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zolpidem tartrate tablet, coated
FULL PRESCRIBING INFORMATION
1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE
Ambien CR (zolpidem tartrate extended-release tablets) is indicated for the treatment of insomnia characterized by difficulties with sleep onset and/or sleep maintenance (as measured by wake time after sleep onset).
The clinical trials performed in support of efficacy were up to 3 weeks (using polysomnography measurement up to 2 weeks in both adult and elderly patients) and 24 weeks (using patient-reported assessment in adult patients only) in duration [see Clinical Studies (14)].
2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
The dose of Ambien CR should be individualized.
2.1 Dosage in adults
The recommended dose of Ambien CR for adults is 12.5 mg once daily immediately before bedtime. The total Ambien CR dose should not exceed 12.5 mg per day.
2.2 Special populations
Elderly or debilitated patients may be especially sensitive to the effects of zolpidem tartrate. Patients with hepatic insufficiency do not clear the drug as rapidly as normals. The recommended dose of Ambien CR in both of these patient populations is 6.25 mg once daily immediately before bedtime [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)].
2.3 Use with CNS depressants
Dosage adjustments may be necessary when Ambien CR is combined with other CNS depressant drugs because of the potentially additive effects [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].
3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS
Ambien CR is available as extended-release tablets containing 6.25 mg or 12.5 mg of zolpidem tartrate for oral administration. Tablets are not scored.
Ambien CR 6.25 mg tablets are pink, round, bi-convex, and debossed with A~ on one side.
Ambien CR 12.5 mg tablets are blue, round, bi-convex, and debossed with A~ on one side.
Ambien CR is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to zolpidem tartrate or to any of the inactive ingredients in the formulation. Observed reactions include anaphylaxis and angioedema [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
5.1 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.
5.2 Severe anaphylactic and anaphylactoid reactions
Rare 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. 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 zolpidem should not be rechallenged with the drug.
5.3 Abnormal thinking and behavioral changes
A variety of abnormal thinking and behavior changes have been reported to occur in association with the use of sedative/hypnotics. Some of these changes may be characterized by decreased inhibition (e.g. aggressiveness and extroversion that seemed out of character), similar to effects produced by alcohol and other CNS depressants. Visual and auditory hallucinations have been reported as well as behavioral changes such as bizarre behavior, agitation and depersonalization. In controlled trials, <1% of adults with insomnia who received zolpidem reported hallucinations. In a clinical trial, 7.4% of pediatric patients with insomnia associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), who received zolpidem reported hallucinations [see Use in Specific Populations (8.4)].
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 with sedative-hypnotics, including zolpidem. These events can occur in sedative-hypnotic-naive as well as in sedative-hypnotic-experienced persons. Although behaviors such as "sleep-driving" may occur with Ambien CR alone at therapeutic doses, the use of alcohol and other CNS depressants with Ambien CR appears to increase the risk of such behaviors, as does the use of Ambien CR at doses exceeding the maximum recommended dose. Due to the risk to the patient and the community, discontinuation of Ambien CR 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 occur unpredictably.
In primarily depressed patients, worsening of depression, including suicidal thoughts and actions (including completed suicides), have been reported in association with the use of sedative/hypnotics.
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.
5.4 Withdrawal effects
Following the rapid dose decrease or abrupt discontinuation of sedative/hypnotics, there have been reports of signs and symptoms similar to those associated with withdrawal from other CNS-depressant drugs [see Drug Abuse and Dependence (9)].
5.5 CNS depressant effects
Ambien CR, like other sedative/hypnotic drugs, has CNS-depressant effects. Due to the rapid onset of action, Ambien CR should only be taken immediately prior to going to bed. Patients should be cautioned against engaging in hazardous occupations requiring complete mental alertness or motor coordination such as operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle after ingesting the drug, including potential impairment of the performance of such activities that may occur the day following ingestion of Ambien CR. Ambien CR showed additive effects when combined with alcohol and should not be taken with alcohol. Patients should also be cautioned about possible combined effects with other CNS-depressant drugs. Dosage adjustments may be necessary when Ambien CR is administered with such agents because of the potentially additive effects.
5.6 Special populations
Use in the elderly and/or debilitated patients: Impaired motor and/or cognitive performance after repeated exposure or unusual sensitivity to sedative/hypnotic drugs is a concern in the treatment of elderly and/or debilitated patients. Therefore, the recommended Ambien CR dosage is 6.25 mg in such patients to decrease the possibility of side effects [see Dosage and Administration (2.2)]. These patients should be closely monitored.
Use in patients with concomitant illness: Clinical experience with Ambien CR (zolpidem tartrate) in patients with concomitant systemic illness is limited. Caution is advisable in using Ambien CR in patients with diseases or conditions that could affect metabolism or hemodynamic responses.
Although studies did not reveal respiratory depressant effects at hypnotic doses of zolpidem in normals 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 times of oxygen desaturation below 80% and 90% was observed in patients with mild-to-moderate sleep apnea when treated with an immediate-release formulation of zolpidem tartrate (10 mg) when compared to placebo. Since sedative/hypnotics have the capacity to depress respiratory drive, precautions should be taken if Ambien CR is prescribed to patients with compromised respiratory function. Post-marketing reports of respiratory insufficiency, most of which involved patients with pre-existing respiratory impairment, have been received. Ambien CR should be used with caution in patients with sleep apnea syndrome or myasthenia gravis.
