Insomnia: Zolpidem Extended-Release for the Treatment of Sleep Induction and Sleep Maintenance Symptoms

Paul P. Doghramji, MD, FAAFP


January 17, 2007


It is important that primary care physicians have a high level of suspicion for the presence of insomnia in their patients, and appropriately identify and treat those individuals. When a hypnotic medication is chosen for treatment, generally patients should be managed with effective medication that will adequately treat the symptoms of insomnia without negatively affecting next-morning cognitive and psychomotor performance. Zolpidem extended-release improves upon the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profile of original zolpidem, maintaining drug levels through the middle of the night for a sleep maintenance benefit in both healthy volunteers and patients with insomnia, while retaining comparable efficacy for sleep induction and similar elimination characteristics to original zolpidem, to keep the risk for next-day effects to a minimum.

Identifying those patients at greatest risk for insomnia is also essential, including those suffering from other conditions, such as major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, chronic pain, and chronic medical conditions. Because insomnia symptoms may change over time in the same patient, a therapy that addresses both sleep induction and sleep maintenance symptoms, such as zolpidem extended-release, may manage insomnia more effectively.


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