia gravis (a condition in which the muscles become weak and tire easily).
- you have severe liver problems
- you have acute and/or severe lung problems
- you have previously experienced complex sleep behaviours after taking this medicine including sleepwalking, sleep-driving, and/or engaging in other activities while not fully awake.
Do not give Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma to a child or adolescent under 18 years of age.
There is no experience with its use in children or adolescents under 18 years of age.
Check with your doctor if you:
- have any problems with your breathing or if you often snore while you are asleep.
- have ever been addicted to alcohol or any drug or medicine or if you have ever suffered from a mental illness. If you have, you may be at risk of getting into a regular pattern or habit of taking Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma.
- have or have had any other medical conditions especially the following: problems with your heart, liver, kidneys or lungs, epilepsy, depression, mental illness, for example, schizophrenia.
- plan to have surgery.
- have allergies to any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
- take any medicines for any other condition.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have ever had a mental disorder or have abused or have been dependent on alcohol or drugs.
During treatment, you may be at risk of developing certain side effects. It is important you understand these risks and how to monitor for them. See additional information under Section 6. Are there any side effects?
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Check with your doctor if you are pregnant, suspect that you are pregnant, or intend to become pregnant.
Like most medicines of this kind, Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma is not recommended to be used during pregnancy. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of taking it if you are pregnant.
Talk to your doctor if you are breastfeeding or intend to breastfeed.
Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma can pass into breast milk. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of using it if you are breast-feeding or planning to breast-feed.
Do not take it after the expiry date (EXP) printed on the pack.
Do not take it if the packaging is damaged or shows signs of tampering.
Contains sugars (as lactose).
3. What if I am taking other medicines?
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any medicines, vitamins or supplements that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines may interfere with Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma and affect how it works.
Medicines that may increase the effect of Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma include:
- medicines to treat depression, anxiety and mental illness
- medicine used to produce calmness or to help you sleep
- medicines to treat epilepsy
- pain relievers
- muscle relaxants
- ciprofloxacin, a medicine used to treat infections
- ketoconazole, a medicine to treat antifungal infections
These medicines may increase drowsiness. This may affect your ability to drive a car or operate dangerous machinery. You may need to use different amounts of your medicine, or take different medicines. Your doctor will advise you.
Medicines that may reduce the effect of Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma include:
- St John’s Wort (also known as Hypericum), a herbal remedy used to treat depression
- Rifampicin, a medicine used to treat infection
Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure about what medicines, vitamins or supplements you are taking and if these affect Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma.
4. How do I take Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma?
How much to take
- The usual adult dose of Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma is one tablet (10 mg) taken just before you go to bed.
- If you are over 65 years of age the dose is half a Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma tablet (5 mg) taken just before you go to bed.
- If you have a liver problem, the usual recommended dose is half a Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma tablet (5 mg). Do not take Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma if you have a severe liver problem.
- Your doctor may have prescribed a different dose. The lowest effective daily dose should be used and must not exceed 10 mg. Follow the instructions provided and use Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma until your doctor tells you to stop.
- If you take the wrong dose, Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma may not work as well.
- If you take too much your consciousness may be impaired (see ‘If you take too much Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma’ below).
- Ask your doctor if you are unsure of the correct dose for you. They will tell you exactly how much to take.
When to take Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma
- Take Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma immediately before you go to bed or while you are in bed
- Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma should only be taken when you are able to get a full night’s sleep (7 to 8 hours) before you need to be active again. It should be taken in one dose and not be re-administered during the same night.
How long to take it
- Usually, Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma or any other medicines to treat sleeping disorders should only be used for short periods (e.g. 2 to 4 weeks). Continuous long term use is not recommended unless advised by your doctor.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure how long to take the medicine for.
How to take Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma
- Swallow the tablet whole with a full glass of water unless your doctor has told you take half a tablet.
- If you take Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma on an empty stomach it may work more quickly.
If you forget to use Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma
If you forget to take the tablet before you go to bed, and you wake up late in the night or very early in the morning, do not take it. You may have trouble waking at your normal time.
If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor.
If you take too much Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma
If you think that you have used too much Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma you may need urgent medical attention.
You should immediately:
- phone the Poisons Information Centre
(by calling 13 11 26), or
- contact your doctor, or
- go to the Emergency Department at your nearest hospital.
You should do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.
If you take too much your consciousness may be impaired ranging from drowsiness to light coma.
5. What should I know while taking Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma?
Things you should do
Tell all the doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma.
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, tell your doctor and pharmacist that you are taking Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma.
If you plan to have surgery that needs a general anaesthetic, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medicine.
If you become pregnant or suspect that you are pregnant while you are taking this medicine, stop taking it and tell your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Call your doctor straight away if you:
- have any of the serious side effects listed in Section 6. Are there any side effects?
