Zolpidem is one of the most prescribed medications to help patients fall asleep. As with any other medications, this drug should be taken in accordance to the prescription of the physician in order to avoid overdosing on the medication [1, 2].
What is Zolpidem?
Zolpidem is an example of drugs known as sedatives and it is given to patients who have insomnia. Its main function is to ensure chemical balance in the brain to cure people of their sleep problems.
This drug has 2 main formulations, the immediate-release form dissolve quickly and help the patient fall asleep while the extended-release has a second layer that dissolve slowly and ensure that the person stays asleep. The physician decides which form of the drug is appropriate to the patient.
Individuals who take this medication may still feel sleepy when they wake especially those who took the extended-form of the drug. Because of this, these people are advised to wait for at least 4 hours before doing any activity which may require focus such as driving and operating heavy machineries [1, 2, 3, 4].
How much is Zolpidem Overdose?
Patients who takes Zolpidem for their insomnia are typically prescribed with about 5-10mg per day with 10mg known as the daily maximum dosage.
Although the fatal drug dosage for Zolpidem are set at 2000mg, serious overdose symptoms may be experienced after just taking around 400-600mg of this drug. Zolpidem pills must only be swallowed as a whole, people who crush, chew, snort or inject this drug are at a higher risk for overdose.
Taking this drug along with alcohol may intensify the intended effect so these two should not be taken together [3, 4, 5, 6].
What are Zolpidem Overdose symptoms?
The most severe symptoms which may present after taking too much zolpidem is related to the alteration in the respiration and heartrate of the patient.
This drug is known to slow down the heartrate and the breathing of the patient. Other signs which may be seen are drowsiness, appearance of pinpoint pupils, slurring of speech, vomiting and appearance of delusions. Loss of consciousness or death may occur once extremely high doses of zolpidem has been taken [1, 2, 5, 6].
What is Zolpidem Overdose management?
The best way to manage an overdose in Zolpidem is to bring the patient in the hospital. They should never be allowed to sleep off the effect of the drug because it may cause irreparable damage to the body. Once the patient is in the hospital, the first priority is to stabilize their condition.
The drug flumazenil may be given to reverse the effect of zolpidem in the body. Patients who receive this drug are monitored constantly because about 3% of these patients develop seizures. Other symptoms that may have arose will be treated as well.
Once the level of zolpidem has returned to normal, the patient may be referred to a detoxification program. Patients who undergo this program will be able to remove their dependence from zolpidem. Detoxification is performed by gradually reducing the dosage of zolpidem the patient is receiving until they are able to sleep without the aid of the drug [3, 4, 5, 6].
How to prevent Zolpidem Overdose?
The overdose may be prevented by taking the medication based on the prescription of the physician. Alcohol should not be taken along with this drug to prevent potentiating the effect of this drug.
Medication bottles should be labeled properly and kept out of the reach of children to minimize the risk of accidental ingestion. The prescription is for personal consumption and not meant to be shared with other individuals.
Those who are known to abuse Zolpidem should undergo the detoxification program to remove their dependence from this medication [3, 4, 5, 6].
Overdosing on Zolpidem is a real risk and can be dangerous for the patient. If you know more about this, you can share it in the comment section below.
- com. (2016, February 1). Zolpidem. Retrieved from Drugs.com: https://www.drugs.com/zolpidem.html
- Rx List. (2016, Sepember 15). Ambien. Retrieved from RxList: http://www.rxlist.com/ambien-drug/overdosage-contraindications.htm
- Project Know. (2016). Zolpidem Overdose Symptoms and Treatment. Retrieved from Project Know: http://www.projectknow.com/research/zolpidem-overdose/
- Addiction Blog. (2012, April 23). Ambien overdose: How much amount of Ambien to OD? Retrieved from Addiction Blog: http://prescription-drug.addictionblog.org/ambien-overdose-how-much-amount-of-ambien-to-od/
- Black Bear Lodge. (2016). How Much is Too Much? Zolpidem (Ambin) Overdose. Retrieved from Black Bear Lodge: http://blackbearrehab.com/ambien-abuse/overdose/
- Maclaren, E. (2016). Ambien Abuse. Retrieved from Drug Abuse: http://drugabuse.com/library/ambien-abuse/
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