Data in end-stage renal failure patients repeatedly treated with an immediate-release formulation of zolpidem tartrate (10 mg) did not demonstrate drug accumulation or alterations in pharmacokinetic parameters. No dosage adjustment in renally impaired patients is required; however, these patients should be closely monitored [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
A study in subjects with hepatic impairment did reveal prolonged elimination in this group; therefore, treatment should be initiated with Ambien CR 6.25 mg in patients with hepatic compromise, and they should be closely monitored [see Dosage and Administration (2.2) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
Use in patients with depression: As with other sedative/hypnotic drugs, Ambien CR should be administered with caution to patients exhibiting signs or symptoms of depression. 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.
Use in pediatric patients: Safety and effectiveness of zolpidem has not been established in pediatric patients. In an 8-week study in pediatric patients (aged 6–17 years) with insomnia associated with ADHD given an immediate-release oral solution of zolpidem tartrate, zolpidem did not decrease sleep latency compared to placebo. Hallucinations were reported in 7.4% of the pediatric patients who received zolpidem; none of the pediatric patients who received placebo reported hallucinations [see Use in Specific Populations (8.4)].
6 ADVERSE REACTIONS
The following serious adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling:
6.1 Clinical trials experience
Associated with discontinuation of treatment: In 3-week clinical trials in adults and elderly patients (> 65 years), 3.5% (7/201) patients receiving Ambien CR 6.25 or 12.5 mg discontinued treatment due to an adverse reaction as compared to 0.9% (2/216) of patients on placebo. The reaction most commonly associated with discontinuation in patients treated with Ambien CR was somnolence (1%).
In a 6-month study in adult patients (18–64 years of age), 8.5% (57/669) of patients receiving Ambien CR 12.5 mg as compared to 4.6% on placebo (16/349) discontinued treatment due to an adverse reaction. Reactions most commonly associated with discontinuation of Ambien CR included anxiety (anxiety, restlessness or agitation) reported in 1.5% (10/669) of patients as compared to 0.3% (1/349) of patients on placebo, and depression (depression, major depression or depressed mood) reported in 1.5% (10/669) of patients as compared to 0.3% (1/349) of patients on placebo.
Data from a clinical study in which selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor- (SSRI-) treated patients were given zolpidem revealed that four of the seven discontinuations during double-blind treatment with zolpidem (n=95) were associated with impaired concentration, continuing or aggravated depression, and manic reaction; one patient treated with placebo (n =97) was discontinued after an attempted suicide.
Most commonly observed adverse reactions in controlled trials: During treatment with Ambien CR in adults and elderly at daily doses of 12.5 mg and 6.25 mg, respectively, each for three weeks, the most commonly observed adverse reactions associated with the use of Ambien CR were headache, next-day somnolence, and dizziness.
In the 6-month trial evaluating Ambien CR 12.5 mg, the adverse reaction profile was consistent with that reported in short-term trials, except for a higher incidence of anxiety (6.3% for Ambien CR versus 2.6% for placebo).
Adverse reactions observed at an incidence of ≥1% in controlled trials: The following tables enumerate treatment-emergent adverse reaction frequencies that were observed at an incidence equal to 1% or greater among patients with insomnia who received Ambien CR in placebo-controlled trials. Events reported by investigators were classified utilizing the MedDRA dictionary for the purpose of establishing event frequencies. The prescriber should be aware that these figures cannot be used to predict the incidence of side effects in the course of usual medical practice, in which patient characteristics and other factors differ from those that prevailed in these clinical trials. Similarly, the cited frequencies cannot be compared with figures obtained from other clinical investigators involving related drug products and uses, since each group of drug trials is conducted under a different set of conditions. However, the cited figures provide the physician with a basis for estimating the relative contribution of drug and nondrug factors to the incidence of side effects in the population studied.
The following tables were derived from results of two placebo-controlled efficacy trials involving Ambien CR. These trials involved patients with primary insomnia who were treated for 3 weeks with Ambien CR at doses of 12.5 mg (Table 1) or 6.25 mg (Table 2), respectively. The tables include only adverse reactions occurring at an incidence of at least 1% for Ambien CR patients and with an incidence greater than that seen in the placebo patients.
Dose relationship for adverse reactions: There is evidence from dose comparison trials suggesting a dose relationship for many of the adverse reactions associated with zolpidem use, particularly for certain CNS and gastrointestinal adverse events.
Other adverse reactions observed during the premarketing evaluation of Ambien CR: Other treatment-emergent adverse reactions associated with participation in Ambien CR studies (those reported at frequencies of <1%) were not different in nature or frequency to those seen in studies with immediate-release zolpidem tartrate, which are listed below.
Adverse Events Observed During the Premarketing Evaluation of Immediate-Release Zolpidem Tartrate: Immediate-release zolpidem tartrate was administered to 3,660 subjects in clinical trials throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Treatment-emergent adverse events associated with clinical trial participation were recorded by clinical investigators using terminology of their own choosing. To provide a meaningful estimate of the proportion of individuals experiencing treatment-emergent adverse events, similar types of untoward events were grouped into a smaller number of standardized event categories and classified utilizing a modified World Health Organization (WHO) dictionary of preferred terms.
The frequencies presented, therefore, represent the proportions of the 3,660 individuals exposed to zolpidem, at all doses, who experienced an event of the type cited on at least one occasion while receiving zolpidem. All reported treatment-emergent adverse events are included, except those already listed in the table above of adverse events in placebo-controlled studies, those coding terms that are so general as to be uninformative, and those events where a drug cause was remote. It is important to emphasize that, although the events reported did occur during treatment with Ambien, they were not necessarily caused by it.
