Compare Ambien vs. Hetlioz

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

Ambien (zolpidem)

Prescription only

Hetlioz (tasimelteon)

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
Keeps the sleep cycle normal for completely blind people who aren't able to see light.

Hetlioz (tasimelteon) is the only approved medicine to help completely blind people who are unable to see light maintain regular sleep cycles. It is only available as a brand name, so it 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.
  • Hetlioz (tasimelteon) is not addictive.
  • Hetlioz (tasimelteon) is the only drug that's approved to help people unable to see light to have regular sleep cycles.
  • If you have to stop taking Hetlioz (tasimelteon) suddenly, you're not likely to have withdrawal.
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.
  • Hetlioz (tasimelteon) can take weeks to months for you to notice any effect.
  • Hetlioz (tasimelteon) is only available as a brand name so it can be expensive.
Used for
  • Non-24 hour sleep-wake cycle
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Oral spray
  • Sublingual pill
  • Pill
Price
Want to save even more money?
Sign up now for a 30-day trial and save up to 95% at CVS, Kroger, Albertsons, and other pharmacies.
Reviews
1375 reviews so far
67%
saidit'sworth it
50%
saiditworked well
16%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Ambien (zolpidem)?

Leave a review
Not enough review data.Leave a review
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
5possible side effects
  • Headache
    17%
  • Abnormal liver tests
    10%
  • Nightmares or abnormal dreams
    10%
  • Common cold or flu
    7%
  • Urinary tract infection
    7%
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