WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
CNS Depressant Effects and Next-Day Impairment
Edluar, like other sedative-hypnotic drugs, has central nervous system (CNS) depressant effects. Co-administration with other CNS depressants (e.g., benzodiazepines, opioids, tricyclic antidepressants, alcohol) increases the risk of CNS depression. Dosage adjustments of Edluar and of other concomitant CNS depressants may be necessary when Edluar is administered with such agents because of the potentially additive effects. The use of Edluar with other sedative-hypnotics (including other zolpidem products) at bedtime or the middle of the night is not recommended [see Dosage and Administration ].
The risk of next-day psychomotor impairment, including impaired driving, is increased if Edluar is taken with less than a full night of sleep remaining (7 to 8 hours); if a higher than the recommended dose is taken; if co-administered with other CNS depressants; or if co-administered with other drugs that increase the blood level of zolpidem. Patients should be cautioned against driving and other activities requiring complete mental alertness if Edluar is taken in these circumstances.
Need to Evaluate for Co-morbid Diagnoses
Because sleep disturbances may be the presenting manifestation of a physical and/or psychiatric disorder, symptomatic treatment of insomnia should be initiated only after a careful evaluation of the patient. The failure of insomnia to remit after 7 to 10 days of treatment may indicate the presence of a primary psychiatric and/or medical illness that should be evaluated. Worsening of insomnia or the emergence of new thinking or behavior abnormalities may be the consequence of an unrecognized psychiatric or physical disorder. Such findings have emerged during the course of treatment with sedative/hypnotic drugs, including zolpidem.
Severe Anaphylactic and Anaphylactoid Reactions
Cases of angioedema involving the tongue, glottis or larynx have been reported in patients after taking the first or subsequent doses of sedative-hypnotics, including zolpidem tartrate. Some patients have had additional symptoms such as dyspnea, throat closing or nausea and vomiting that suggest anaphylaxis. Some patients have required medical therapy in the emergency department. If angioedema involves the throat, glottis or larynx, airway obstruction may occur and be fatal. Patients who develop angioedema after treatment with Edluar should not be rechallenged with the drug.
Abnormal Thinking and Behavioral Changes
Abnormal thinking and behavior changes have been reported in patients treated with sedative/hypnotics, including zolpidem. Some of these changes included decreased inhibition (e.g. aggressiveness and extroversion that seemed out of character), bizarre behavior, agitation and depersonalization. Visual and auditory hallucinations have been reported.
In controlled trials of zolpidem tartrate 10 mg taken at bedtime, <1% of adults with insomnia who received zolpidem reported hallucinations. In a clinical trial, 7% of pediatric patients treated with zolpidem tartrate 0.25 mg/kg taken at bedtime reported hallucinations, versus 0% treated with placebo [see Use in Specific Populations].
Complex behaviors such as “sleep-driving” (i.e., driving while not fully awake after ingestion of a sedative-hypnotic, with amnesia for the event) have been reported in sedative-hypnotic-naive as well as in sedative-hypnotic-experienced persons. Although behaviors such as “sleep-driving” have occurred with zolpidem alone at therapeutic doses, the co-administration of zolpidem with alcohol or other CNS depressants increases the risk of such behaviors, as does the use of Edluar at doses exceeding the maximum recommended dose. Due to the risk to the patient and the community, discontinuation of Edluar should be strongly considered for patients who report a “sleep-driving” episode.
Other complex behaviors (e.g., preparing and eating food, making phone calls, or having sex) have been reported in patients who are not fully awake after taking a sedative-hypnotic. As with “sleep-driving”, patients usually do not remember these events. Amnesia, anxiety and other neuro-psychiatric symptoms may also occur.
It can rarely be determined with certainty whether a particular instance of the abnormal behaviors listed above is drug induced, spontaneous in origin, or a result of an underlying psychiatric or physical disorder. Nonetheless, the emergence of any new behavioral sign or symptom of concern requires careful and immediate evaluation.
Use in Patients with Depression
In primarily depressed patients treated with sedative-hypnotics, worsening of depression, and suicidal thoughts and actions (including completed suicides), have been reported. Suicidal tendencies may be present in such patients and protective measures may be required. Intentional overdosage is more common in this group of patients; therefore, the least amount of drug that is feasible should be prescribed for the patient at any one time.
Although studies with 10 mg zolpidem tartrate did not reveal respiratory depressant effects at hypnotic doses in healthy subjects or in patients with mild-to-moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a reduction in the Total Arousal Index, together with a reduction in lowest oxygen saturation and increase in the time of oxygen desaturation below 80% and 90%, was observed in patients with mild-to-moderate sleep apnea when treated with zolpidem compared to placebo. Since sedative-hypnotics have the capacity to depress respiratory drive, precautions should be taken if Edluar is prescribed to patients with compromised respiratory function. Post-marketing reports of respiratory insufficiency in patients receiving 10 mg of zolpidem tartrate, most of whom had pre-existing respiratory impairment, have been reported. The risks of respiratory depression should be considered prior to prescribing Edluar in patients with respiratory impairment including sleep apnea and myasthenia gravis.
