Prescription Drug Information: ZOLPIMIST (Page 4 of 6)


10.1 Signs and Symptoms

In post-marketing 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.

10.2 Recommended Treatment

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.


ZOLPIMIST (zolpidem tartrate) is a gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) A agonist of the imidazopyridine class. 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:

Structural Formula
(click image for full-size original)

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 764.89.

ZOLPIMIST is available as an oral solution designed to be sprayed directly into the mouth over the tongue. Each metered actuation of ZOLPIMIST delivers 5 mg of zolpidem tartrate in 100 μL. Two actuations deliver 10 mg of zolpidem tartrate. ZOLPIMIST includes the following inactive ingredients: artificial cherry flavor, benzoic acid, citric acid monohydrate, hydrochloric acid, neotame, propylene glycol, and purified water.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Zolpidem, the active moiety of zolpidem tartrate, is a hypnotic agent with a chemical structure unrelated to benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or other drugs with known hypnotic properties. It interacts with a GABA-BZ receptor complex and shares some of the pharmacological properties of the benzodiazepines. In contrast to the benzodiazepines which non-selectively bind to and activate all BZ receptor subtypes, zolpidem in vitro binds the BZ 1 receptor preferentially with a high affinity ratio of the α 15 subunits. This selective binding of zolpidem on the BZ 1 receptor is not absolute, but it may explain the relative absence of myorelaxant and anticonvulsant effects in animal studies as well as the preservation of deep sleep (stages 3 and 4) in human studies of zolpidem at hypnotic doses.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

ZOLPIMIST (zolpidem tartrate) Oral Spray is bioequivalent to Ambien® tablets (Sanofi-Aventis). The pharmacokinetic profile of ZOLPIMIST is characterized by rapid absorption from the oral mucosa and gastrointestinal tract, and a short elimination t 1/2 in healthy subjects.

In a single-dose crossover study in 10 healthy young (18-40 years of age) male subjects administered 2.5, 5, and 10 mg ZOLPIMIST, the results demonstrated a linear relationship to dose for mean C max and AUC 0-∞ over the range of doses administered in the study.

In a single-dose crossover study in 43 healthy young (18-45 years of age) subjects administered 5 and 10 mg ZOLPIMIST, the means for C max were 114 (range: 19 to 197) and 210 ng/mL (range: 77 to 401), respectively, occurring at a mean time to maximum concentration (T max ) of approximately 0.9 hours for both. The mean zolpidem t 1/2 was 2.7 (range: 1.7 to 5.0) and 3.0 hours (range: 1.7 to 8.4), for 5 and 10 mg ZOLPIMIST, respectively. In the same study, the means for C max were 123 (range: 53 to 221) and 219 ng/mL (range: 101 to 446) for 5 and 10 mg Ambien® tablets, respectively, occurring at a mean T max of 0.9 and 1.0 hours, respectively. The mean zolpidem t 1/2 was 2.8 (range: 1.5 to 6.0) and 3.1 hours (range: 1.1 to 8.6) for the 5 and 10 mg Ambien® tablets, respectively.

Zolpidem is converted to inactive metabolites that are eliminated primarily by renal excretion. Total protein binding for zolpidem was found to be 92.5 ± 0.1% and remained constant, independent of concentration between 40 and 790 ng/mL. Zolpidem did not accumulate in young adults following nightly dosing with 20 mg zolpidem tartrate for 2 weeks.

A food-effect crossover study in 14 healthy young (18-45 years of age) male subjects compared the pharmacokinetics of ZOLPIMIST 10 mg when administered while fasting at least 8 hours or 5 minutes after eating a standard high-fat meal. Results demonstrated that with food, mean AUC 0-∞ and C max were decreased by 27% and 58%, respectively, while mean T max was prolonged by 225% (from 0.8 to 2.6 hours). These results suggest that, for faster sleep onset, as with all zolpidem products, ZOLPIMIST should not be administered with or immediately after a meal.

Special Populations:

Elderly: In the elderly, the dose for zolpidem tartrate should be 5 mg [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5) and Dosage and Administration ( 2)]. This recommendation is based on several studies in which the mean C max , t 1/2 , and AUC were significantly increased when compared to results in young adults administered zolpidem tartrate. In a pharmacokinetic study of 24 elderly (≥65 years of age) subjects administered 5 mg ZOLPIMIST, the means for C max and AUC were 134 ng/mL and 493 ng∙hr/mL respectively, following administration of a single 5 mg oral dose of ZOLPIMIST. Zolpidem tartrate did not accumulate in elderly subjects following nightly oral dosing of 10 mg for 1 week.