Adverse events are further classified within body system categories and enumerated in order of decreasing frequency using the following definitions: frequent adverse events are defined as those occurring in greater than 1/100 subjects; infrequent adverse events are those occurring in 1/100 to 1/1,000 patients; rare events are those occurring in less than 1/1,000 patients.
Autonomic nervous system: Frequent: dry mouth. Infrequent: increased sweating, pallor, postural hypotension, syncope. Rare: abnormal accommodation, altered saliva, flushing, glaucoma, hypotension, impotence, increased saliva, tenesmus.
Body as a whole: Frequent: asthenia. Infrequent: chest pain, edema, falling, fever, malaise, trauma. Rare: allergic reaction, allergy aggravated, anaphylactic shock, face edema, hot flashes, increased ESR, pain, restless legs, rigors, tolerance increased, weight decrease.
Cardiovascular system: Infrequent: cerebrovascular disorder, hypertension, tachycardia. Rare: angina pectoris, arrhythmia, arteritis, circulatory failure, extrasystoles, hypertension aggravated, myocardial infarction, phlebitis, pulmonary embolism, pulmonary edema, varicose veins, ventricular tachycardia.
Central and peripheral nervous system: Frequent: ataxia, confusion, drowsiness, drugged feeling, euphoria, insomnia, lethargy, lightheadedness, vertigo. Infrequent: agitation, decreased cognition, detached, difficulty concentrating, dysarthria, emotional lability, hallucination, hypoesthesia, illusion, leg cramps, migraine, nervousness, paresthesia, sleeping (after daytime dosing), speech disorder, stupor, tremor. Rare: abnormal gait, abnormal thinking, aggressive reaction, apathy, appetite increased, decreased libido, delusion, dementia, depersonalization, dysphasia, feeling strange, hypokinesia, hypotonia, hysteria, intoxicated feeling, manic reaction, neuralgia, neuritis, neuropathy, neurosis, panic attacks, paresis, personality disorder, somnambulism, suicide attempts, tetany, yawning.
Gastrointestinal system: Frequent: diarrhea, dyspepsia, hiccup. Infrequent: anorexia, constipation, dysphagia, flatulence, gastroenteritis. Rare: enteritis, eructation, esophagospasm, gastritis, hemorrhoids, intestinal obstruction, rectal hemorrhage, tooth caries.
Hematologic and lymphatic system: Rare: anemia, hyperhemoglobinemia, leukopenia, lymphadenopathy, macrocytic anemia, purpura, thrombosis.
Immunologic system: Infrequent: infection. Rare: abscess herpes simplex herpes zoster, otitis externa, otitis media.
Liver and biliary system: Infrequent: abnormal hepatic function, increased SGPT. Rare: bilirubinemia, increased SGOT.
Metabolic and nutritional: Infrequent: hyperglycemia, thirst. Rare: gout, hypercholesteremia, hyperlipidemia, increased alkaline phosphatase, increased BUN, periorbital edema.
Musculoskeletal system: Infrequent: arthritis. Rare: arthrosis, muscle weakness, sciatica, tendinitis.
Reproductive system: Infrequent: menstrual disorder, vaginitis. Rare: breast fibroadenosis, breast neoplasm, breast pain.
Respiratory system: Frequent: sinusitis. Infrequent: bronchitis, coughing, dyspnea. Rare: bronchospasm, epistaxis, hypoxia, laryngitis, pneumonia.
Skin and appendages: Infrequent: pruritus. Rare: acne, bullous eruption, dermatitis, furunculosis, injection-site inflammation, photosensitivity reaction, urticaria.
Special senses: Frequent: diplopia, vision abnormal. Infrequent: eye irritation, eye pain, scleritis, taste perversion, tinnitus. Rare: conjunctivitis, corneal ulceration, lacrimation abnormal, parosmia, photopsia.
Urogenital system: Frequent: urinary tract infection. Infrequent: cystitis, urinary incontinence. Rare: acute renal failure, dysuria, micturition frequency, nocturia, polyuria, pyelonephritis, renal pain, urinary retention.
7 DRUG INTERACTIONS
7.1 CNS-active drugs
Since the systematic evaluations of zolpidem in combination with other CNS-active drugs have been limited, careful consideration should be given to the pharmacology of any CNS-active drug to be used with zolpidem. Any drug with CNS-depressant effects could potentially enhance the CNS-depressant effects of zolpidem.
An immediate-release formulation of zolpidem tartrate was evaluated in healthy subjects in single-dose interaction studies for several CNS drugs. Imipramine in combination with zolpidem produced no pharmacokinetic interaction other than a 20% decrease in peak levels of imipramine, but there was an additive effect of decreased alertness. Similarly, chlorpromazine in combination with zolpidem produced no pharmacokinetic interaction, but there was an additive effect of decreased alertness and psychomotor performance. A study involving haloperidol and zolpidem revealed no effect of haloperidol on the pharmacokinetics or pharmacodynamics of zolpidem. The lack of a drug interaction following single-dose administration does not predict a lack following chronic administration.
An additive effect on psychomotor performance between alcohol and zolpidem was demonstrated [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].
