Because sleep disturbances may be the presenting manifestation of a physical and/or psychiatric disorder, symptomatic treatment of insomnia should be initiated only after a careful evaluation of the patient. The failure of insomnia to remit after 7 to 10 days of treatment may indicate the presence of a primary psychiatric and/or medical illness that should be evaluated. Worsening of insomnia or the emergence of new thinking or behavior abnormalities may be the consequence of an unrecognized psychiatric or physical disorder. Such findings have emerged during the course of treatment with sedative/hypnotic drugs, including zolpidem.
Cases of angioedema involving the tongue, glottis or larynx have been reported in patients after taking the first or subsequent doses of sedative-hypnotics, including zolpidem. Some patients have had additional symptoms such as dyspnea, throat closing or nausea and vomiting that suggest anaphylaxis. Some patients have required medical therapy in the emergency department. If angioedema involves the throat, glottis or larynx, airway obstruction may occur and be fatal. Patients who develop angioedema after treatment with zolpidem should not be rechallenged with the drug.
Abnormal thinking and behavior changes have been reported in patients treated with sedative/hypnotics, including zolpidem. Some of these changes included decreased inhibition (e.g., aggressiveness and extroversion that seemed out of character), bizarre behavior, agitation and depersonalization. Visual and auditory hallucinations have been reported.
In controlled trials of zolpidem 10 mg taken at bedtime <1% of adults with insomnia reported hallucinations. In a clinical trial, 7% of pediatric patients treated with zolpidem 0.25 mg/kg taken at bedtime reported hallucinations versus 0% treated with placebo [see Use in Specific Populations ( 8.4)] .
It can rarely be determined with certainty whether a particular instance of the abnormal behaviors listed above is drug induced, spontaneous in origin, or a result of an underlying psychiatric or physical disorder. Nonetheless, the emergence of any new behavioral sign or symptom of concern requires careful and immediate evaluation.
In primarily depressed patients treated with sedative-hypnotics, worsening of depression, and suicidal thoughts and actions (including completed suicides), have been reported. Suicidal tendencies may be present in such patients and protective measures may be required. Intentional overdosage is more common in this group of patients; therefore, the lowest number of tablets that is feasible should be prescribed for the patient at any one time.
Although studies with 10 mg zolpidem tartrate did not reveal respiratory depressant effects at hypnotic doses in healthy subjects or in patients with mild to moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a reduction in the Total Arousal Index, together with a reduction in lowest oxygen saturation and increase in the times of oxygen desaturation below 80% and 90%, was observed in patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea when treated with zolpidem compared to placebo. Since sedative-hypnotics have the capacity to depress respiratory drive, precautions should be taken if zolpidem is prescribed to patients with compromised respiratory function. Post marketing reports of respiratory insufficiency in patients receiving 10 mg of zolpidem tartrate, most of whom had pre-existing respiratory impairment, have been reported. The risk of respiratory depression should be considered prior to prescribing zolpidem in patients with respiratory impairment including sleep apnea and myasthenia gravis.
Drugs affecting GABA receptors, such as zolpidem tartrate, have been associated with precipitation of hepatic encephalopathy in patients with hepatic insufficiency. In addition, patients with hepatic insufficiency do not clear zolpidem tartrate as rapidly as patients with normal hepatic function. Avoid zolpidem tartrate tablets use in patients with severe hepatic impairment as it may contribute to encephalopathy [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.2), Use in Specific Populations ( 8.7), Clinical Pharmacology ( 12.3)].
There have been reports of withdrawal signs and symptoms following the rapid dose decrease or abrupt discontinuation of zolpidem. Monitor patients for tolerance, abuse, and dependence [see Drug Abuse and Dependence ( 9.2, 9.3)] .
- Complex Sleep Behaviors [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.1)]
- CNS-Depressant Effects and Next-Day Impairment [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.2)]
- Serious Anaphylactic and Anaphylactoid Reactions [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.4)]
- Abnormal Thinking and Behavior Changes [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.5)]
- Withdrawal effects [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.9)]
Approximately 4% of 1,701 patients who received zolpidem at all doses (1.25 to 90 mg) in U.S. premarketing clinical trials discontinued treatment because of an adverse reaction. Reactions most commonly associated with discontinuation from U.S. trials were daytime drowsiness (0.5%), dizziness (0.4%), headache (0.5%), nausea (0.6%), and vomiting (0.5%).