Remind any doctor, dentist or pharmacist you visit that you are using Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma.
Things you should not do
- Do not take more than the recommended dose unless your doctor tells you to. This can increase the risk of side effects.
- Do not give this medicine to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
- Do not use this medicine to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to.
- Do not drink alcohol before or after taking this medicine. This can increase the risk of side effects or the effects of alcohol could be made worse while taking Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma.
Things to be careful of
- If you are over 65 and unwell or taking other medicines. You may be more sensitive to some of the side effects of Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma. Some patients may be particularly susceptible to the sedative effects of the medication, which may increase the possibility of a fall.
After taking Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma
- Sleep medicines should in most cases, be used only for short periods of time. If your sleep problems continue, consult your doctor.
- Some medicines can cause dependence, especially when they are used regularly for longer than a few weeks. People who have been dependent on alcohol or other drugs in the past may have a higher chance of becoming addicted to sleep medicines. If you have been addicted to alcohol or drugs in the past, it is important to tell your doctor before starting Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma.
- Sometimes when medicines are stopped suddenly, after being used for a long time, withdrawal symptoms may occur. Symptoms of withdrawal may include abdominal and muscle cramps, vomiting and sweating. In some cases your insomnia may appear worse for a short time which may be accompanied with other reactions including mood changes, anxiety and restlessness; speak to your doctor if this occurs. Patients taking part in trials have not had any problems when they stopped taking Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma. However, let your doctor know if you have any problems when you stop taking Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma.
Driving or using machines
Because Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma will make you sleepy, you should not operate dangerous machinery or drive motor vehicles for 8 hours after you take it. You should also be careful the next morning when you wake up.
Make sure you know how you react to Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma before you drive a car or operate machinery. This is very important if you are taking other drugs that also make you drowsy.
You should not drink alcohol while you are taking Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma.
Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol.
Alcohol may increase the risk of side effects or the effects of alcohol could be made worse while taking Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma.
Looking after your medicine
- Keep your tablets in the blister pack until it is time to take them. If you take the tablets out of the box or the blister pack they may not keep well.
- Keep the medicine in a cool, dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C.
Follow the instructions in the carton on how to take care of your medicine properly.
Store it in a cool dry place away from moisture, heat or sunlight; for example, do not store it:
- in the bathroom or near a sink, or
- in the car or on window sills.
Keep it where young children cannot reach it.
Getting rid of any unwanted medicine
If you no longer need to use this medicine or it is out of date, take it to any pharmacy for safe disposal.
Do not use this medicine after the expiry date.
6. Are there any side effects?
All medicines can have side effects. If you do experience any side effects, most of them are minor and temporary. However, some side effects may need medical attention.
See the information below and, if you need to, ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any further questions about side effects.
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma.
Less serious side effects
|Less serious side effects||What to do|
|Head and neurology related:
Although these side effects can occur at the usual recommended doses, the risk of these behaviours occurring may also be increased if you take more than the recommended dose.
|Speak to your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects and they worry you.|
Serious side effects
|Serious side effects||What to do|
Sleepwalking and associated behaviours:
|Call your doctor straight away, or go straight to the Emergency Department at your nearest hospital if you notice any of these serious side effects.|
Alcohol can increase the risk of sleep walking and other related behaviours. These side effects can also occur without the presence of alcohol. Although these side effects can occur at the usual recommended doses, the risk of these behaviours occurring may also be increased if you take more than the recommended dose.
Some sleep medicines may cause a short-term memory loss. When this occurs, a person may not remember what has happened for several hours after taking the medicine. This is usually not a problem since most people fall asleep after taking the medicine.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything else that may be making you feel unwell.
Other side effects not listed here may occur in some people.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Reporting side effects
After you have received medical advice for any side effects you experience, you can report side effects to the Therapeutic Goods Administration online at www.tga.gov.au/reporting-problems. By reporting side effects, you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.
Always make sure you speak to your doctor or pharmacist before you decide to stop taking any of your medicines.
7. Product details
This medicine is only available with a doctor’s prescription.
What Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma contains
|zolpidem tartrate 10 mg|
The coating of the tablet contains:
|Potential allergens||lactose monohydrate|
Do not take this medicine if you are allergic to any of these ingredients.
What Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma looks like
Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma 10 mg tablets are white tablets, biconvex, oblong, scored in half on one side.
Available in blister packs of 7, 14 or 20 tablets (AUST R 116893).
Available in bottles of 7 or 20 tablets (AUST R 116906).
Not all presentations are marketed in Australia.
Who distributes Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma
Zolpidem Sandoz Pharma is supplied in Australia by:
Sandoz Pty Ltd
54 Waterloo Road
Macquarie Park, NSW 2113
Tel: 1800 726 369
This leaflet was prepared in March 2021.