A single-dose interaction study with zolpidem 10 mg and fluoxetine 20 mg at steady-state levels in male volunteers did not demonstrate any clinically significant pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic interactions. When multiple doses of zolpidem and fluoxetine at steady-state concentrations were evaluated in healthy females, the only significant change was a 17% increase in the zolpidem half-life. There was no evidence of an additive effect in psychomotor performance.
Following five consecutive nightly doses of zolpidem 10 mg in the presence of sertraline 50 mg (17 consecutive daily doses, at 7:00 am, in healthy female volunteers), zolpidem Cmax was significantly higher (43%) and Tmax was significantly decreased (53%). Pharmacokinetics of sertraline and N-desmethylsertraline were unaffected by zolpidem.
7.2 Drugs that affect drug metabolism via cytochrome P450
Some compounds known to inhibit CYP3A may increase exposure to zolpidem. The effect of inhibitors of other P450 enzymes has not been carefully evaluated.
A randomized, double-blind, crossover interaction study in ten healthy volunteers between itraconazole (200 mg once daily for 4 days) and a single dose of zolpidem (10 mg) given 5 hours after the last dose of itraconazole resulted in a 34% increase in AUC0–∞ of zolpidem. There were no significant pharmacodynamic effects of zolpidem on subjective drowsiness, postural sway, or psychomotor performance.
A randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover interaction study in eight healthy female subjects between five consecutive daily doses of rifampin (600 mg) and a single dose of an immediate-release formulation of zolpidem tartrate (20 mg) given 17 hours after the last dose of rifampin showed significant reductions of the AUC (–73%), Cmax (–58%), and T1/2 (–36%) of zolpidem together with significant reductions in the pharmacodynamic effects of zolpidem.
A randomized double-blind crossover interaction study in twelve healthy subjects showed that co-administration of a single 5 mg dose of immediate-release zolpidem tartrate with ketoconazole, a potent CYP3A4 inhibitor, given as 200 mg twice daily for 2 days increased Cmax of zolpidem by a factor of 1.3 and increased the total AUC of zolpidem by a factor of 1.7 compared to zolpidem alone and prolonged the elimination half-life by approximately 30% along with an increase in the pharmacodynamic effects of zolpidem. Caution should be used when ketoconazole is given with zolpidem and consideration should be given to using a lower dose of zolpidem when ketoconazole and zolpidem are given together. Patients should be advised that use of Ambien CR with ketoconazole may enhance the sedative effects.
7.3 Other drugs with no interaction with zolpidem
A study involving cimetidine/zolpidem and ranitidine/zolpidem combinations revealed no effect of either drug on the pharmacokinetics or pharmacodynamics of zolpidem.
Zolpidem had no effect on digoxin pharmacokinetics and did not affect prothrombin time when given with warfarin in normal subjects.
7.4 Drug-laboratory test interactions
Zolpidem is not known to interfere with commonly employed clinical laboratory tests. In addition, clinical data indicate that zolpidem does not cross-react with benzodiazepines, opiates, barbiturates, cocaine, cannabinoids, or amphetamines in two standard urine drug screens.
8 USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS
Pregnancy Category C
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of Ambien CR in pregnant women. Ambien CR should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk to the fetus.
Oral studies of zolpidem in pregnant rats and rabbits showed adverse effects on the development of offspring only at doses greater than the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD of 12.5 mg/day). These doses were also maternally toxic in animals. A teratogenic effect was not observed in these studies. Administration to pregnant rats during the period of organogenesis produced dose-related maternal toxicity and decreases in fetal skull ossification at doses 20 to 100 times the MRHD. The no-effect dose for embryo-fetal toxicity was 4 times the MRHD. Treatment of pregnant rabbits during organogenesis resulted in maternal toxicity at all doses studied and increased post-implantation embryo-fetal loss and under-ossification of fetal sternebrae at the highest dose (30 times the MRHD). The no-effect level for embryo-fetal toxicity was approximately 8 times the MRHD. Administration to rats during the latter part of pregnancy and throughout lactation produced maternal toxicity and decreased pup growth and survival at doses approximately 20 to 100 times the MRHD. The no-effect dose for offspring toxicity was approximately 4 times the MRHD.
Studies to assess the effects on children whose mothers took zolpidem during pregnancy have not been conducted. There is a published case report documenting the presence of zolpidem in human umbilical cord blood. Children born of mothers taking sedative/hypnotic drugs may be at some risk for withdrawal symptoms from the drug during the postnatal period. In addition, neonatal flaccidity has been reported in infants born of mothers who received sedative/hypnotic drugs during pregnancy. Cases of severe neonatal respiratory depression have been reported when zolpidem was used with other CNS depressants at the end of pregnancy.
8.2 Labor and delivery
Ambien CR has no established use in labor and delivery [see Pregnancy (8.1)].
8.3 Nursing mothers
Studies in lactating mothers indicate that the half-life of zolpidem is similar to that in young normal subjects (2.6 ± 0.3 hr). Between 0.004% and 0.019% of the total administered dose is excreted into milk. The effect of zolpidem on the nursing infant is not known. Caution should be exercised when Ambien CR is administered to a nursing mother.
8.4 Pediatric use
Safety and effectiveness of zolpidem have not been established in pediatric patients.
In an 8-week controlled study, 201 pediatric patients (aged 6–17 years) with insomnia associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (90% of the patients were using psychoanaleptics), were treated with an oral solution of zolpidem (n=136), or placebo (n = 65). Zolpidem did not significantly decrease latency to persistent sleep, compared to placebo, as measured by polysomnography after 4 weeks of treatment. 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 (7.4% vs. 0%) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)]. Ten patients on zolpidem (7.4%) discontinued treatment due to an adverse reaction.