Approximately 4% of 1,959 patients who received zolpidem at all doses (1 to 50 mg) in similar foreign trials discontinued treatment because of an adverse reaction. Reactions most commonly associated with discontinuation from these trials were daytime drowsiness (1.1%), dizziness/vertigo (0.8%), amnesia (0.5%), nausea (0.5%), headache (0.4%), and falls (0.4%).
Data from a clinical study in which selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)-treated patients were given zolpidem revealed that four of the seven discontinuations during double-blind treatment with zolpidem (n=95) were associated with impaired concentration, continuing or aggravated depression, and manic reaction; one patient treated with placebo (n=97) was discontinued after an attempted suicide.
Most Commonly Observed Adverse Reactions in Controlled Trials
During short-term treatment (up to 10 nights) with zolpidem tartrate tablets at doses up to 10 mg, the most commonly observed adverse reactions associated with the use of zolpidem and seen at statistically significant differences from placebo-treated patients were drowsiness (reported by 2% of zolpidem patients), dizziness (1%), and diarrhea (1%). During longer-term treatment (28 to 35 nights) with zolpidem at doses up to 10 mg, the most commonly observed adverse reactions associated with the use of zolpidem and seen at statistically significant differences from placebo-treated patients were dizziness (5%) and drugged feelings (3%).
Adverse Reactions Observed at an Incidence of ≥1% in Controlled Trials
The following tables enumerate treatment-emergent adverse reactions frequencies that were observed at an incidence equal to 1% or greater among patients with insomnia who received zolpidem tartrate and at a greater incidence than placebo in U.S. placebo-controlled trials. Events reported by investigators were classified utilizing a modified World Health Organization (WHO) dictionary of preferred terms for the purpose of establishing event frequencies. The prescriber should be aware that these figures cannot be used to predict the incidence of side effects in the course of usual medical practice, in which patient characteristics and other factors differ from those that prevailed in these clinical trials. Similarly, the cited frequencies cannot be compared with figures obtained from other clinical investigators involving related drug products and uses, since each group of drug trials is conducted under a different set of conditions. However, the cited figures provide the physician with a basis for estimating the relative contribution of drug and nondrug factors to the incidence of side effects in the population studied.
The following table was derived from results of 11 placebo-controlled short-term U.S. efficacy trials involving zolpidem in doses ranging from 1.25 to 20 mg. The table is limited to data from doses up to and including 10 mg, the highest dose recommended for use.
|Body System Adverse Reaction *||Zolpidem (≤10 mg) (N=685)||Placebo (N=473)|
|Central and Peripheral Nervous System|
The following table was derived from results of three placebo-controlled long-term efficacy trials involving zolpidem tartrate tablets. These trials involved patients with chronic insomnia who were treated for 28 to 35 nights with zolpidem at doses of 5, 10, or 15 mg. The table is limited to data from doses up to and including 10 mg, the highest dose recommended for use. The table includes only adverse events occurring at an incidence of at least 1% for zolpidem patients.
|Body System Adverse Event *||Zolpidem (≤10 mg) (N=152)||Placebo (N=161)|
|Autonomic Nervous System|
|Body as a Whole|
|Central and Peripheral Nervous System|
|Skin and Appendages|
There is evidence from dose comparison trials suggesting a dose relationship for many of the adverse reactions associated with zolpidem use, particularly for certain CNS and gastrointestinal adverse events.
Adverse Event Incidence Across the Entire Preapproval Database
Zolpidem tartrate tablets were administered to 3,660 subjects in clinical trials throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Treatment-emergent adverse events associated with clinical trial participation were recorded by clinical investigators using terminology of their own choosing. To provide a meaningful estimate of the proportion of individuals experiencing treatment-emergent adverse events, similar types of untoward events were grouped into a smaller number of standardized event categories and classified utilizing a modified World Health Organization (WHO) dictionary of preferred terms.
The frequencies presented, therefore, represent the proportions of the 3,660 individuals exposed to zolpidem, at all doses, who experienced an event of the type cited on at least one occasion while receiving zolpidem. All reported treatment-emergent adverse events are included, except those already listed in the table above of adverse events in placebo-controlled studies, those coding terms that are so general as to be uninformative, and those events where a drug cause was remote. It is important to emphasize that, although the events reported did occur during treatment with zolpidem tartrate tablets, they were not necessarily caused by it.
