What should I watch for?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Keep a regular sleep schedule by going to bed at about the same time each night. Avoid caffeine-containing drinks in the evening hours. When sleep medicines are used every night for more than a few weeks, they may stop working. Do not increase the dose on your own. Talk to your doctor if your insomnia worsens or is not better within 7 to 10 days.
After taking this medicine for sleep, 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 have no memory of the event. Activities such as driving a car ("sleep-driving"), making and eating food, talking on the phone, sexual activity, and sleep-walking have been reported. Call your doctor right away if you find out you have done any of these activities. Do not take this medicine if you have used alcohol that evening or before bed or taken another medicine for sleep, since your risk of doing these sleep-related activities will be increased.
Do not take this medicine unless you are able to stay in bed for a full night (7 to 8 hours) and do not drive or perform other activities requiring full alertness within 8 hours of a dose. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness the day after you take the 20 mg dose of this medicine. The use of lower doses (10 mg) also has the potential to cause driving impairment the next day. You may have a decrease in mental alertness the day after use, even if you feel that you are fully awake. Tell your doctor if you will need to perform activities requiring full alertness, such as driving, the next day. Do not stand or sit up quickly after taking this medicine, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.
If you or your family notice any changes in your behavior, such as new or worsening depression, thoughts of harming yourself, anxiety, other unusual or disturbing thoughts, or memory loss, call your doctor right away.
Side Effects to watch for
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- depressed mood
- feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
- inability to move or speak for up to several minutes while you are going to sleep or waking up
- memory loss
- periods of leg weakness lasting from seconds to a few minutes
- problems with balance, speaking, walking
- restlessness, excitability, or feelings of agitation
- unusual activities while asleep like driving, eating, making phone calls
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (Report these to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome.):
- abnormal dreams
- daytime drowsiness
What may interact with this drug?
- antiviral medicines for HIV or AIDS
- certain antibiotics like ciprofloxacin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, telithromycin
- certain medicines for depression or psychotic disturbances
- certain medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole, posaconazole, fluconazole, or itraconazole
- grapefruit juice
- medicines for anxiety or sleep