FDA has not required pediatric studies of Ambien CR in the pediatric population based on these efficacy and safety findings.
8.5 Geriatric use
A total of 99 elderly (≥ 65 years of age) received daily doses of 6.25 mg Ambien CR in a 3-week placebo-controlled study. The adverse reaction profile of Ambien CR 6.25 mg in this population was similar to that of Ambien CR 12.5 mg in younger adults (≤ 64 years of age). Dizziness was reported in 8% of Ambien CR-treated patients compared with 3% of those treated with placebo.
The dose of Ambien CR in elderly patients is 6.25 mg to minimize adverse effects related to impaired motor and/or cognitive performance and unusual sensitivity to sedative/hypnotic drugs [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)].
9 DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE
9.1 Controlled substance
Zolpidem tartrate is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance by federal regulation.
Abuse and addiction are separate and distinct from physical dependence and tolerance. Abuse is characterized by misuse of the drug for non-medical purposes, often in combination with other psychoactive substances. Tolerance is a state of adaptation in which exposure to a drug induces changes that result in a diminution of one or more of the drug effects over time. Tolerance may occur to both desired and undesired effects of drugs and may develop at different rates for different effects.
Addiction is a primary, chronic, neurobiological disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. It is characterized by behaviors that include one or more of the following: impaired control over drug use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm, and craving. Drug addiction is a treatable disease, using a multidisciplinary approach, but relapse is common.
Studies of abuse potential in former drug abusers found that the effects of single doses of zolpidem tartrate 40 mg were similar, but not identical, to diazepam 20 mg, while zolpidem tartrate 10 mg effects were difficult to distinguish from placebo.
Because persons with a history of addiction to, or abuse of, drugs or alcohol are at increased risk for misuse, abuse and addiction of zolpidem, they should be monitored carefully when receiving zolpidem or any other hypnotic.
Physical dependence is a state of adaptation that is manifested by a specific withdrawal syndrome that can be produced by abrupt cessation, rapid dose reduction, decreasing blood level of the drug, and/or administration of an antagonist.
Sedative/hypnotics have produced withdrawal signs and symptoms following abrupt discontinuation. These reported symptoms range from mild dysphoria and insomnia to a withdrawal syndrome that may include abdominal and muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, tremors, and convulsions. The following adverse events, which are considered to meet the DSM-III-R criteria for uncomplicated sedative/hypnotic withdrawal, were reported during U.S. clinical trials following placebo substitution occurring within 48 hours following last zolpidem treatment: fatigue, nausea, flushing, lightheadedness, uncontrolled crying, emesis, stomach cramps, panic attack, nervousness, and abdominal discomfort. These reported adverse events occurred at an incidence of 1% or less. However, available data cannot provide a reliable estimate of the incidence, if any, of dependence during treatment at recommended doses. Post-marketing reports of abuse, dependence and withdrawal have been received.
10.1 Signs and symptoms
In postmarketing experience of overdose with zolpidem tartrate alone, or in combination with CNS-depressant agents, impairment of consciousness ranging from somnolence to coma, cardiovascular and/or respiratory compromise and fatal outcomes have been reported.
10.2 Recommended treatment
General symptomatic and supportive measures should be used along with immediate gastric lavage where appropriate. Intravenous fluids should be administered as needed. Zolpidem's sedative hypnotic effect was shown to be reduced by flumazenil and therefore may be useful; however, flumazenil administration may contribute to the appearance of neurological symptoms (convulsions). As in all cases of drug overdose, respiration, pulse, blood pressure, and other appropriate signs should be monitored and general supportive measures employed. Hypotension and CNS depression should be monitored and treated by appropriate medical intervention. Sedating drugs should be withheld following zolpidem overdosage, even if excitation occurs. The value of dialysis in the treatment of overdosage has not been determined, although hemodialysis studies in patients with renal failure receiving therapeutic doses have demonstrated that zolpidem is not dialyzable.
As with the management of all overdosage, the possibility of multiple drug ingestion should be considered. The physician may wish to consider contacting a poison control center for up-to-date information on the management of hypnotic drug product overdosage.
Ambien CR contains zolpidem tartrate, a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic of the imidazopyridine class. Ambien CR (zolpidem tartrate extended-release tablets) is available in 6.25 mg and 12.5 mg strength tablets for oral administration.
Chemically, zolpidem is N,N,6-trimethyl-2-p-tolylimidazo[1,2-a] pyridine-3-acetamide L-(+)-tartrate (2:1). It has the following structure:
Zolpidem tartrate is a white to off-white crystalline powder that is sparingly soluble in water, alcohol, and propylene glycol. It has a molecular weight of 764.88.
Ambien CR consists of a coated two-layer tablet: one layer that releases its drug content immediately and another layer that allows a slower release of additional drug content. The 6.25 mg Ambien CR tablet contains the following inactive ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, potassium bitartrate, red ferric oxide, sodium starch glycolate, and titanium dioxide. The 12.5 mg Ambien CR tablet contains the following inactive ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, FD&C Blue #2, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, potassium bitartrate, sodium starch glycolate, titanium dioxide, and yellow ferric oxide.
12 CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY
12.1 Mechanism of action
Subunit modulation of the GABAA receptor chloride channel macromolecular complex is hypothesized to be responsible for sedative, anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, and myorelaxant drug properties. The major modulatory site of the GABAA receptor complex is located on its alpha (α) subunit and is referred to as the benzodiazepine (BZ) receptor.
