HeadMeds gives young people in the United Kingdom general information about medication. HeadMeds does not give you medical advice. Please talk to your Doctor or anyone else who is supporting you about your own situation because everyone is different. Please read more important details about our site.


Medication type:

Non-benzodiazepine hypnotic medicine, also sometimes called a ‘Z drug’.

Other names:
  • Stilnoct "STIL-nokt"
Headmeds generic 695x330 listing
Taking Olanzapine and Sertraline: Elizabeth's story
After a couple of weeks my sleeping patterns regulated to how they had been before I began the medication

What can it be used for?

  • 18 & Over
    If you are 18 or over, the doctor can prescribe zolpidem for you as a licensed medicine if you have difficulty getting to sleep
  • Under 18
    If you are under 18, there is less research about its use and effectiveness in young people. Even so, specialists might prescribe it ‘off label’ if it is the best medicine for you.

Ways to take and what's in it?

  • Tablets

    5mg and 10mg strengths are available

If you have taken more zolpidem than it said on the label, you must see a doctor quickly - even if you do not feel any different.

Zolpidem can cause serious side-effects: allergic reactions (difficulty breathing, swelling of your face or throat, itching skin lumps), and other serious symptoms that you can find here. Go to a hospital if you get any of these symptoms, with your medicine.

Stopping zolpidem suddenly can cause withdrawl symptoms - go to your doctor if you want to stop, or if you are having these effects.

You might feel sleepy or confused in the first few days after taking zolpidem - do not drive a car, ride a bike or operate machines until you see how this affects you.

If you take zolpidem while you are pregnant, it may affect the developing baby. Use good contraception while you are taking zolpidem. It can also cause withdrawal symptoms in newborn babies if you take it at the end of pregnancy. Talk to your doctor or midwife about this and get their help.