Durability of treatment response to zolpidem with three different maintenance regimens: A preliminary study

Michael Perlis, Michael Grandner, Jarcy Zee, Erin Bremer, Julia Whinnery, Holly Barilla, Priscilla Andalia, Phil Gehrman, Knashawn Morales, Michael Thase, Richard R Bootzin, Robert Ader

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background and aim: At present, there is no consensus regarding how to medically manage chronic insomnia in the long term. The unstated standard of practice is for patients to use hypnotics intermittently. The present study aimed to compare a partial reinforcement strategy with nightly and intermittent dosing strategies for its potential as a maintenance therapy. Methods: A mixed model was used in the study. One between-subjects factor: group (. n = 4). One repeated-measures factor: time (12 weekly assessments). A total of 74 subjects with chronic Insomnia were treated with 10 mg zolpidem for 4 weeks. Treatment respondents were randomized to nightly dosing with 10 mg or 5 mg (QHS-10 and QHS-5), intermittent dosing with 10 mg (IDS-10 [3-5 days weekly]), or partial reinforcement dosing with 10 mg (PRS-10 [nightly pill use with 50% active medication and 50% placebos]) for 12 weeks. Results: It was found, in compliant subjects (. n = 55), that all four strategies evaluated maintained treatment response over time (ie, prevented or delayed relapse). For the subjects that remained in remission, the subjects in the intermittent dosing group (IDS-10) group exhibited poorer sleep continuity. Conclusions: While best considered a preliminary study, the present findings suggest that the partial reinforcement strategy may be a viable means toward maintaining treatment gains over time with less active medication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1160-1168
Number of pages9
JournalSleep Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Insomnia
  • Maintenance therapy
  • Partial reinforcement
  • Placebos
  • Zolpidem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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