Zolpidem, the active moiety of zolpidem tartrate, is a hypnotic agent with a chemical structure unrelated to benzodiazepines, barbiturates, pyrrolopyrazines, pyrazolopyrimidines, or other drugs with known hypnotic properties. In contrast to the benzodiazepines, which nonselectively bind to and activate all BZ receptor subtypes, zolpidem in vitro binds the BZ1 receptor preferentially with a high affinity ratio of the alpha1/alpha5 subunits. The BZ1 receptor is found primarily on the Lamina IV of the sensorimotor cortical regions, substantia nigra (pars reticulata), cerebellum molecular layer, olfactory bulb, ventral thalamic complex, pons, inferior colliculus, and globus pallidus. This selective binding of zolpidem on the BZ1 receptor is not absolute, but it may explain the relative absence of myorelaxant and anticonvulsant effects in animal studies as well as the preservation of deep sleep (stages 3 and 4) in human studies of zolpidem at hypnotic doses.
Ambien CR exhibits biphasic absorption characteristics, which results in rapid initial absorption from the gastrointestinal tract similar to zolpidem tartrate immediate-release, then provides extended plasma concentrations beyond three hours after administration. A study in 24 healthy male subjects was conducted to compare mean zolpidem plasma concentration-time profiles obtained after single oral administration of Ambien CR 12.5 mg and of an immediate-release formulation of zolpidem tartrate (10 mg). The terminal elimination half-life observed with Ambien CR (12.5 mg) was similar to that obtained with immediate-release zolpidem tartrate (10 mg). The mean plasma concentration-time profiles are shown in Figure 1.
In adult and elderly patients treated with Ambien CR, there was no evidence of accumulation after repeated once-daily dosing for up to two weeks.
Following administration of Ambien CR, administered as a single 12.5 mg dose in healthy male adult subjects, the mean peak concentration (Cmax) of zolpidem was 134 ng/mL (range: 68.9 to 197 ng/ml) occurring at a median time (Tmax) of 1.5 hours. The mean AUC of zolpidem was 740 ng∙hr/mL (range: 295 to 1359 ng∙hr/mL).
A food-effect study in 45 healthy subjects compared the pharmacokinetics of Ambien CR 12.5 mg when administered while fasting or within 30 minutes after a meal. Results demonstrated that with food, mean AUC and Cmax were decreased by 23% and 30%, respectively, while median Tmax was increased from 2 hours to 4 hours. The half-life was not changed. These results suggest that, for faster sleep onset, Ambien CR should not be administered with or immediately after a meal.
Total protein binding was found to be 92.5 ± 0.1% and remained constant, independent of concentration between 40 and 790 ng/mL.
Zolpidem is converted to inactive metabolites that are eliminated primarily by renal excretion.
In 24 elderly (≥ 65 years) healthy subjects administered a single 6.25 mg dose of Ambien CR, the mean peak concentration (Cmax) of zolpidem was 70.6 (range: 35.0 to 161) ng/mL occurring at a median time (Tmax) of 2.0 hours. The mean AUC of zolpidem was 413 ng∙hr/mL (range: 124 to 1190 ng∙hr/mL) and the mean elimination half-life was 2.9 hours (range: 1.59 to 5.50 hours).
Ambien CR was not studied in patients with hepatic impairment. The pharmacokinetics of an immediate-release formulation of zolpidem tartrate in eight patients with chronic hepatic insufficiency were compared to results in healthy subjects. Following a single 20-mg oral zolpidem tartrate dose, mean Cmax and AUC were found to be two times (250 vs. 499 ng/mL) and five times (788 vs. 4,203 ng∙hr/mL) higher, respectively, in hepatically compromised patients. Tmax did not change. The mean half-life in cirrhotic patients of 9.9 hr (range: 4.1 to 25.8 hr) was greater than that observed in normal subjects of 2.2 hr (range: 1.6 to 2.4 hr). Dosing should be modified accordingly in patients with hepatic insufficiency [see Dosage and Administration (2.2) and Warnings and Precautions (5.6)].
Ambien CR was not studied in patients with renal impairment. The pharmacokinetics of an immediate-release formulation of zolpidem tartrate were studied in 11 patients with end-stage renal failure (mean ClCr = 6.5 ± 1.5 mL/min) undergoing hemodialysis three times a week, who were dosed with zolpidem tartrate 10 mg orally each day for 14 or 21 days. No statistically significant differences were observed for Cmax, Tmax, half-life, and AUC between the first and last day of drug administration when baseline concentration adjustments were made. On day 1, Cmax was 172 ± 29 ng/mL (range: 46 to 344 ng/mL). After repeated dosing for 14 or 21 days, Cmax was 203 ± 32 ng/mL (range: 28 to 316 ng/mL). On day 1, Tmax was 1.7 ± 0.3 hr (range: 0.5 to 3.0 hr); after repeated dosing Tmax was 0.8 ± 0.2 hr (range: 0.5 to 2.0 hr). This variation is accounted for by noting that last-day serum sampling began 10 hours after the previous dose, rather than after 24 hours. This resulted in residual drug concentration and a shorter period to reach maximal serum concentration. On day 1, T1/2 was 2.4 ± 0.4 hr (range: 0.4 to 5.1 hr). After repeated dosing, T1/2 was 2.5 ± 0.4 hr (range: 0.7 to 4.2 hr). AUC was 796 ± 159 ng∙hr/mL after the first dose and 818 ± 170 ng∙hr/mL after repeated dosing. Zolpidem was not hemodialyzable. No accumulation of unchanged drug appeared after 14 or 21 days. Zolpidem pharmacokinetics were not significantly different in renally-impaired patients. No dosage adjustment is necessary in patients with compromised renal function. However, as a general precaution, these patients should be closely monitored.
