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Zolpidem Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings

Zolpidem is also known as: Ambien, Ambien CR, Edluar, Intermezzo, Zolpimist

Zolpidem Pregnancy Warnings

Cases of severe neonatal respiratory depression have been reported when this drug was used at the end of pregnancy, especially when used with other central nervous system (CNS) depressants. Infants born to mothers who took benzodiazepines or benzodiazepine-like agents chronically during the latter stages of pregnancy may be at risk for developing physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms in the postnatal period. Additionally, neonatal flaccidity also has been reported in infants born to mothers who received sedative/hypnotic drugs during pregnancy.

Animal studies have revealed no evidence of teratogenicity or fertility impairment, but adverse effects including incomplete fetal skeletal ossification and increased embryo-fetal death.

AU TGA pregnancy category B3: Drugs which have been taken by only a limited number of pregnant women and women of childbearing age, without an increase in the frequency of malformation or other direct or indirect harmful effects on the human fetus having been observed. Studies in animals have shown evidence of an increased occurrence of fetal damage, the significance of which is considered uncertain in humans.

US FDA pregnancy category Not Assigned: The US FDA has amended the pregnancy labeling rule for prescription drug products to require labeling that includes a summary of risk, a discussion of the data supporting that summary, and relevant information to help health care providers make prescribing decisions and counsel women about the use of drugs during pregnancy. Pregnancy categories A, B, C, D, and X are being phased out.

This drug is only recommended for use during pregnancy when there are no alternatives and the benefit outweighs the risk.

AU TGA pregnancy category: B3
US FDA pregnancy category: Not assigned.

Risk summary: The data do not report a clear association between use of this drug and major birth defects.

Comments:
-A syndrome of hypothermia, hypotonia, respiratory depression and difficulty feeding may occur in in infants of mothers administered this drug in the late phase of pregnancy or during childbirth.
-Withdrawal symptoms may occur in neonates whose mothers were taking sedative-hypnotics late in pregnancy.

See references

Zolpidem Breastfeeding Warnings

After a single, 20 mg oral dose was administered to 5 nursing mothers (who were 3 to 4 days postpartum), breastmilk collected at 3 hours contained between 0.004% to 0.019% of the maternal dosage; the drug was undetectable (drug levels less than 0.5 mcg/L) in the breastmilk 13 to 16 hours after the dose was given.

In animal models, administration of this drug during the latter part of pregnancy and throughout lactation produced decreased offspring growth and survival at all but the lowest dose tested.

Use is not recommended and a decision should be made to discontinue breastfeeding or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Excreted into human milk: Yes

Comments:
-Some experts state that this drug should be used with caution.
-Due to the low levels of this drug in breastmilk and its short half-life, amounts ingested by nursing infants are small and would not be expected to cause any adverse effects in these infants.
-The American Academy of Pediatrics considers this drug to be compatible with breastfeeding.
-Some experts recommend monitoring breastfed infants for hypotonia, respiratory depression, and sedation.

See references

References for pregnancy information

  1. Product Information. Ambien (zolpidem). sanofi-aventis. 2001.
  2. Product Information. Ambien CR (zolpidem). Sanofi-Synthelabo Inc. 2005.
  3. Cerner Multum, Inc. UK Summary of Product Characteristics.
  4. Cerner Multum, Inc. Australian Product Information.
  5. Product Information. Edluar (zolpidem). Meda Pharmaceuticals. 2009.
  6. TGA. Therapeutic Goods Administration. Australian Drug Evaluation Committee. Prescribing medicines in pregnancy: an Australian categorisation of risk of drug use in pregnancy. http://www.tga.gov.au/docs/html/medpreg.htm 2010.
  7. Product Information. Intermezzo (zolpidem). Purdue Pharma LP. 2011.
  8. Product Information. Zolpimist (zolpidem). Magna Pharmaceuticals Inc. 2017.

References for breastfeeding information

  1. Product Information. Ambien (zolpidem). sanofi-aventis. 2001.
  2. Product Information. Ambien CR (zolpidem). Sanofi-Synthelabo Inc. 2005.
  3. Cerner Multum, Inc. UK Summary of Product Characteristics.
  4. Cerner Multum, Inc. Australian Product Information.
  5. Product Information. Edluar (zolpidem). Meda Pharmaceuticals. 2009.
  6. TGA. Therapeutic Goods Administration. Australian Drug Evaluation Committee. Prescribing medicines in pregnancy: an Australian categorisation of risk of drug use in pregnancy. http://www.tga.gov.au/docs/html/medpreg.htm 2010.
  7. Product Information. Intermezzo (zolpidem). Purdue Pharma LP. 2011.
  8. United States National Library of Medicine. Toxnet. Toxicology Data Network. http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT 2013.
  9. Briggs GG, Freeman RK. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health. 2015.
  10. Product Information. Zolpimist (zolpidem). Magna Pharmaceuticals Inc. 2017.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.