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By Tara Stevens
September 26, 2020

Intermezzo Sleep Aid

Intermezzo Sleep Aid

Intermezzo is one of the latest FDA approved prescription sleep aids.

According to the official site, Intermezzo is designed specifically for individuals who wake up in the middle of the night and have difficulty falling asleep again.

“Unlike traditional prescription sleep aids,” explains Suzanne Hegland at Huffington Post, “Intermezzo is a ‘sublingual tablet,’ meaning instead of swallowing a pill, you put it under your tongue, where it dissolves and can more rapidly enter your system.” [1]

Furthermore, Intermezzo is unique in that it’s one of the few sleep aids that can be taken in the middle of the night without triggering unconscious behaviors such as eating, having sex, and driving. So long as you have at least 4 hours left to sleep, you should be fine. [1]

But is Intermezzo right for you?

What’s Inside the Bottle?

Intermezzo contains a low dose of zolpidem, the same ingredient found in Ambien.

Zolpidem is a sedative and hypnotic which shares characteristics of benzodiazepines (such as valium) which relax muscles and reduce anxiety.

According to experts, “Zolpidem has selectivity in that it has little of the muscle relaxant and anti-seizure effects and more of the sedative effect.” [2]

Safety Concerns and Side Effects

Intermezzo is FDA approved and tested for safety. However, this does not mean it’s completely side effect free.

Typical side effects include:

• Headache
• Nausea
• Drowsiness
• Dizziness
• Diarrhea

Less common side effects include:

• Confusion
• Insomnia
• Euphoria
• Ataxia (balance problems)
• Visual changes

Intermezzo’s key ingredient, zolpidem, is also linked with abnormal sleep behavior, such as driving with no memory of having done so. Despite advertisements that Intermezzo won’t cause these effects, users should practice extreme caution. Should these side effects occur, discontinue use.

Zolpidem is classified as a controlled substance and requires a doctor’s prescription for a reason. It is often abused and is known to cause dependence.

However, don’t let this scare you out of enjoying its benefits. If your doctor recommends Intermezzo, it’s because he or she feels the benefits outweigh the potential risks.

Additional Warnings

Intermezzo may remain in the body for up to 4 hours after ingestion. The risk of next-day driving impairment (and psychomotor impairment) is increased if taken with less than 4 hours of sleep remaining.

Dr. Stanley Wang, cardiologist and director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Heart Hospital gives the following advice:

“I would probably use this drug in patients who not only had four hours of sleep remaining but could also afford to wait an additional one to two hours before driving.” [3]

How to Use Intermezzo

Tablets should only be taken as recommended by a doctor.

For best results, place tablet under the tongue. Allow it to dissolve completely before swallowing. Do not swallow tablets whole.

Results may be delayed if food is consumed with or prior to administration.

Intermezzo should be taken only if you have at least 4 hours of sleep time left in your evening.

Intermezzo is for short-term use only. Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve within 7-10 nights in a row. Do not use Intermezzo for more than 4 to 5 weeks without your doctor’s advice.

Typical Recommended Dosing
The recommended dose is 1.75 mg for women and 3.5 mg for men once per night, as needed.

Do Not

• Consume with alcohol
• Combine with other sedative drugs
• Use if pregnant or nursing
• Consume more than the recommended dose
• Take with less than 4 hours of sleep remaining
• Give to anyone else, even if they experience the same symptoms

Who Can Use Intermezzo?

Intermezzo can be used by both men and women who wake up in the middle of the night and have difficulty falling asleep. It should not be given to anyone under 18 years old.

If you have a medical condition such as kidney, liver, or lung disease or other problems such as depression and a history of drug addiction, tell your doctor prior to use.

Currently it is unknown what effects Intermezzo will have in infants. Tell your doctor if you’re a pregnant or plant to become pregnant while using the medication.

Where to Buy Intermezzo

Intermezzo is only available via doctor’s prescription at local pharmacies. Online sites claiming to sell Intermezzo or zolpidem without a doctor’s prescription are illegal and may contain potentially dangerous substances.

Fortunately, you can save on your Intermezzo prescription with a savings card provided by the manufacturers. The savings card allows consumers to save up to $45 on each prescription after paying the first $15. The savings card is good for a minimum of 20 tablets.

The card can be used one time for each dosage every 28 days until the offer expires (3/31/2014).

More About the Manufacturers

Intermezzo is owned and distributed by Purdue Pharma.

Purdue Pharma LP is a privately held pharmaceutical company located in Connecticut. It was originally known for its antiseptic Betadine solution and Senokot laxatives, but now it is more widely known for OxyContin, a popular pain killer.

According to the official website, Purdue Pharma LP is “committed to improving patients’ lives in meaningful ways by providing safe and effective therapies along with educational tools that support their proper use.”

Should You Ask Your Doctor About Intermezzo?

Intermezzo isn’t perfect, but it seems like a reliable way to fall asleep if you wake up in the middle of the night. Although the lower dose still poses many of the same risks as other prescription sleep aids, many experts feel Intermezzo is a safe insomnia treatment.

When used appropriately, Intermezzo may be a good way to fall asleep faster without putting your health on the line.

Of course, Intermezzo is not for everyone, and it does require the extra hassle of going to the doctor and acquiring a prescription.


[1] Hegland, Suzanne. “I Wanna Be Sedated.” Huffpost Healthy Living. April 11, 2012. Available from:

[2] Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD . “Zolpidem, Intermezzo.” Available from:

[3] Noonan, Jessica. “new Rx Sleep Drug: Promising, or Perilous.” ABC News. April 4, 2012. Available from:

Intermezzo Sleep Aid Customer Reviews

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Click Here to Read Intermezzo Sleep Aid Customer Reviews »

Irene Bayersdorfer Says:

I take Xanax to fall asleep but if I wake up I cannot go back to sleep even with Xanax.

If I awake during the night I cannot go back to sleep, even the Xanax does not work.

August 29, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Donna Miller Says:

I take temazepam 30mg to fall asleep I may sleep for 4 to 5 hours wake up and cannot go back to sleep. I have chronic back pain. I also use oxygen. should I stop the temazepam before trying Intermezzo?

August 30, 2013 at 10:12 am

admin Says:

Donna, mixing supplements is rarely a good idea, as some may interact negatively with the ingredients contained. To find out if this combination is safe for you, you’ll need to consult your doctor.

September 3, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Bill Mak Says:

This is a terrible option for me. Rarely does the four-hour window do it and thereafter it actually act as a stimulant for me. I DO NOT endorse this product.

September 18, 2013 at 12:36 pm

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