Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Health & Fitness
  3. Healthcare

Drug alert: Zolpidem linked to suicide attempt by Iranian man

See also

In breaking health news released today (December 20, 2013) in the DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, a team of researchers report the suicide attempt of a previously healthy Iranian man who had just increased his dose of zolpidem to 20 milligrams. Zolpidem is the generic name for the imidazopyridine drug marketed as a sleep aid under the names of Ambien (by Wolters Kluwer), Intermezzo (by Purdue Pharma), Stilnox (by sanofi), Sublinox (by Orexo), and Zolsana (by KRKA and Synthon). Zolpidem is generally believed to be less hazardous than benzodiazepines, but this case report indicates that the drug is not without risks.

Earlier this year, the FDA lowered the recommended dose of zolpidem (from 10 mg to 5 mg for immediate-release products and from 12.5 mg to 6.25 mg for extended-release products) in a safety alert. The rationale behind this lowering was that blood levels of the drug might be high enough in the morning to impair significantly users' ability to operate a motor vehicle or perform other alertness-requiring tasks. Potential suicidal ideation was not mentioned in the January 2013 safety alert.

However, reported side effects to include hallucination, nightmares, and agitation, as noted in the aforementioned journal article. The individual profiled in the article is a 27-year-old man without any other neuropsychological health issue who took increasing dosages of zolpidem over the course of a year, beginning with 5 mg and gradually increasing to 15 mg as the drug's desired effect of somnolence was more and more difficult to attain. One night, he took a 20-mg dose and very shortly thereafter found himself considering taking his remaining four pills in order to end his life. He sought treatment instead.



  • Dead babies found
    Seven dead babies were found in Utah resident Megan Huntsman's old home
    Shocking Discovery
  • Kendall Jenner
    Get the Coachella looks: Kendall Jenner’s nose ring, green hair and edgy nails
    Coachella Look
  • Dog's Easter basket
    How to fill your dog’s Easter basket with the perfect toys
    Easter Basket
  • Rabbit owners
    Bringing home the bunny: Important information for rabbit owners
    7 Photos
  • Haunted island
    The world’s most haunted island may soon be the most haunted luxury resort
    Haunted Resort
  • Sunken ferry
    Search continues for missing passengers after a ferry sinks off the South Korean coast
    Sunken Ferry

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!