Compare Ambien vs. Butisol

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

Ambien
(zolpidem)

Butisol
(butabarbital)

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.Helps you fall asleep. Butisol (butabarbital) is not very good for sleeping problems because it can be addictive.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.1Ambien
Reviews for Ambien
67%
of people (All ages) say Ambien is worth it
50%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
1375 reviews
Have you used Ambien (zolpidem)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Butisol (butabarbital)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AmbienButisol
  • Drowsiness 3%
  • Headache 1%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Allergic reactions 3%
  • Sinus infection 2%
  • Sore throat 2%
  • Dry mouth 2%
  • Lack of energy 2%
  • Back pain 1%
  • Diarrhea 1%
More Ambien side effects »
  • Sleepiness 3%
More Butisol side effects »
How it works
AmbienButisol
Ambien (zolpidem) is in a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics. It interacts with your brain to make you relaxed and sleepy.Butisol (butabarbital) is a barbiturate. It works by calming and relaxing you so you're able to sleep.
Type of medication
AmbienButisol
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
AmbienButisol
  • Pill
  • Oral spray
  • Sublingual pill
  • Pill
Used for
AmbienButisol
Risk factors for serious side effects
AmbienButisol
  • Continuous use of Ambien (zolpidem) for 2 weeks or more
  • Alcohol
  • Taking other medications that make you less alert
  • Less than 8 hours of sleep.
  • Undiagnosed psychiatric conditions
Detailed Ambien (zolpidem) risks & warnings »
  • Having acute or chronic pain
  • age 65 or older
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Taking narcotics, tranquilizers or antihistamines
Detailed Butisol (butabarbital) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Interactions
AmbienButisol
No interactions related info.
  • Butisol (butabarbital) can interact with a lot of medicines, vitamins and supplements.
Alcohol
AmbienButisol
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs when taking Ambien (zolpidem).
  • Don't drink alcohol or take narcotics, tranquilizers or antihistamines if you're taking Butisol (butabarbital). This can slow down your breathing. Talk to your doctor about other options to help you sleep.
  • Don't drink alcohol or take narcotics with Butisol (butabarbital) since this can slow your breathing.
Kidneys and liver
AmbienButisol
  • Might not be safe if you have problems with your liver, kidneys, lungs, or if you have a history of depression.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Pain
AmbienButisol
No pain related info.
  • If you're having acute or chronic pain, or if you're older, Butisol (butabarbital) can cause you to feel more awake instead of sleepy, or you may not notice changes in your pain until it wears off. Talk to your doctor about other options to help you sleep if this happens.
Sleep
AmbienButisol
  • Ambien (zolpidem) makes you feel drowsy and sleepy, potentially leading to falls and severe injuries. This is especially a risk if you're older. Falls from sleep medicines like Ambien (zolpidem) have caused severe injuries such as hip fractures and head injury. You may need a lower dose if you're taking other medications that also cause drowsiness. Check with your doctor first.
  • Only take it if you have time to sleep for at least 8 hours.
  • Effective at helping people fall asleep faster and sleep longer.
No sleep related info.
Upsides and benefits
AmbienButisol
  • 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.
  • Butisol (butabarbital) works very quickly to help you fall asleep, within 45-60 minutes, and it lasts 6-8 hours.
Downsides and risks
AmbienButisol
  • 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.
  • Your body can get used to needing Butisol (butabarbital) for sleeping.
  • Butisol (butabarbital) can interact with a lot of medicines, vitamins and supplements.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AmbienButisol
  • Take 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime.
  • Only take it if you have time to sleep for at least 8 hours.
  • Can be addictive. Meant for short-term treatment. Dependence can form after daily use for 2 weeks.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs when taking Ambien (zolpidem).
  • Withdrawal symptoms can occur if you abruptly stop the drug and you've been regularly using it. The symptoms usually resolve in 1 to 2 nights.
  • Report any confusion or changes in thoughts or behavior.
  • Don't use Butisol (butabarbital) for more than 2 weeks, since it doesn't work as well after that.
  • Don't stop Butisol (butabarbital) suddenly, especially if you've been taking it for a while. Talk to your doctor about how to get off it safely.
  • Don't drink alcohol or take narcotics with Butisol (butabarbital) since this can slow your breathing.
  • Butisol (butabarbital) can make your birth control less effective. You should use condoms or diaphragms while taking it.
  • Talk to your doctor if Butisol (butabarbital) doesn't help you sleep better after taking it for 7 days.
Learn more
More about AmbienSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Ambien (zolpidem)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ButisolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Butisol (butabarbital)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it