Medical Advice

Ambien vs Zolpidem: How Do They Compare?

Ambien vs Zolpidem

Around 50 million people in the USA are suffering from chronic sleep disorders or insomnia. Both the acute and chronic types of insomnia are commonly found in people. According to doctors, sleep is a basic human need, and it is interconnected to both physical and mental health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. So, people can use Ambien and Zolpidem medicine to treat this disorder. But Ambien vs Zolpidem may differ from each other depending upon some factors.

In this blog, we are going to learn about these two drugs, Ambien and Zolpidem. And also about their uses, dosages strengths, side effects and precautions.

What is Ambien?

Ambien medication is a sedative, also known as hypnotic. This drug is used to treat insomnia in people. Ambien is a branded drug and zolpidem is a generic variant, and this medication is used to treat insomnia. It belongs to the nonbenzodiazepine medication class. This drug directly affects chemicals in the brain

Ambien decreases unplanned awaking and helps to increase the time that is required to fall a sleep.

What is Zolpidem?

Zolpidem drug is used to treat insomnia problems like difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep. This drug is a nonbenzodiazepine or Z-drug which acts as a sedative and hypnotic. It works in the brain to slow activity and allow sleep.

Comparison: Ambien vs Zolpidem

Similarities of Both Medications-

  • Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classified both sleeping pills under Controlled Substance of Schedule IV.
  • Ambien and zolpidem drugs are US FDA-approved to treat sleep disorders in adults only not for children under the age of 18 years.

The Function of Both Drugs: Ambien vs Zolpidem

Zolpidem is a chemical compound that works by slowing down the brain and nerves, which helps the patients to stay asleep.

Ambien drug works in the central nervous system and enhances the level of GABA chemicals. Gamma-aminobutyric acid is known as GABA receptors. It conveys the message through the CNS in the brain that helps to manage certain sleeping problems. This medicine increases the effects of a chemical compound (GABA) in the patients. Ambien consists of zolpidem in the form of salt composition.

Dose & Dosages:

Forms and Strengths of Ambien Drug

Ambien medicine is available in Immediate-release (IR) tablet forms. The strengths of Drugs are as follows:-

Dosages of Ambien Medication

  • 5 mg is the starting dose that can be for women and 5 mg or 10 mg of dose for men.
  • The geriatric and hepatic impaired patients can take 5 mg before bedtime.
  • The doctor may increase to 10 mg (maximum dose) for adults if 5 mg does not work. They can take the doses before going to bed.

Zolpidem Forms and Strengths

Various forms and strengths of Zolpidem medication are –

  • Tablet forms:- Immediate-release (IR) tablets in 5 mg and 10 mg strengths. Extended-release (ER) tablets strengths of 6.25 mg and 12.5 mg are available in the market.
  • Oral Spray:- It is an oral spray form that dissolves immediately in the mouth.
  • Capsules form:- It is available in 7.5 mg strength.
  • Sublingual Tablets:- These tablets are easily dissolved in the mouth. 1.75 for women and 3.5 mg formulation for men.

Dosages of Zolpidem Medicines

For Insomnia Patients
  • IR tablets for adults:- Patients can take dose of 5 mg or 10 mg once per day. 10 mg is the highest dose of this sleeping medicine. A doctor can increase the dose by 10 mg.
  • Capsules for patients above 18 years:- Above 18 years old patients can take a single dose of 7.5 mg strength at night regularly before bedtime.
  • ER tablets for patients:- Women can take 6.25 mg dose and men can take 12.5 mg once a day. 12.5 mg is the maximum dose.
  • For older people:- Old age people can take 6.25 mg at bedtime.
  • Oral Spray:- The dose of oral spray is not specified.
  • Sublingual tablet:- The starting dose of zolpidem tablet is 1.75-3.5 mg every day. The maximum dose is 3.5 mg.

Children who are under 18 years old cannot take this medicine. If they suffer from this problem it will be helpful for them to consult with a doctor as soon as possible.

Uses of Zolpidem and Ambien Drug:

  • An individual uses Ambien and Zolpidem drugs to cure insomnia.
  • Both medications help to improve sleep latency in adult patients.
  • These sleeping pills are used for short-term treatments in adults.

Side Effects of Both Drugs:

These sleeping pills have common and serious side effects. Some of the side effects include-

Common Side Effects

  • Dizziness
  • Watery stool (diarrhea)
  • Headache
  • Light-headed feeling
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Stuffy nose
  • Nose or throat irritation
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Weakness
  • Coordination problems
  • Extreme sleepiness
  • Feeling lethargic
  • Feeling drugged

Serious Side Effects

  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Palpitation
  • Confusion
  • Breathing problem
  • Depression
  • Allergic reaction
  • Behavioral changes
  • Hallucination
  • Loss of memory (dementia)
  • Ataxia

Precautions for Ambien and Zolpidem Drug:

  • Patients should inform their healthcare expert about any medical history before taking these drugs.
  • Never drink alcohol during these medication courses.
  • Take this medicine immediately after or with food.
  • These drugs may cause some withdrawal symptoms, so never stop to take it suddenly.
  • Only adults can use these drugs.
  • Always be careful that never use this medicine with other drugs.
  • If some of the side effects get worse, then you should consult your doctor immediately.


In conclusion, people use these drugs to treat insomnia In patients. Just like the advantages as well as both drugs have disadvantages. All the information mentioned in this Ambien vs Zolpidem comparison. It will be helpful for people to follow the doctor’s guidance if this disorder continues for a long term and any side effects occur after taking these drugs.

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