Compare Ambien vs. Belsomra

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Ambien (zolpidem)

Prescription only

Belsomra (suvorexant)

Prescription only
Helps you sleep.

Ambien (zolpidem) aids in falling asleep and staying asleep, but it can be habit-forming and might be more likely than other sleep medicines to cause side effects.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 1375 reviewsforAmbien
Helps you sleep.

Belsomra (suvorexant) helps you fall asleep, but is only avaliable as a brand name so can be expensive.

Upsides
  • Effective at helping people fall asleep faster and sleep longer.
  • Extended release form is particularly good for staying asleep, and you can use it for longer than the immediate release form.
  • Generic is available.
  • May be helpful if other sleep aids don't work.
  • Works quickly, especially on an empty stomach.
  • Might be a good option for the elderly.
Downsides
  • Not typically used for long-term treatment because it can be habit-forming.
  • Some people find that Ambien (zolpidem) becomes less effective over time.
  • More likely to cause sleep-walking, sleep-driving, and sleep-eating.
  • Might not be safe if you have problems with your liver, kidneys, lungs, or if you have a history of depression.
  • Not usually used for long-term treatment since it can be habit-forming.
  • Belsomra (suvorexant) is likely expensive since it's only available as a brand name, but coupon savings program could be available.
  • Not recommended if you do not plan to sleep for at least 7 hours.
  • Belsomra (suvorexant) may cause sleep paralysis.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Oral spray
  • Sublingual pill
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
1375 reviews so far
67%
saidit'sworth it
50%
saiditworked well
16%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
18possible side effects
  • Drowsiness
    8%
  • Headache
    7%
  • Dizziness
    5%
  • Allergic reactions
    4%
  • Sinus infection
    4%
  • Dry mouth
    3%
  • Back pain
    3%
  • Lack of energy
    3%
  • Drugged feeling
    3%
  • Diarrhea
    3%
  • Sore throat
    3%
  • Flu-like symptoms
    2%
  • Racing heart
    2%
  • Lightheadedness
    2%
  • Depression
    2%
  • Abdominal pain
    2%
  • Constipation
    2%
  • Rash
    2%
See more detailed side effects
8possible side effects
  • Headache
    7%
  • Sleepiness
    7%
  • Dizziness
    3%
  • Diarrhea
    2%
  • Dry mouth
    2%
  • Cold and flu
    2%
  • Abnormal dreams
    2%
  • Cough
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Dependence and withdrawal
    • Continuous use of Ambien (zolpidem) for 2 weeks or more
  • Driving impairment
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medications that make you less alert
    • Less than 8 hours of sleep.
  • Abnormal thoughts
    • Undiagnosed psychiatric conditions
  • Performing activities while asleep
    • Taking Ambien (zolpidem) with alcohol or drugs that cause drowsiness
  • Risk of falls and injury
    • Higher dose
    • Liver problems
    • Taking Ambien (zolpidem) with other nervous system depressants
    • Long-term use
    • Elderly (70 years or older)
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Changes in thoughts
    • Uncontrolled psychiatric conditions
    • Alcohol
    • Other medicines that make you sleepy or dizzy
  • Hangover effect
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    • Less than 7 hours of sleep after taking Belsomra (suvorexant)
  • Dependence and withdrawal
    • Continuous use for 2 weeks or more
  • Depression
    • Risk increases with dose
    • Past history of depression
  • Difficulty breathing
    • Sleep apnea
    • COPD
  • Sleep paralysis
See more detailed risks and warnings