Zolpidem is a widely used hypnotic that operates at the GABAa receptor. Compared to benzodiazepines, it produces less anxiolysis, muscle relaxation, and anticonvulsant action.
At medical doses, it produces little beyond sedation and the negative effects are mild. Due to personal variation, effects like euphoria, CEVs/OEVs, and anxiolysis are rarely noted at only 10 mg. Those effects appear more often (though still not reliably) at common to strong doses.
It is effective at improving sleep onset, though the instant-release version isn’t very effective at maintaining sleep throughout the night.
Zolpidem = Ambien; Stilnox; Sublinox; Ambien CR; Edluar; Intermezzo; Zolpimist; N,N-dimethyl-2-[6-methyl-2-(4-methylphenyl)imidazo[1,2-a]pyridin-3-yl]acetamide
Dose Oral (IR, sleep)
Range: 5 – 10 mg
Oral (ER, sleep)
Range: 6.25 – 12.5 mg
Range (middle of the night): 1.75 – 3.5
Range (onset): 5 – 10 mg
Light: 5 – 15 mg
Common: 15 – 25 mg
Strong: 25 – 40 mg
Timeline Oral (IR, sleep)
Total: 4 – 5 hours (sedation/impairment up to 7 hours)
Onset: 00:10 – 00:30
Total: 1 – 3 hours
Onset: 00:10 – 00:30
Experience Reports Erowid References (2015) A pilot study of zolpidem pharmacotherapy in the treatment of cannabis use disorders (2014) Residual effects of low-dose sublingual zolpidem on highway driving performance the morning after middle-of-the-night use. (2014) An update on zolpidem abuse and dependence. (2013) Zolpidem-induced suicide attempt: a case report (2013) Suicide by self-administration of a drug mixture (propofol, midazolam, and zolpidem) in an anesthesiologist: the first case report in Italy. (2012) Efficacy of eight months of nightly zolpidem: a prospective placebo-controlled study. (2012) Zolpidem Misuse in Two Women With No Psychiatric History: A Crucial Role of Pleasant Visual Hallucinations (2011) Role of zolpidem in the management of insomnia. (2011) Zolpidem misuse with other medications or alcohol frequently results in intensive care unit admission. (2010) Coma with absent brainstem reflexes resulting from zolpidem overdose. (2010) Pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and the pharmacokinetic/ pharmacodynamic relationship of zolpidem in healthy subjects. (2009) Sublingual zolpidem is more effective than oral zolpidem in initiating early onset of sleep in the post-nap model of transient insomnia: a polysomnographic study. (2008) Long-term efficacy and safety of zolpidem extended-release 12.5 mg, administered 3 to 7 nights per week for 24 weeks, in patients with chronic primary insomnia: a 6-month, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, multicenter study. (2008) Zolpidem in a minimally conscious state. (2008) Zolpidem abuse, dependence and withdrawal syndrome: sex as susceptibility factor for adverse effects (2007) Seizure following sudden zolpidem withdrawal. (2007) Evidence of zolpidem abuse and dependence: results of the French Centre for Evaluation and Information on Pharmacodependence (CEIP) network survey. (2007) Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions between zolpidem and caffeine. (2007) Dependence on zolpidem (2006) Efficacy and safety of zolpidem-MR: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study in adults with primary insomnia. (2006) Acute zolpidem administration produces pharmacodynamic and receptor occupancy changes at similar doses. (2005) One rare side effect of zolpidem–sleepwalking: a case report. (2005) Zolpidem: a review of its use in the management of insomnia. (2005) Evidence for Zolpidem efficacy in brain damage (2004) The pharmacology and mechanisms of action of new generation, non-benzodiazepine hypnotic agents. (2004) Detoxification from high-dose zolpidem using diazepam. (2004) Transient Improvement of Aphasia with Zolpidem (2003) Zolpidem dependence case series: possible neurobiological mechanisms and clinical management. (2003) Abuse and dependence potential for the non-benzodiazepine hypnotics zolpidem and zopiclone: a review of case reports and epidemiological data. (2001) Acute zolpidem overdose leading to coma and respiratory failure. (2000) Abuse, dependence, and epileptic seizures after zolpidem withdrawal: review and case report. (2000) Mechanism of action of the hypnotic zolpidem in vivo. (2000) Central nervous system side effects associated with zolpidem treatment. (1999) Dependence on zolpidem: a case report. (1999) Acute zolpidem overdose–report of two cases. (1998) Behavioral pharmacology of zolpidem relative to benzodiazepines: a review. (1997) Benzodiazepines and zolpidem for chronic insomnia: a meta-analysis of treatment efficacy. (1997) Zolpidem dependence in a patient with former polysubstance abuse. (1997) A fatality involving zolpidem. (1996) Zolpidem-induced psychosis. (1996) Comparison of the pharmacological profiles of the hypnotic drugs, zaleplon and zolpidem. (1995) Clinical pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of zolpidem. Therapeutic implications. (1995) Zolpidem tissue concentrations in a multiple drug related death involving Ambien. (1994) Acute zolpidem poisoning–analysis of 344 cases. (1993) A fatality involving two unusual compounds–zolpidem and acepromazine.