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Stilnox is used for short-term treatment of insomnia (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or early awakening). A relatively new drug, Stilnox is chemically different from other common sleep medications such as Halcion and Dalmane.
Brand Name: Stilnox
Generic Name: Zolpidem Tartrate
Most important fact about Stilnox
Sleep problems are usually temporary and require medication for a week or two at most. Insomnia that lasts longer could be a sign of another medical problem. If you find that you need Stilnox for more than 7 to 10 days, be sure to check with your doctor.
How should you take Stilnox ?
Stilnox works very quickly. Take it just before going to bed. Take only the prescribed dose, exactly as instructed by your doctor.
If you miss a dose of Stilnox
Take Stilnox only as needed. Never double the dose.
Storage instructions for Stilnox
Store at room temperature. Protect from extreme heat.
What side effects may occur when taking Stilnox ?
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor immediately. Only your doctor can determine whether it is safe to continue taking Stilnox.
More common side effects when taking Stilnox may include:
Why should Stilnox not be prescribed ?
There are no known situations in which Stilnox cannot be used.
Special warnings about Stilnox
When sleep medications are used every night for more than a few weeks, some may lose their effectiveness. Remember, too, that you can become dependent on some sleep medications if you use them for a long time or at high doses.
Some people using Stilnox especially those taking serotonin-boosting antidepressants have experienced unusual changes in their thinking and/or behavior. Alert your doctor if you notice a change.
Stilnox and other sleep medicines can cause a special type of memory loss. It should not be taken on an overnight airplane flight of less than 7 to 8 hours, since "traveler's amnesia" may occur.
When you first start taking Stilnox, until you know whether Stilnox will have any "carry over" effect the next day, use extreme care while doing anything that requires complete alertness, such as driving a car or operating machinery. Older adults, in particular, should be aware that they may be more apt to fall.
Use Stilnox cautiously if you have liver problems. It will take longer for its effects to wear off.
If you take Stilnox for more than 1 or 2 weeks, consult your doctor before stopping. Sudden discontinuation of Stilnox can bring on withdrawal symptoms ranging from unpleasant feelings to vomiting and cramps.
When taking Stilnox, do not drink alcohol. It can increase the side effects of Stilnox.
If you have breathing problems, they may become worse when you use Stilnox.
Possible food and drug interactions when taking Stilnox
If Stilnox is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either drug could be increased, decreased, or altered.
It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Stilnox with the following:
The antidepressant drug imipramine (Tofranil)
Special information on Stilnox if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Babies whose mothers take some sedative/hypnotic drugs may have withdrawal symptoms after birth and may seem limp and flaccid. Stilnox is not recommended for use by nursing mothers.
Recommended dosages for Stilnox
The recommended dosage of Stilnox for adults is 10 milligrams right before bedtime. Your doctor will prescribe a smaller dose if you are likely to be sensitive to the drug or have a liver problem. Never take more than 10 milligrams of Stilnox per day.
Safety and effectiveness of Stilnox has not been established in children below the age of 18.
Because older people and those in a weakened condition may be more sensitive to Stilnox's effects, the recommended starting dosage is 5 milligrams just before bedtime.
Overdosage with Stilnox
People who take too much Stilnox may become excessively sleepy or even go into a light coma. The symptoms of overdose are more severe if the person is also taking other drugs that depress the central nervous system. Some cases of multiple overdose have been fatal.
If you suspect an overdose of Stilnox, seek medical attention immediately.
Recreational use and abuse
The transition from medicinal use to recreational use of Stilnox can occur when Stilnox is used without the doctor's recommendation to continue using it, in high doses (more than the usual 5mg or 10 mg), when consumed other than orally (snorting or injecting), or when taken for purposes other than as a sleep aid. Abuse is more prevalent in those who have been dependent on other drugs, tobacco, or alcohol in the past. Stilnox effects can increase and intensify if mixed with other substances like alcohol and cannabis.
In the U.S., recreational use of Stilnox is becoming more common in young people. Recreational users claim that "fighting" the effects of the drug by forcing themselves to stay awake will sometimes cause vivid visuals and a body high . However, others who are already in an anxious state, claim it is not hard to fight the main effect of sedation, experiencing the side-effect of euphoria more than the sedation itself. Thus some users report decreased anxiety, and even mild euphoria, as well as perceptual changes, visual distortions, and light-based hallucinations. It is also not uncommon for one who has developed a tolerance to Stilnox to eventually feel such a decrease in the sedation effect that only the euphoric, perceptual, and anxiety decreasing side effects remain.
With regular use at high dosage with Stilnox, there can be a risk of a severe physical dependence on zolpidem with cases being reported in the medical literature of epileptic seizures forming part of the withdrawal syndrome. One case involved a woman detoxing off a high dose of Stilnox experiencing a generalized seizure. The clinical withdrawal and dependence effects were reported to be similar to those of benzodiazepines in this case report.
Stilnox and other sedative hypnotic drugs are detected frequently in cases of people suspected of driving under the influence of drugs. Other drugs including the benzodiazepines and zopiclone are also found in high numbers of suspected drugged drivers. Many drivers have blood levels far exceeding the therapeutic dose range suggesting a high degree of excessive-use potential for benzodiazepines, zolpidem and zopiclone.
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