Stilnox tablets - Information, specialists, frequent questions.
Usage of Stilnox tablets
This leaflet answers some common questions about STILNOX.
It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking this medicine against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again.
STILNOX is used to initiate and maintain sleep in those with sleeping difficulties, also called insomnia. It is not recommended for use for more than 4 weeks at a time.
STILNOX has a different chemical structure to other sleeping tablets. STILNOX works by binding to special sites in the brain which produce sleep.
Your doctor, however, may prescribe STILNOX for another purpose.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about why it has been prescribed for you. This medicine is only available with a doctor's prescription.
When you must not take it
Do not take STILNOX if you have:
- been drinking alcohol or you believe that you may have alcohol in your bloodstream
- sleep apnoea (a condition where you temporarily stop breathing while you sleep)
- myasthenia gravis (a condition in which the muscles become weak and tire easily)
- severe liver problems
- acute and/or severe lung problems
Do not take STILNOX if you are allergic to it or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet. Some symptoms of an allergic reaction include skin rash, itching, shortness of breath or swelling of the face, lips or tongue, which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing.
Do not give STILNOX to a child or adolescent. There is no experience with its use in children or adolescents under 18 years of age.
Do not take it if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. It may affect your developing baby if you take it during pregnancy. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of taking it if you are pregnant.
Do not take it if you are breast-feeding or planning to breast-feed. STILNOX passes into breast milk and there is a possibility your baby may be affected. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of using it if you are breast-feeding or planning to breast-feed.
Do not take it after the expiry date (EXP) printed on the pack. If you take it after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well.
Do not take it if the packaging is damaged or shows signs of tampering.
Before you start to take it
Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Like most medicines of this kind, STILNOX is not recommended to be used during pregnancy. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of taking it if you are pregnant.
Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding or planning to breast-feed. STILNOX can pass into breast milk. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of using it if you are breast-feeding or planning to breast-feed.
Tell your doctor if you have any problems with your breathing or if you often snore while you are asleep.
Tell your doctor if you have ever been addicted to alcohol or any drug or medicine or if you have ever suffered from a mental illness. If you have, you may be at risk of getting into a regular pattern or habit of taking STILNOX.
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any medical conditions, especially the following:
- problems with your liver, kidneys or lungs
Tell your doctor if you plan to have surgery.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you take STILNOX.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food store.
Some medicines may interfere with STILNOX. These include:
- medicines to treat depression, anxiety and mental illness
- medicines to treat epilepsy
- pain relievers
- muscle relaxants
- rifampicin, a medicine to treat infections
- ketoconazole, a medicine to treat antifungal infections
These medicines may be affected by STILNOX, or may affect how well it works. You may need to use different amounts of your medicine, or take different medicines. Your doctor will advise you.
Your doctor or pharmacist has more information on medicines to be careful with or to avoid while taking STILNOX.
How much to take
STILNOX should only be taken when you are able to get a full night's sleep (7 to 8 hours) before you need to be active again.
The usual adult dose of STILNOX is one tablet (10 mg).
If you are over 65 years of age the dose is half a STILNOX tablet (5 mg).
If you have a liver problem, the usual recommended dose is half a STILNOX tablet (5 mg). If necessary, this can be increased to 10 mg.
Your doctor may have prescribed a different dose.
Ask your doctor if you are unsure of the correct dose for you. They will tell you exactly how much to take.
Follow the instructions they give you. If you take the wrong dose, STILNOX may not work as well. If you take too much your conciousness may be impaired (see 'Overdose' below).
STILNOX should not be given to children or adolescents less than 18 years of age.
How to take it
Swallow the tablet whole with a full glass of water, unless your doctor has told you take half a tablet.
When to take it
Take STILNOX immediately before you go to bed or while you are in bed. It helps put you to sleep quite quickly. If you take STILNOX on an empty stomach it may work more quickly.
If you are not sure when to take it ask your doctor or pharmacist.
How long to take it
Usually, STILNOX or any other medicines to treat sleeping disorders should only be used for short periods (eg 2 to 4 weeks). Continuous long term use is not recommended unless advised by your doctor.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure how long to take the medicine for.
If you forget to take it
If you forget to take the tablet before you go to bed, and you wake up late in the night or very early in the morning, do not take it. You may have trouble waking at your normal time.