Hepatic impairment: The pharmacokinetics of zolpidem in eight patients with chronic hepatic insufficiency were compared to results in healthy subjects. Following a single 20 mg oral zolpidem tartrate dose, mean C max and AUC were found to be two times (250 vs 499 ng/mL) and five times (788 vs 4,203 ng∙hr/mL) higher, respectively, in hepatically compromised patients. T max did not change. The mean t 1/2 in cirrhotic patients of 9.9 hours (range: 4.1 to 25.8 hours) was greater than that observed in normal subjects of 2.2 hours (range: 1.6 to 2.4 hours). Dosing should be modified accordingly in patients with hepatic insufficiency. [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.2)]

Renal impairment: The pharmacokinetics of zolpidem were studied in 11 patients with end-stage renal failure (mean Cl Cr =6.5 ± 1.5 mL/min) undergoing hemodialysis three times a week, who were dosed with zolpidem tartrate 10 mg orally each day for 14 or 21 days. No statistically significant differences were observed for C max , T max , t 1/2 , and AUC between the first and last day of drug administration when baseline concentration adjustments were made. Zolpidem was not hemodialyzable. No accumulation of unchanged drug appeared after 14 or 21 days. Zolpidem pharmacokinetics were not significantly different in renally impaired patients. No dosage adjustment is necessary in patients with compromised renal function.

No dosage adjustment is necessary in patients with compromised renal function. However, as a general precaution, these patients should be closely monitored.


13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Carcinogenesis: Zolpidem was administered to mice and rats for 2 years at oral doses of 4, 18, and 80 mg base/kg/day. In mice, these doses are approximately 2.5, 10, and 50 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 10 mg/day (8 mg zolpidem base) on mg/m 2 basis. In rats, these doses are approximately 5, 20, and 100 times the MRHD on a mg/m 2 basis. No evidence of carcinogenic potential was observed in mice. In rats, renal tumors (lipoma, liposarcoma) were seen at the mid- and high doses.

Mutagenesis: Zolpidem was negative in in vitro (bacterial reverse mutation, mouse lymphoma, and chromosomal aberration) and in vivo (mouse micronucleus) genetic toxicology assays.

Impairment of fertility: Oral administration of zolpidem (doses of 4, 20, and 100 mg base/kg/day) to rats prior to and during mating, and continuing in females through postpartum day 25, resulted in irregular estrus cycles and prolonged precoital intervals at the highest dose tested. The no-effect dose for these findings is approximately 24 times the MRHD on a mg/m 2 basis. There was no impairment of fertility at any dose tested.


14.1 Transient Insomnia

Normal adults experiencing transient insomnia (n=462) during the first night in a sleep laboratory were evaluated in a double-blind, parallel group, single-night trial comparing two doses of zolpidem (7.5 and 10 mg) and placebo. Both zolpidem doses were superior to placebo on objective (polysomnographic) measures of sleep latency, sleep duration, and number of awakenings.

Normal elderly adults (mean age 68) experiencing transient insomnia (n=35) during the first two nights in a sleep laboratory were evaluated in a double-blind, crossover, 2-night trial comparing four doses of zolpidem (5, 10, 15, and 20 mg) and placebo. All zolpidem doses were superior to placebo on the two primary PSG parameters (sleep latency and efficiency) and all four subjective outcome measures (sleep duration, sleep latency, number of awakenings, and sleep quality).

14.2 Chronic Insomnia

Zolpidem was evaluated in two controlled studies for the treatment of patients with chronic insomnia (most closely resembling primary insomnia, as defined in the APA Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-IV™). Adult outpatients with chronic insomnia (n=75) were evaluated in a double-blind, parallel group, 5-week trial comparing two doses of zolpidem tartrate and placebo. On objective (polysomnographic) measures of sleep latency and sleep efficiency, zolpidem 10 mg was superior to placebo on sleep latency for the first 4 weeks and on sleep efficiency for weeks 2 and 4. Zolpidem was comparable to placebo on number of awakenings at both doses studied.

Adult outpatients (n=141) with chronic insomnia were also evaluated, in a double-blind, parallel group, 4-week trial comparing two doses of zolpidem and placebo. Zolpidem 10 mg was superior to placebo on a subjective measure of sleep latency for all 4 weeks, and on subjective measures of total sleep time, number of awakenings, and sleep quality for the first treatment week.

Increased wakefulness during the last third of the night as measured by polysomnography has not been observed in clinical trials with zolpidem. provides trustworthy package insert and label information about marketed prescription drugs as submitted by manufacturers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Package information is not reviewed or updated separately by Every individual prescription drug label and package insert entry contains a unique identifier which can be used to secure further details directly from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and/or the FDA.

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