Any evidence on Zolpidem effects on stroke patients?


Q: I am interested in the use of stilnox on stroke victims. I see where stilnox has been tried in England and Australia with some outstanding results.Has any study been done on this and is there any danger in trying it on a patient. Is it temporary as stilnox only has a 1-2 hrs activity. Is there danger of comas and memory loss? only asking at this time, yours sincerely,Anthony Van Gent


A:    Zolpidem is widely available on prescription in many countries, as it is a common sleeping tablet. However, it should only be taken under medical supervision. This drug is not routinely prescribed to stroke patients, as it is registered in most countries as a sleeping tablet for short-term treatment of insomnia. Many doctors dealing with stroke have not heard of it, or decide not to prescribe it unless the patient asks, because currently there is no conclusive evidence that support benefits in all stroke patients, some improve but some do not. Zolpidem may provide short-lasting but effective improvement in symptoms of aphasia present in some survivors of stroke. The mechanism for improvement in these cases remains unexplained and is the focus of current research by several groups, to explain how a drug which acts as a hypnotic-sedative in people with normal brain function, can paradoxically increase speech ability in people recovering from severe brain injury. Use of zolpidem for this application remains experimental at this time, and is not officially approved by medical regulatory agencies.

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