Adverse events are further classified within body system categories and enumerated in order of decreasing frequency using the following definitions: frequent adverse events are defined as those occurring in greater than 1/100 subjects; infrequent adverse events are those occurring in 1/100 to 1/1,000 patients; rare events are those occurring in less than 1/1,000 patients.
Autonomic nervous system: Infrequent: increased sweating, pallor, postural hypotension, syncope. Rare: abnormal accommodation, altered saliva, flushing, glaucoma, hypotension, impotence, increased saliva, tenesmus.
Body as a whole: Frequent: asthenia. Infrequent: edema, falling, fatigue, fever, malaise, trauma. Rare: allergic reaction, allergy aggravated, anaphylactic shock, face edema, hot flashes, increased ESR, pain, restless legs, rigors, tolerance increased, weight decrease.
Cardiovascular system: Infrequent: cerebrovascular disorder, hypertension, tachycardia. Rare: angina pectoris, arrhythmia, arteritis, circulatory failure, extrasystoles, hypertension aggravated, myocardial infarction, phlebitis, pulmonary embolism, pulmonary edema, varicose veins, ventricular tachycardia.
Central and peripheral nervous system: Frequent: ataxia, confusion, euphoria, headache, insomnia, vertigo. Infrequent: agitation, anxiety, decreased cognition, detached, difficulty concentrating, dysarthria, emotional lability, hallucination, hypoesthesia, illusion, leg cramps, migraine, nervousness, paresthesia, sleeping (after daytime dosing), speech disorder, stupor, tremor. Rare: abnormal gait, abnormal thinking, aggressive reaction, apathy, appetite increased, decreased libido, delusion, dementia, depersonalization, dysphasia, feeling strange, hypokinesia, hypotonia, hysteria, intoxicated feeling, manic reaction, neuralgia, neuritis, neuropathy, neurosis, panic attacks, paresis, personality disorder, somnambulism, suicide attempts, tetany, yawning.
Gastrointestinal system: Frequent: dyspepsia, hiccup, nausea. Infrequent: anorexia, constipation, dysphagia, flatulence, gastroenteritis, vomiting. Rare: enteritis, eructation, esophagospasm, gastritis, hemorrhoids, intestinal obstruction, rectal hemorrhage, tooth caries.
Hematologic and lymphatic system: Rare: anemia, hyperhemoglobinemia, leukopenia, lymphadenopathy, macrocytic anemia, purpura, thrombosis.
Immunologic system: Infrequent: infection. Rare: abscess herpes simplex herpes zoster, otitis externa, otitis media.
Liver and biliary system: Infrequent: abnormal hepatic function, increased SGPT. Rare: bilirubinemia, increased SGOT.
Metabolic and nutritional: Infrequent: hyperglycemia, thirst. Rare: gout, hypercholesteremia, hyperlipidemia, increased alkaline phosphatase, increased BUN, periorbital edema.
Musculoskeletal system: Frequent: arthralgia, myalgia. Infrequent: arthritis. Rare: arthrosis, muscle weakness, sciatica, tendinitis.
Reproductive system: Infrequent: menstrual disorder, vaginitis. Rare: breast fibroadenosis, breast neoplasm, breast pain.
Respiratory system: Frequent: upper respiratory infection, lower respiratory infection. Infrequent: bronchitis, coughing, dyspnea, rhinitis. Rare: bronchospasm, respiratory depression, epistaxis, hypoxia, laryngitis, pneumonia.
Skin and appendages: Infrequent: pruritus. Rare: acne, bullous eruption, dermatitis, furunculosis, injection-site inflammation, photosensitivity reaction, urticaria.
Special senses: Frequent: diplopia, vision abnormal. Infrequent: eye irritation, eye pain, scleritis, taste perversion, tinnitus. Rare: conjunctivitis, corneal ulceration, lacrimation abnormal, parosmia, photopsia.
Urogenital system: Frequent: urinary tract infection. Infrequent: cystitis, urinary incontinence. Rare: acute renal failure, dysuria, micturition frequency, nocturia, polyuria, pyelonephritis, renal pain, urinary retention.
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