If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor.
If you take too much (overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor, or the Poisons Information Centre (telephone Australia 13 11 26), or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital, if you think you or anyone else may have taken too much STILNOX.
Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.
If you take too much STILNOX, your consciousness may be impaired, ranging from drowsiness to light coma.
Things you must do
Tell all the doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking STILNOX.
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, tell your doctor and pharmacist that you are taking STILNOX.
If you plan to have surgery that needs a general anaesthetic, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medicine.
If you become pregnant while you are taking this medicine, stop taking it and tell your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Things you must not do
Do not take more than the recommended dose unless your doctor tells you to. This can increase the risk of side effects.
Do not give this medicine to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Do not use this medicine to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not drink alcohol before or after taking this medicine. This can increase the risk of side effects.
Things to be careful of
Because STILNOX will make you sleepy, you should not operate dangerous machinery or drive motor vehicles for 8 hours after you take it. You should also be careful the next morning when you wake up. Make sure you know how you react to STILNOX before you drive a car or operate machinery. This is very important if you are taking other drugs that also make you drowsy.
Be careful if you are over 65 and unwell or taking other medicines. You may be more sensitive to some of the side effects of STILNOX. Some patients may be particularly susceptible to the sedative effects of the medication, which may increase the possibility of a fall.
You should not drink alcohol while you are taking STILNOX. The effects of alcohol could be made worse while taking STILNOX.
Sometimes when medicines are stopped suddenly, after being used for a long time, withdrawal symptoms may occur. Symptoms of withdrawal may include abdominal and muscle cramps, vomiting and sweating.
In some cases your insomnia may appear worse for a short time; speak to your doctor if this occurs.
Patients taking part in trials have not had any problems when they stopped taking STILNOX.
However, let your doctor know if you have any problems when you stop taking STILNOX.
If you have any queries about any aspect of your medicine, or any questions regarding the information in this leaflet, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep your tablets in the blister pack until it is time to take them. If you take the tablets out of the box or the blister pack they may not keep well.
Keep the medicine in a cool, dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C.
Do not store it or any other medicine in the bathroom, near a sink, or on a windowsill.
Do not leave it in the car. Heat and damp can destroy some medicines.
Keep it where children cannot reach it. A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking the medicine or it has passed its expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any that are left over.
Return any unused medicine to your pharmacist.
Adverse and side effects
All medicines have some unwanted side effects. Sometimes they are serious, but most of the time they are not. Your doctor or pharmacist has weighed the risks of using this medicine against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking STILNOX. It helps most people with insomnia, but it may have unwanted side effects in some people.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
- worsened insomnia
- diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting
- abdominal pain
- muscle weakness
- infections of the nose, throat and chest
These are the most common side effects of this medicine.
Less common adverse effects include:
- Unexpected changes in behaviour. These have included rage reactions, confusion and other forms of unwanted behaviour.
- Sleep walking, driving motor vehicles and other unusual, and on some occasions dangerous, behaviours whilst apparently asleep. These have also included preparing and eating food, making phone calls or having sexual intercourse. People experiencing these effects have had no memory of the events.
Alcohol can increase the risk of sleep walking and other related behaviours. These side effects can also occur without the presence of alcohol.
Although these side effects can occur at the usual recommended doses, the risk of these behaviours occurring may also be increased if you take more than the recommended dose.
Some sleep medicines may cause short-term memory loss. When this occurs, a person may not remember what has happened for several hours after taking the medicine. This is usually not a problem since most people fall asleep after taking the medicine.
Sleep medicines should in most cases, be used only for short periods of time. If your sleep problems continue, consult your doctor.
Some medicines can cause dependence, especially when they are used regularly for longer than a few weeks. People who have been dependent on alcohol or other drugs in the past may have a higher chance of becoming addicted to sleep medicines. If you have been addicted to alcohol or drugs in the past, it is important to tell your doctor before starting STILNOX.
If any of the following happen, stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor immediately, or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital:
- swelling of the face, lips, mouth or throat, which may cause difficultly in swallowing or breathing
These are very serious side effects. If you have them, you may have had a serious allergic reaction to STILNOX. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation.
These side effects are very rare.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell. Other side effects not listed above may occur in some consumers.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Questions about Stilnox tablets
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