MedGenMed : Medscape general medicine

Insomnia: zolpidem extended-release for the treatment of sleep induction and sleep maintenance symptoms.

PMID 17435620


Insomnia impairs daytime functioning or causes clinically significant daytime distress. The consequences of insomnia, if left untreated, may contribute to the risks of developing additional serious conditions, such as psychiatric illness, cardiovascular disease, or metabolic issues. Furthermore, some comorbidities associated with insomnia may be bidirectional in their causality because psychiatric and other medical problems can increase the risk for insomnia. Regardless of the serious consequences of inadequately treated insomnia, clinicians often do not inquire into their patients' sleep habits, and patients, in turn, are not forthcoming with details of their sleep difficulties. The continuing education of physicians and patients with regard to insomnia and currently available therapies for the treatment of insomnia is, therefore, essential. Insomnia may present as either a difficulty falling asleep, difficulty maintaining sleep, or waking too early without being able to return to sleep. Furthermore, these symptoms often change over time in an unpredictable manner. Therefore, when considering a sleep medication, one with efficacy for the treatment of multiple insomnia symptoms is recommended. A modified-release formulation of zolpidem, zolpidem extended-release, has been approved for the treatment of insomnia characterized by both difficulty in falling asleep and maintaining sleep. Here, we review studies supporting the use of zolpidem extended-release in the treatment of sleep-onset and sleep maintenance difficulties.