13 NONCLINICAL TOXICOLOGY
13.1 Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility
Zolpidem tartrate was administered to CD-1 mice and Sprague-Dawley rats for two years at dietary dosages of 4, 18, and 80 mg/kg/day. No evidence of carcinogenic potential was observed in either mice or rats at doses up to 80 mg base/kg/day (40 and 80 times the maximum recommended human dose [MRHD] of Ambien CR 12.5 mg [10 mg zolpidem base], respectively, on a mg/m2 basis).
Zolpidem did not have mutagenic activity in several tests including an in vitro bacterial reverse mutation (Ames) assay, an in vitro mammalian gene forward mutation assay in mouse lymphoma cells, and an in vitro unscheduled DNA synthesis in rat hepatocytes. Zolpidem was not clastogenic in an in vitro chromosomal aberration assay in human lymphocytes or in an in vivo micronucleus test in mice.
Impairment of fertility:
Zolpidem tartrate was administered by oral gavage to Sprague-Dawley rats at doses of 4, 20, or 100 mg base/kg/day. Treatment of males began 71 days prior to mating and continued through mating while treatment of females began 14 days prior to mating and continued through mating, gestation, and weaning which occurred on post partum Day 25. Zolpidem administered at 100 mg base/kg was associated with irregular estrus cycles and prolonged pre-coital intervals, but did not produce a decline in fertility. The no-effect dose was 20 mg base/kg/day (20 times the MRHD of Ambien CR on a mg/m2 basis).
14 CLINICAL STUDIES
14.1 Controlled clinical trials
Ambien CR was evaluated in three placebo-controlled studies for the treatment of patients with chronic primary insomnia (as defined in the APA Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM IV).
Adult outpatients (18–64 years) with primary insomnia (N=212) were evaluated in a double-blind, randomized, parallel-group, 3-week trial comparing Ambien CR 12.5 mg and placebo. Ambien CR 12.5 mg decreased wake time after sleep onset (WASO) for the first 7 hours during the first 2 nights and for the first 5 hours after 2 weeks of treatment. Ambien CR 12.5 mg was superior to placebo on objective measures (polysomnography recordings) of sleep induction (by decreasing latency to persistent sleep [LPS]) during the first 2 nights of treatment and after 2 weeks of treatment. Ambien CR 12.5 mg was also superior to placebo on the patient reported global impression regarding the aid to sleep after the first 2 nights and after 3 weeks of treatment.
Elderly outpatients (≥ 65 years) with primary insomnia (N=205) were evaluated in a double-blind, randomized, parallel-group, 3-week trial comparing Ambien CR 6.25 mg and placebo. Ambien CR 6.25 mg decreased wake time after sleep onset (WASO) for the first 6 hours during the first 2 nights and the first 4 hours after 2 weeks of treatment. Ambien CR 6.25 mg was superior to placebo on objective measures (polysomnography recordings) of sleep induction (by decreasing LPS) during the first 2 nights of treatment and after 2 weeks on treatment. Ambien CR 6.25 mg was superior to placebo on the patient reported global impression regarding the aid to sleep after the first 2 nights and after 3 weeks of treatment.
In both studies, in patients treated with Ambien CR, polysomnography showed increased wakefulness at the end of the night compared to placebo-treated patients.
In a 24-week double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized study in adult outpatients (18–64 years) with primary insomnia (N=1025), Ambien CR 12.5 mg administered as needed (3 to 7 nights per week) was superior to placebo over 24 weeks, on patient global impression regarding aid to sleep, and on patient-reported specific sleep parameters for sleep induction and sleep maintenance with no significant increased frequency of drug intake observed over time.
14.2 Studies pertinent to safety concerns for sedative/hypnotic drugs
Next-day residual effects: In five clinical studies [three controlled studies in adults (18–64 years of age) administered Ambien CR 12.5 mg and two controlled studies in the elderly (≥ 65 years of age) administered Ambien CR 6.25 mg or 12.5 mg], the effect of Ambien CR on vigilance, memory, or motor function were assessed using neurocognitive tests. In these studies, no significant decrease in performance was observed eight hours after a nighttime dose. In addition, no evidence of next-day residual effects was detected with Ambien CR 12.5 mg and 6.25 mg using self-ratings of sedation.
During the 3-week studies, next-day somnolence was reported by 15% of the adult patients who received 12.5 mg Ambien CR versus 2% of the placebo group; next-day somnolence was reported by 6% of the elderly patients who received 6.25 mg Ambien CR versus 5% of the placebo group [see Adverse Reactions (6)]. In a 6-month study, the overall incidence of next-day somnolence was 5.7% in the Ambien CR group as compared to 2% in the placebo group.
Rebound effects: Rebound insomnia, defined as a dose-dependent worsening in sleep parameters (latency, sleep efficiency, and number of awakenings) compared with baseline following discontinuation of treatment, is observed with short- and intermediate-acting hypnotics. In the two 3-week placebo-controlled studies in patients with primary insomnia, a rebound effect was only observed on the first night after abrupt discontinuation of Ambien CR. On the second night, there was no worsening compared to baseline in the Ambien CR group.
