Zolpidem For Alzheimer's Disease
Zolpidem is a relatively new sleep-inducing drug. It is an imidazopyridine, a non-benzodiazepine drug.
Zolpidem shortens the time to fall asleep and prolongs the amount of time spent
in restful sleep . Zolpidem does not cause rebound insomnia or impair
memory the next day .
Zolpidem induces sleep at doses
of 10 to 20 milligrams, taken just before going to bed. At lower doses, the drug
controls anxiety and agitation in alzheimer patients. One study reports on two
highly-agitated alzheimer patients, whose agitation was not controlled by
haloperidol or thioridazine. Doses of 2.5 milligrams, given before the morning
routine of dressing and bathing, made these two patients calmer and easier to
Zolpidem is also effective for alzheimer patients who
wander. A study finds that two alzheimer patients who spent the night hours
wandering, instead of sleeping, had normal restful sleep restored when given
zolpidem in doses of 10 to 15 milligrams at sleep time
Zolpidem has some adverse effects. Gastrointestinal
upset, drowsiness, and orthostatic hypotension are known side effects of the
drug. Zolpidem can be given with other drugs, such as
cimetidine,chlorpromazine,warfarin,and digoxin. Cimetidine and zolpidem can
sometimes decrease alertness. Zolpidem and imipramine can sometimes cause
anterograde amnesia. Zolpidem does not have withdrawal effects and does not
cause habituation .