Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Zolpidem


Last updated on 18/03/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  



BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Stilnox / Stilnox CR (controlled-release), Vicknox

DRUG CLASS: Hypnotic

USED FOR: Insomnia


– 10mg (tablets)
– 6.25mg, 12.5mg (modified-release tablets)

What is Zolpidem for?

Zolpidem is a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic: it can increase the availability of certain chemicals in your brain that induce sleepiness. It is therefore a common medicine used to manage short-term insomnia.

How to use it?

Zolpidem can be taken by mouth as conventional tablets or modified-release tablets. The adult dose of conventional tablets is 5-10 mg daily at bedtime for a maximum of 4 weeks. Use the lowest possible dose, and do not repeat a dose if you wake up during the night. If you are taking modified-release tablets (Stilnox CR), you should swallow the tablets whole and do not chew or crush them. The usual dose for modified-release tablets is 6.25-12.5 mg daily at bedtime.

What are the side effects of Zolpidem?

Common side effects of Zolpidem include temporary memory loss, anxiety, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, hallucination, and headache. There have been rare reports of injury because of complex sleep behaviors, including sleepwalking, sleep driving, and engaging in other activities while not fully awake.

Who should not take Zolpidem?

– Anyone who has an allergy to zolpidem or any other components of the formulation
– Anyone who has experienced abnormal sleeping behaviors after taking Zolpidem

Pharmacist Tips:

– If you have experienced abnormal sleeping behaviors such as sleep-walking, report to your doctor or pharmacist immediately and discontinue zolpidem.
– If you notice changes in your thinking or behaviors, tell your doctor or pharmacist.
– Zolpidem will cause drowsiness and should be taken right before sleep.

Common dosing schedule:
You should not take Zolpidem with or immediately after a meal as this may delay the onset of the medicine.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Zolpidem may interact:
– Azelastine

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Zolpidem in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Zolpidem is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at

For detailed information about the use of Zolpidem in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.