There have been reports of withdrawal signs and symptoms following the rapid dose decrease or abrupt discontinuation of zolpidem. Monitor patients for tolerance, abuse, and dependence [see Drug Abuse and Dependence and].
USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS
Pregnancy Category C:
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of Edluar in pregnant women. Studies in children to assess the effects of prenatal exposure to zolpidem have not been conducted; however, cases of severe neonatal respiratory depression have been reported when zolpidem was used at the end of pregnancy, especially when taken with other CNS-depressants. Children born to mothers taking sedative-hypnotic drugs may be at risk for withdrawal symptoms during the postnatal period. Neonatal flaccidity has also been reported in infants born to mothers who received sedative-hypnotic drugs during pregnancy. Edluar should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk to the fetus.
Administration of zolpidem to pregnant rats and rabbits resulted in adverse effects on offspring development at doses greater than the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 10 mg/day (approximately 8 mg/day zolpidem base); however, teratogenicity was not observed.
When zolpidem was administered at oral doses of 4, 20, and 100 mg base/kg to pregnant rats during the period of organogenesis, dose-related decreases in fetal skull ossification occurred at all but the lowest dose, which is approximately 5 times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis. In rabbits treated during organogenesis with zolpidem at oral doses of 1, 4, and 16 mg base/kg, increased embryo-fetal death and incomplete fetal skeletal ossification occurred at the highest dose. The no-effect dose for embryo-fetal toxicity in rabbits is approximately 10 times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis. Administration of zolpidem to rats at oral doses of 4, 20, and 100 mg base/kg during the latter part of pregnancy and throughout lactation produced decreased offspring growth and survival at all but the lowest dose, which is approximately 5 times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis.
Labor and Delivery
Edluar has no established use in labor and delivery [see Pregnancy ].
Zolpidem is excreted in human milk. Caution should be exercised when Edluar is administered to a nursing woman.
Edluar is not recommended for use in children. Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established in pediatric patients below the age of 18.
In an 8-week controlled study in 201 pediatric patients (aged 6-17 years) with insomnia associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), an oral solution of zolpidem tartrate dosed at 0.25mg/kg at bedtime did not decrease sleep latency compared to placebo. Ten patients on zolpidem (7.4%) discontinued treatment due to an adverse reaction.
Psychiatric and nervous system disorders comprised the most frequent (>5%) treatment emergent adverse reactions observed with zolpidem versus placebo and included dizziness (23.5% vs. 1.5%), headache (12.5% vs. 9.2%), and hallucinations reported in 7% of the pediatric patients who received zolpidem; none of the pediatric patients who received placebo reported hallucinations [see Warnings and Precautions].
A total of 154 patients in U.S. controlled clinical trials and 897 patients in non-U.S. clinical trials who received oral zolpidem were ≥60 years of age. For a pool of U.S. patients receiving zolpidem tartrate at doses of ≤10 mg or placebo, there were three adverse events occurring at an incidence of at least 3% for zolpidem and for which the zolpidem incidence was at least twice the placebo incidence (i.e., they could be considered drug-related).
A total of 30/1,959 (1.5%) non-U.S. patients receiving zolpidem tartrate reported falls, including 28/30 (93%) who were ≥70 years of age. Of these 28 patients, 23 (82%) were receiving zolpidem doses >10 mg. A total of 24/1,959 (1.2%) non-U.S. patients receiving zolpidem reported confusion, including 18/24 (75%) who were ≥70 years of age. Of these 18 patients, 14 (78%) were receiving zolpidem doses >10 mg.
The dose of Edluar in elderly patients is 5 mg to minimize adverse effects related to impaired motor and/or cognitive performance and unusual sensitivity to sedative/hypnotic drugs [see Dosage and Administration (2), Warnings and Precautions Clinical Pharmacology and Clinical Studies].
Gender Difference in Pharmacokinetics
Women clear zolpidem tartrate from the body at a lower rate than men, Cmax and AUC parameters of zolpidem were approximately 45% higher at the same dose in female subjects compared with male subjects. Given the higher blood levels of zolpidem tartrate in women compared to men at a given dose, the recommended dose of Edluar for adult women is 5 mg, and the recommended dose for adult men is 5 or 10 mg.
In geriatric patients, clearance of zolpidem is similar in men and women. The recommended dose of Edluar in geriatric patients is 5 mg regardless of gender.