Zolpidem for insomnia, the most questioned sleeping pills

When you go to your family doctor desperate because you have been having trouble sleeping for a long time, the most likely thing is that the doctor will directly prescribe some sleeping pills. Although we understand that in many cases of insomnia hypnotics are necessary, we also see that they are prescribed too lightly. In recent times, the use of these hypnotics to treat insomnia has begun to be questioned and one of the drugs that is in the spotlight is Zolpidem.

Zolpidem for insomnia

  • Zolpidem is one of the most prescribed sleeping pills in the world. Like all hypnotics, the medication itself warns of its side effects, its contraindications and its possible risk of dependency. Among its adverse effects we find a decrease in concentration, daytime sleepiness, parasomnias and a high degree of dependence.
  • Nothing new when we talk about sedative-hypnotics, benzodiazepines and other sleeping pills. However, Zolpidem is in the crosshairs of doctors and sleep specialists due to the frequency with which it is prescribed. For this reason, it is advisable to limit its use to very specific sleep disorders, after having studied the particular case and for a very limited period of time.
  • We can understand that the healthcare system cannot afford to refer more and more patients with insomnia to Sleep Units for specialized treatment. But we are also sure that the solution is not to indiscriminately prescribe sleeping pills like Zolpidem.

Controversy with Zolpidem

  • The controversy with Zolpidem does not stop at its risk of dependency, nor in its adverse effects that can affect, for example, driving. For some time the use of this drug for recreational purposes has been observed in some sectors of society, presenting itself as an economical and even legal drug.
  • It seems that Zolpidem, despite being a hypnotic, can cause the opposite effect if the initial time is exceeded without falling asleep. Effects that are further enhanced if accompanied by alcohol. Feeling of euphoria, but also of unreality and frequent hallucinations, are the effects that have been described by young people and also athletes who use these sleeping pills for evasion purposes.
  • To add more controversy to Zolpidem, which is marketed under different names depending on the country, the leading actor in “Brokeback Mountain”, Australian Heath Ledger, died in 2008 as a result of an overdose of medications, including Zolpidem.

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