Question: Is Ambien (Zolpidem) the right drug for treating sleeping disorders like insomnia?
Insomnia is a distressing condition that affects not only the ability to sleep adequately at night, but also to function effectively during one's desired waking time that may affect their psychological and physical well-being. Population-based studies estimate that ten to forty percent of American adults have intermittent insomnia and ten to fifteen percent have long-term sleep difficulties.(1) It is also estimated that ten to fifteen percent of the adult population suffers from chronic insomnia; an additional twenty to thirty-five percent has transient or occasional insomnia. In 2008, a federally sponsored survey reported that over 600,000 Americans claimed to use sleeping pills and majority of the use linked to Ambien. It is the brand name for the drug Zolpidem which is a widely prescribed sedative that is recommended by physicians for the treatments of different categories of insomnia in patients. Even though Ambien (Zolpidem) is an FDA approved drug, the evaluation of the safety and efficacy of this hypnotic or sedative involves many complexities and can only be done by comparing them with the hazards of its use. So, is Ambien or Zolpidem, the right choice for the treatment of sleeping disorders like insomnia?
Zolpidem is a non-benzodiapine hypnotic agent belonging to a new class of psychotropic drugs, the imidazopy - ridines, which enhance the GABA receptor function by binding selectively to the omega-1 receptor subtype. Non-benzodiapine drugs are considered to be safer than those that contain benzodiapine although they might be less stronger and effective in treating insomnia. However, to understand the benefits of the hypnotic it is important to evaluate its efficacy in the different types of insomnia patients suffer from.
Often the efficacy of hypnotic are compared to that of placebo in order to evaluate the better option