Influence of food on pharmacokinetics of zolpidem from fast dissolving sublingual zolpidem tartrate tablets


Corresponding Author:

David J. Greenblatt, MD, Department of Integrative Physiology and Pathobiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, 136 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02111, USA



Ingesting food can impact the pharmacokinetics of sedative-hypnotic drugs. A buffered zolpidem sublingual tablet (ZST) recently became available for the treatment of middle-of-the-night awakening. In this randomized, open-label, single-site study, the pharmacokinetic profile of ZST was evaluated when administered while fasting and following a standard high-fat meal (fed state). Healthy adults aged 18–64 years received a single morning dose of 3.5 mg ZST in the fed or fasting state. From 20 min to 3 h post-dose, zolpidem plasma levels were lower in the fed state compared to the fasting state. After 4 h post-dose (corresponding to “morning wake time”), higher zolpidem plasma levels were evident in the fed state. Area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) values for the 0–8 h interval were 160 ng/mL h in the fed state and 203 ng/mL h in the fasting state (P < .001). In the fed versus fasting states, Cmax was 32.0 ng/mL versus 57.3 ng/mL (P < .001), respectively, and Tmax was 3.0 h versus 0.92 h (P < .001), respectively. Together these data suggest that administration of ZST in the fed state is not optimal for maximizing the likelihood of therapeutic benefit and minimizing the probability of residual sedation.