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Zolpidem is approved for the short-term (usually two to six weeks) treatment of insomnia, and it has been studied for nightly use up to six months in a single-blind trial published in 1991, an open-label study lasting 180 days published in 1992 (with continued efficacy in patients who had kept taking it as of 180 days after the end of the trial),  and in an open-label trial lasting 179 days published in 1993.
The United States Air Force uses zolpidem as a substitute for temazepam, under trade name Ambien, as "no-go pills" to help pilots sleep after a mission; the main drug used for the purpose is temazepam (Restoril). (Cf. the "go-pills" dextroamphetamine, served under the name Dexedrine, or its recent modafinil (Provigil) replacement, act as a stimulant for the same pilots, the effects of which are reversed by the aforementioned "no-go pills")
Zolpidem is also used off-label to treat restless leg syndrome and, as is the case with many prescription sedative/hypnotic drugs, it is sometimes used by stimulant users to "come down" after the use of stimulants such as amphetamines (including methamphetamine), cocaine, or MDMA (ecstasy).
Recently, the drug has been reported anecdotally to have positive effects for patients in persistent vegetative state. Results from phase IIa trials are expected in June 2007. The trials are being conducted by Regen Therapeutics of the UK, who have a patent pending on this new use for Zolpidem.
A clinical trial on a single patient performed at the Toulouse University Hospital using PET shows that zolpidem repeatably improves brain function and mobility of a patient immobilized by akinetic mutism caused by hypoxia.Source(s): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zolpidem