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Monday, November 3, 2014

Uses and side effects of Nitrest

Nitrest is brand of generic drug Zolpidem Tartrate. It’s common brand name is Ambien. It is classified as a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic. It is a prescription only medication used to induce sleep or as a temporary treatment for insomnia. However, it has addictive and abuse potential.

Uses of Nitrest

Nitrest helps to induce sleep. You will get sleepy usually within 15 minutes of taking Nitrest. Its effects usually lasts for six to seven hours. But some people can get hangovers in the next day. In addition, it does not change the sleep architecture (Amount of REM and NREM sleep). Therefore, unlike benzodiazepine hypnotics (Valium) you will feel refreshed after the sleep. Due to its sleep inducing properties some people abuse it. In fact Zolpidem (Nitrest) abuse is a recognized phenomenon. 

Zolpidem 10mg tablets

Problems associated with Nitrest

This medication should be used only for short term relieve of insomnia. It is not recommended to use it for long term. It is not recommended to use it for more than four weeks. It is because long term insomnia would be due to underlying medical or psychiatric condition that need treatment. In addition, due to addictive potential long term use can cause problems.

Nitrest should be used cautiously in depression, psychosis and in patients with history of alcohol and other substance use.

This medication should not be used by patients with myasthenia gravis.

Sometimes drowsiness may persist into next day. This will cause problems with driving and operating machinery.

Nitrest should not be used by people with obstructive sleep apnea. It is common among people who snores at night. Snoring is caused by obstruction in respiratory tract that occurs in deep sleep. Due to this obstruction frequent night time awakenings occur and it can be misidentified as insomnia. In addition, taking this class of medications (hypnotics) by such people can cause severe obstruction and in some occasions brain damage.

In addition, this medications should not be used in patients with end stage renal and hepatic disease.
Use in pregnancy can cause problems in muscle tone, delayed crying and reduced body temperature in new born baby.

What are the side effects associated with Nitrest?

This medication can cause diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, headache, hallucinations, agitation, memory problems, nightmares, depression, confusion and problems in walking such as unsteady gait.
Sleep walking is also reported rarely.

However, above side effects are not common and most people tolerate this medication quite well.


Nitrest is a medication prescribed for short term relief of insomnia. It acts quickly and effects goes off quickly as well. However, it have addictive potential and can cause problems with driving and operating machinery. 

British National Formulary 67

First published in
Mental health information blog

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