Intermezzo Side Effects

by on June 14, 2012


Like most sedative hypnotic medications, there are a number of side effects associated with the use of Intermezzo (Zolpidem Tartrate), but not everyone will have adverse reactions. Nausea, headaches, and excessive drowsiness are the most common side effects of Intermezzo, but some users have reported mood changes, hallucinations, and extreme sleepwalking episodes while taking the drug.

Common Intermezzo Side Effects

Some patients have experienced adverse reactions to medications containing zolpidem even at low dosages. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have had problems with other sleep aids, such as Ambien, before taking Intermezzo. Some of the most commonly reported Intermezzo side effects are:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • A drugged feeling
  • Mild confusion
  • Drowsiness, including daytime drowsiness

These symptoms usually occur after the first few uses of Intermezzo and generally improve with continued usage. If any of these side effects become severe or do not go away, contact your doctor.

Serious Intermezzo Side Effects

An allergic reaction to Intermezzo can be potentially fatal. Do not take this medication if you are allergic to zolpidem and seek immediate emergency attention if you have any of the symptoms of an allergic reaction below:

  • Skin rash
  • Itching
  • Swelling, especially of the mouth, face, or throat
  • Unusual hoarseness
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Hives
  • Tightening of the throat
  • Difficulties swallowing or breathing

A small number of adults have performed activities without waking while taking Intermezzo. These side effects include sleepwalking, sleep driving, binge eating, and sexual parasomnia. Patients have also carried on normal conversations with no recollection of the dialogue upon waking.

If you have a similar experience while taking Intermezzo, or have any of the symptoms below, contact your doctor immediately:

  • Memory loss
  • Unusually aggressive behavior
  • Anxiety
  • New or worsening depression
  • Unexplained irritability
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

Intermezzo Withdrawal

The active ingredient in Intermezzo, zolpidem tartrate, is a schedule IV controlled substance and has the potential to be habit forming or abused. Individuals with a history of drug or alcohol abuse should not take Intermezzo because these patients are at an increased risk of developing an addiction to the medication. In clinical trials, a very small percentage of Intermezzo users developed a physical dependency to the drug, noted by withdrawal symptoms such as rebound insomnia, mild anxiety, nausea, abdominal cramps, tremors, and convulsions. Do not stop taking Intermezzo abruptly without discussing the potential side effects with your doctor.

Elderly Patients

Sedatives may pose greater risks to geriatric users. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dosage of Intermezzo, especially during the initial treatment. Even at low doses, elderly patients should be closely monitored for dangerous side effects while taking Intermezzo or other zolpidem medications. Over sedation, confusion, and the risk of falls are common worries for geriatric patients who use sleeping aids like Intermezzo.


A pregnancy category C drug, Intermezzo has not been fully studied for use during pregnancy. Women who have taken other zolpidem medications like Ambien during the last trimester of pregnancy have delivered infants with severe neonatal respiratory depression. Newborns of mothers who used Intermezzo may also experience withdrawal symptoms. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, discuss the risks of Intermezzo with your doctor before using the medication. Breastfeeding while taking Intermezzo is not recommended.

Intermezzo is an effective option for individuals who suffer from insomnia. In most cases, the medication is safe and can be continued without the user developing a dependency. Remember that there may be other Intermezzo side effects that have not yet been reported. If you experience any abnormal symptoms or behaviors while taking this or any other medication, be sure to mention it to your doctor.