Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2016 Aug;14(3):299-301. 10.9758/cpn.2016.14.3.299.

Zolpidem Induced Sleep-related Eating and Complex Behaviors in a Patient with Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Restless Legs Syndrome

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Ilsan Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Goyang, Korea.


Zolpidem-induced sleep-related complex behaviors (SRCB) with anterograde amnesia have been reported. We describe herein a case in which the development of zolpidem-induced sleep-related eating disorder (SRED) and SRCB was strongly suspected. A 71-year-old Korean male was admitted to the Department of Psychiatry due to his repetitive SRED and SRCB with anterograde amnesia, which he reported as having occurred since taking zolpidem. The patient also had restless legs syndrome (RLS) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). His baseline serum iron level was low at admission. Zolpidem discontinuation resulted in the immediate disappearance of his SRED, but did not affect his RLS symptoms. These symptoms rapidly improved after adding a single i.v. iron injection once daily, and so he was discharged to day-clinic treatment. These findings indicate that zolpidem can induce SRCB. Although the pathophysiology of zolpidem-induced SRED and other SRCB remains unclear, clinicians should carefully monitor for the potential induction of complex behaviors associated with zolpidem in patients with comorbid RLS or OSA.


Zolpidem; Sleep-related eating disorder; Sleep-related complex behavior; Restless legs syndrome
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