Compare Ambien vs. Klonopin

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

Ambien
(Zolpidem)

Klonopin
(Clonazepam)

Helps you sleep. Ambien (Zolpidem) is good for falling asleep and staying asleep, but it can be habit-forming and might be more likely than other sleep medicines to cause disturbing side effects.Controls seizures and helps you relax. Klonopin (Clonazepam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety, and to treat seizures. Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.089219330855019Ambien
Reviews for Ambien (Zolpidem)
66%
of people say Ambien (Zolpidem) is worth it
50%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Klonopin (Clonazepam)
69%
+3% vs. Ambien (Zolpidem)
51%
+1% vs. Ambien (Zolpidem)
15%
+1% vs. Ambien (Zolpidem)
Side effects
AmbienKlonopin
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Drowsiness 3%
  • Allergy 3%
  • Sinus inflammation 2%
  • Dry mouth 2%
  • Sore throat 2%
  • Diarrhea 2%
  • Lack of energy 2%
  • Lightheadedness 1%
  • Low mood disorder 1%
More Ambien side effects »
  • Dizziness 8%
  • Low mood disorder 7%
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 6%
  • Sinus inflammation 5%
  • Fatigue 5%
  • Menstrual cramps 4%
  • Memory disturbance 3%
  • Constipation 3%
  • Allergic reaction 3%
  • Vaginal inflammation 3%
More Klonopin side effects »
How it works
AmbienKlonopin
Ambien (Zolpidem) is in a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it interacts with your brain to make you relaxed and sleepy.Klonopin (Clonazepam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects neurotransmitters in the brain and calms the nervous system. This reduces anxiety and muscle spasms, and causes sleepiness.
Type of medication
AmbienKlonopin
SedativePrescription only
Anti-anxiety
Benzodiazepine
Prescription only
Available as
AmbienKlonopin
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
Used for (click to learn more)
AmbienKlonopin
Risk factors for serious side effects
AmbienKlonopin
  • Continuous use for 2 weeks or more
  • Alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Less than 7 hours of sleep
  • Undiagnosed psychiatric conditions
  • Taking with alcohol or drugs
    • Respiratory conditions
    • Liver problems
    • Muscle disease
    • Elderly
    • Higher dose
    • Liver problems
    • Taking Ambien (Zolpidem) with other nervous system depressants
    • Long-term use
    • Women of childbearing age
    • Breast-feeding
    Detailed Ambien (Zolpidem) risks & warnings »
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Taking longer than 4 weeks
    • History of drug abuse
    • Long-term use
      • Alcohol
      • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
        Detailed Klonopin (Clonazepam) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        AmbienKlonopin
        CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

        See the FDA package insert
        DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        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.

        See the FDA package insert
        Alcohol
        • Avoid alcohol and drugs.
        • Ambien (Zolpidem) can be disinhibiting (like alcohol) or cause hallucinations. Tell your doctor if you notice any unusual changes in behavior.
        • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
        • Not safe to use with alcohol.
        Food
        • Works best if taken without food.
        No specific food-related info.
        Kidneys and liver
        • Might not be safe if you have problems with your liver, kidneys, or lungs, or if you have a history of depression.
        No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
        Sex
        No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
        Sleep
        • More likely to cause sleep-walking, sleep-driving, and sleep-eating.
        • It's easy to become reliant on sleep medicines. In the long run, it's better to learn good sleeping habits and behavior so that you can sleep better naturally.
        • Effective at helping people fall asleep faster and sleep longer.
        • Only take it if you have time to sleep for at least 7 hours.
        • Can cause headache, drowsiness, and dizziness.
        • Can cause sleep-walking, sleep-driving, and sleep-eating.
        • All prescription sleep-aid medicines like Ambien (Zolpidem) have a risk of physical dependence. Dependence means that you'll feel withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking the medication all at once. Talk to your doctor about natural ways to improve sleep or treat underlying conditions that prevent sleep.
        • Ambien (Zolpidem) increases your risk of performing potentially dangerous activities while asleep, such as sleep-walking, sleep-driving, and sleep-eating. Talk to your doctor immediately about stopping Ambien (Zolpidem) if any sleep-related activities occur.
        • Ambien (Zolpidem) make you feel drowsy and sleepy, leading to falls and severe injuries. This is especially a risk if your 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 medicine that affects your nervous system or have issues with falls in the past. Check with your doctor first.
        • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
        • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and salivation.
        • Stopping Klonopin (Clonazepam) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, agitation, flu-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and muscle pain or burning. Withdrawal symptoms can last 6 weeks or longer. Work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dose when stopping or switching to a different medication.
        Weight
        No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        AmbienKlonopin
        • 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.
        • Effective at relieving short-term anxiety and sleeplessness.
        • Can be used together with antidepressants to manage anxiety disorders. Especially helpful for anxiety symptoms while you wait for an antidepressant to kick in (it can take several weeks).
        • Can be used alone or with other medicines to treat seizures.
        • Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to other benzodiazepines.
        Downsides and risks
        AmbienKlonopin
        • Not typically used for long-term treatment because it can be habit-forming.
        • Some people find that it's 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, or lungs, or if you have a history of depression.
        • It's easy to become reliant on sleep medicines. In the long run, it's better to learn good sleeping habits and behavior so that you can sleep better naturally.
        • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
        • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
        • Most people find that it gets less effective over time.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        AmbienKlonopin
        • Take 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime.
        • Only take it if you have time to sleep for at least 7 hours.
        • Very addictive. Meant for short-term treatment. Dependence can form after daily use for 2 weeks.
        • Can cause headache, drowsiness, and dizziness.
        • Can cause sleep-walking, sleep-driving, and sleep-eating.
        • Works best if taken without food.
        • Avoid alcohol and drugs.
        • Withdrawal symptoms usually resolve in 1 to 2 nights.
        • Report any confusion or changes in thoughts or behavior.
        • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
        • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and salivation.
        • Report any confusion or inability to control muscle movements to your doctor.
        • Not safe to use with alcohol.
        Learn more
        More about AmbienSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about KlonopinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert