AMBIEN CR is not recommended for use in children. Safety and effectiveness of zolpidem in pediatric patients below the age of 18 years have not been established.
In an 8-week study in pediatric patients (aged 6–17 years) with insomnia associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) an oral solution of zolpidem tartrate dosed at 0.25 mg/kg at bedtime did not decrease sleep latency compared to placebo. Psychiatric and nervous system disorders comprised the most frequent (>5%) treatment emergent adverse reactions observed with zolpidem versus placebo and included dizziness (23.5% vs 1.5%), headache (12.5% vs 9.2%), and hallucinations were reported in 7% of the pediatric patients who received zolpidem; none of the pediatric patients who received placebo reported hallucinations [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)] . Ten patients on zolpidem (7.4%) discontinued treatment due to an adverse reaction.
FDA has not required pediatric studies of AMBIEN CR in the pediatric population based on these efficacy and safety findings.
A total of 99 elderly (≥65 years of age) received daily doses of 6.25 mg AMBIEN CR in a 3-week placebo-controlled study. The adverse reaction profile of AMBIEN CR 6.25 mg in this population was similar to that of AMBIEN CR 12.5 mg in younger adults (≤64 years of age). Dizziness was reported in 8% of AMBIEN CR–treated patients compared with 3% of those treated with placebo.
The dose of AMBIEN CR in elderly patients is 6.25 mg to minimize adverse effects related to impaired motor and/or cognitive performance and unusual sensitivity to sedative/hypnotic drugs [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)] .
Women clear zolpidem tartrate from the body at a lower rate than men. C max and AUC parameters of zolpidem from AMBIEN CR were, respectively, approximately 50% and 75% higher at the same dose in adult female subjects compared to adult male subjects. Between 6 and 12 hours after dosing, zolpidem concentrations were 2 to 3 fold higher in adult female compared to adult male subjects. Given the higher blood levels of zolpidem tartrate in women compared to men at a given dose, the recommended initial dose of AMBIEN CR for adult women is 6.25 mg, and the recommended dose for adult men is 6.25 or 12.5 mg.
In geriatric patients, clearance of zolpidem is similar in men and women. The recommended dose of AMBIEN CR in geriatric patients is 6.25 mg regardless of gender.
The recommended dose of AMBIEN CR in patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment is 6.25 mg once daily immediately before bedtime. Avoid AMBIEN CR use in patients with severe hepatic impairment as it may contribute to encephalopathy [see Dosage and Administration (2.2), Warnings and Precautions (5.8), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)] .
Zolpidem tartrate is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance by federal regulation.
Abuse and addiction are separate and distinct from physical dependence and tolerance. Abuse is characterized by misuse of the drug for non-medical purposes, often in combination with other psychoactive substances. Tolerance is a state of adaptation in which exposure to a drug induces changes that result in a diminution of one or more of the drug effects over time. Tolerance may occur to both desired and undesired effects of drugs and may develop at different rates for different effects.
Addiction is a primary, chronic, neurobiological disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. It is characterized by behaviors that include one or more of the following: impaired control over drug use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm, and craving. Drug addiction is a treatable disease, using a multidisciplinary approach, but relapse is common.
Studies of abuse potential in former drug abusers found that the effects of single doses of zolpidem tartrate 40 mg were similar, but not identical, to diazepam 20 mg, while zolpidem tartrate 10 mg effects were difficult to distinguish from placebo.
Because persons with a history of addiction to, or abuse of, drugs or alcohol are at increased risk for misuse, abuse and addiction of zolpidem, they should be monitored carefully when receiving zolpidem or any other hypnotic.
Physical dependence is a state of adaptation that is manifested by a specific withdrawal syndrome that can be produced by abrupt cessation, rapid dose reduction, decreasing blood level of the drug, and/or administration of an antagonist.
Sedative/hypnotics have produced withdrawal signs and symptoms following abrupt discontinuation. These reported symptoms range from mild dysphoria and insomnia to a withdrawal syndrome that may include abdominal and muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, tremors, and convulsions. The following adverse events, which are considered to meet the DSM-III-R criteria for uncomplicated sedative/hypnotic withdrawal, were reported during U.S. clinical trials following placebo substitution occurring within 48 hours following last zolpidem treatment: fatigue, nausea, flushing, lightheadedness, uncontrolled crying, emesis, stomach cramps, panic attack, nervousness, and abdominal discomfort. These reported adverse events occurred at an incidence of 1% or less. However, available data cannot provide a reliable estimate of the incidence, if any, of dependence during treatment at recommended doses. Postmarketing reports of abuse, dependence and withdrawal have been received.
In postmarketing experience of overdose with zolpidem tartrate alone, or in combination with CNS-depressant agents, impairment of consciousness ranging from somnolence to coma, cardiovascular and/or respiratory compromise, and fatal outcomes have been reported.
General symptomatic and supportive measures should be used along with immediate gastric lavage where appropriate. Intravenous fluids should be administered as needed. Zolpidem’s sedative hypnotic effect was shown to be reduced by flumazenil and therefore may be useful; however, flumazenil administration may contribute to the appearance of neurological symptoms (convulsions). As in all cases of drug overdose, respiration, pulse, blood pressure, and other appropriate signs should be monitored and general supportive measures employed. Hypotension and CNS depression should be monitored and treated by appropriate medical intervention. Sedating drugs should be withheld following zolpidem overdosage, even if excitation occurs. The value of dialysis in the treatment of overdosage has not been determined, although hemodialysis studies in patients with renal failure receiving therapeutic doses have demonstrated that zolpidem is not dialyzable.
As with the management of all overdosage, the possibility of multiple drug ingestion should be considered. The physician may wish to consider contacting a poison control center for up-to-date information on the management of hypnotic drug product overdosage.
AMBIEN CR contains zolpidem tartrate, a gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) A receptor positive modulator of the imidazopyridine class. AMBIEN CR (zolpidem tartrate) extended-release tablets is available in 6.25 mg and 12.5 mg strength tablets for oral administration.
Chemically, zolpidem is N,N,6-trimethyl-2-p-tolylimidazo[1,2-a] pyridine-3-acetamide L-(+)-tartrate (2:1). It has the following structure:
Zolpidem tartrate is a white to off-white crystalline powder that is sparingly soluble in water, alcohol, and propylene glycol. It has a molecular weight of 764.88.
AMBIEN CR consists of a coated two-layer tablet: one layer that releases its drug content immediately and another layer that allows a slower release of additional drug content. The 6.25 mg AMBIEN CR tablet contains the following inactive ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, potassium bitartrate, red ferric oxide, sodium starch glycolate, and titanium dioxide. The 12.5 mg AMBIEN CR tablet contains the following inactive ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, FD&C Blue #2, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, potassium bitartrate, sodium starch glycolate, titanium dioxide, and yellow ferric oxide.
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