In a 6-month placebo-controlled study in which Ambien CR was taken as needed (3 to 7 nights per week), within the first month a rebound effect was observed for Total Sleep Time (not for WASO) during the first night off medication. After this first month period, no further rebound insomnia was observed. After final treatment discontinuation no rebound was observed.
16 HOW SUPPLIED/STORAGE AND HANDLING
Ambien CR 6.25 mg tablets are composed of two layers1 and are coated, pink, round, bi-convex, debossed with A~ on one side and supplied as:
NDC Number Size
Ambien CR 12.5 mg tablets are composed of two layers1 and are coated, blue, round, bi-convex, debossed with A~ on one side and supplied as:
NDC Number Size
17 PATIENT COUNSELING INFORMATION
Prescribers or other healthcare professionals should inform patients, their families, and their caregivers about the benefits and risks associated with treatment with sedative-hypnotics, should counsel them in its appropriate use, and should instruct them to read the accompanying Medication Guide [see Medication Guide (17.4)].
17.1 Severe anaphylactic and anaphylactoid reactions
Inform patients that severe anaphylactic and anaphylactoid reactions have occurred with zolpidem. Describe the signs/symptoms of these reactions and advise patients to seek medical attention immediately if any of them occur.
17.2 Sleep-driving and other complex behaviors
There have been reports of people getting out of bed after taking a sedative-hypnotic and driving their cars while not fully awake, often with no memory of the event. If a patient experiences such an episode, it should be reported to his or her doctor immediately, since "sleep-driving" can be dangerous. This behavior is more likely to occur when Ambien CR is taken with alcohol or other central nervous system depressants [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]. 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.
In addition, patients should be advised to report all concomitant medications to the prescriber. Patients should be instructed to report events such as "sleep-driving" and other complex behaviors immediately to the prescriber.
17.3 Administration instructions
Patients should be counseled to take Ambien right before they get into bed and only when they are able to stay in bed a full night (7–8 hours) before being active again. Ambien CR tablets should not be crushed, divided, or chewed, and should not be taken with or immediately after a meal. Advise patients NOT to take Ambien CR when drinking alcohol.
Read the Medication Guide that comes with AMBIEN CR before you start taking it and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This Medication Guide does not take the place of talking to your doctor about your medical condition or treatment.
What is the most important information I should know about AMBIEN CR?
After taking AMBIEN CR, you may get up out of bed while not being fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing. The next morning, you may not remember that you did anything during the night. You have a higher chance for doing these activities if you drink alcohol or take other medicines that make you sleepy with AMBIEN CR.Reported activities include:
Call your doctor right away if you find out that you have done any of the above activities after taking AMBIEN CR.
1. Take AMBIEN CR exactly as prescribed
2. Do not take AMBIEN CR if you:
What is AMBIEN CR?
AMBIEN CR is a sedative-hypnotic (sleep) medicine. AMBIEN CR is used in adults for the treatment of a sleep problem called insomnia. Symptoms of insomnia include:
AMBIEN CR is not for children.
AMBIEN CR is a federally controlled substance (C-IV) because it can be abused or lead to dependence. Keep AMBIEN CR in a safe place to prevent misuse and abuse. Selling or giving away AMBIEN CR may harm others, and is against the law. Tell your doctor if you have ever abused or have been dependent on alcohol, prescription medicines or street drugs.
Who should not take AMBIEN CR?
Do not take AMBIEN CR if you are allergic to anything in it. See the end of this Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients in AMBIEN CR.
AMBIEN CR may not be right for you. Before starting AMBIEN CR, tell your doctor about all of your health conditions, including if you:
Tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements. Medicines can interact with each other, sometimes causing serious side effects. Do not take AMBIEN CR with other medicines that can make you sleepy.
Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of your medicines with you to show your doctor and pharmacist each time you get a new medicine.
How should I take AMBIEN CR?
What are the possible side effects of AMBIEN CR?
Serious side effects of AMBIEN CR include:
Call your doctor right away if you have any of the above side effects or any other side effects that worry you while using AMBIEN CR.
The most common side effects of AMBIEN CR are:
After you stop taking a sleep medicine, you may have symptoms for 1 to 2 days such as: trouble sleeping, nausea, flushing, lightheadedness, uncontrolled crying, vomiting, stomach cramps, panic attack, nervousness, and stomach area pain.
These are not all the side effects of AMBIEN CR. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1–800–FDA–1088.
How should I store AMBIEN CR?
General Information about AMBIEN CR
This Medication Guide summarizes the most important information about AMBIEN CR. If you would like more information, talk with your doctor. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for information about AMBIEN CR that is written for healthcare professionals. For more information about AMBIEN CR, call 1-800-633-1610 or visit www.ambiencr.com.
What are the ingredients in AMBIEN CR?
Active Ingredient: Zolpidem tartrate
Inactive Ingredients: The 6.25 mg tablets contain: colloidal silicon dioxide, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, potassium bitartrate, red ferric oxide, sodium starch glycolate, and titanium dioxide. The 12.5 mg tablets contain: colloidal silicon dioxide, FD&C Blue #2, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, potassium bitartrate, sodium starch glycolate, titanium dioxide, and yellow ferric oxide.
This Medication Guide has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Revised: 07/2010 STAT RX USA LLC
Reproduced with permission of U.S. National Library of Medicine
Copyright © 2020
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