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In pharmacology, zolpidem is an agonist of the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Zolpidem's pharmacological action is in the category of hypnotics and sedatives. Zolpidem is one of the Z drugs (zopiclone, eszopiclone, zolpidem, and zaleplon).

While it is a controlled substance in the Drug Enforcement Administration Schedule IV, its risk of dependency is nonzero but low, especially when compared to benzodiazepines or barbiturates.


In treating persistent insomnia in adults, 6 weeks of zolpidem 10 mg nightly along with weekly sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy followed by 6 months of monthly sessions and no medications yielded the most remission of insomnia in a randomized controlled trial.[1]

In geriatrics, the benefits of zolpidem for insomnia to not clearly exceed the drug toxicity.[2][3]

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