Rapid Rx Quiz: Sleep Aids

Mary L. Windle, PharmD


June 03, 2022

According to Scharner and colleagues, zolpidem has been the most frequently prescribed hypnotic worldwide since 2017. Further, they noted that prescription rates are highest for older women, with community-dwelling, hospitalized, and nursing-home patient prescription rates remaining high as well. Zolpidem has a short half-life (2.5 h with normal liver function) and is not metabolized to active metabolites.

Pentobarbital should be used with caution in older populations; a smaller dose should be used if it is used at all. Doxylamine should be avoided in older patients owing to high incidence of anticholinergic effects because clearance reduces as age increases. Alprazolam is not indicated for the treatment of insomnia.

Learn more about zolpidem.


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