Aim: To show that the nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic zolpidem has a higher abuse potential than previously documented.
Method: An official enquiry was carried out by the Nantes Centre for Evaluation and Information on Pharmacodependence (CEIP). The authors made a review of literature and analysed French data corresponding to the drug's postmarketing period collected by the CEIP network from 1993 to 2002.
Results: The literature review yielded mixed results concerning the behavioural effects of zolpidem. Data from the CEIP and the 53 literature case reports highlight significant dependence and abuse potential of zolpidem.
Conclusions: This study adds to the growing evidence that zolpidem has the potential for abuse and dependence. As a consequence, the French drug monograph has been modified by the French Health Authorities.