Will Zolpidem show up on a drug test? 

Will Zolpidem show up on a drug test? 

Zolpidem does not show up on a drug test and it is not generally included in the panel of drugs to be tested. Zolpidem is a prescription medication used for the treatment of insomnia and related sleep disturbances. 

Although it is not a controlled substance, Zolpidem can be used as a drug of abuse and can cause addiction in long-term users – but it is still not as dangerous as other drugs of abuse are and it is not a part of standard 12-panel urine drug analysis. 

It is also not known to cross-react or to cause a false positive for controlled substances that are tested (1). However, Zolpidem is detectable in other urine toxicology tests (2). 

How long does Zolpidem stay in your system? 

Zolpidem has a half-life of about 2-3 hours, after which the initial peak concentration of the drug reduces to half. The remaining concentration keeps reducing to half after every 2-3 hours until the drug is completely out of your body. 

Most of the drug is eliminated from your body within 10 hours. However, Zolpidem can be detected in urine toxicology screening for up to 24-48 hours. 

How to avoid Zolpidem showing up on a drug test? 

As I have discussed in previous sections, Zolpidem does not show up on drug tests. Other hypnotics like Lunesta also don’t show up on a drug test. However, it can show up in urine toxicology tests which are usually performed in case of an overdose. 

If you have a drug test coming up, it is highly unlikely for Zolpidem to make you fail that. However, it’s still best to inform the drug testing authorities about taking prescribed Zolpidem or any other medication that could cause a false positive. 

If your testing procedure is a more accurate one, like Gas Chromatography – Mass spectroscopy (GC-MS), you don’t need to worry about false positives (3). Inaccurate results are more common with preliminary drug testing procedures like urine immunoassays. 

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Piergies AA, Sainati S, Roth-Schechter B. Lack of cross-reactivity of Ambien (zolpidem) with drugs in standard urine drug screens. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1997 Apr;121(4):392-4. PMID: 9140309. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9140309/


Willner N, Schiff E. A case of suicide attempt with Zolpidem – will Zolpidem show up on standard urine toxicology screening? EXCLI J. 2014 May 6;13:454-6. PMID: 26417273; PMCID: PMC4464338. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26417273/


Ramoo B, Funke M, Frazee C, Garg U. Comprehensive Urine Drug Screen by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS). Methods Mol Biol. 2016;1383:125-31. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-3252-8_15. PMID: 26660182. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26660182/