Compare Ambien vs. Lunesta

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

Ambien
(zolpidem)

Lunesta
(eszopiclone)

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 sleep. Lunesta (Eszopiclone) is good for falling asleep and staying asleep. Not as habit-forming as some sleep medicines, but more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms if you stop suddenly.
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
Reviews for Lunesta
55%
+12% better vs. Ambien
36%
+14% better vs. Ambien
17%
+1% better vs. Ambien
592 reviews
Have you used Lunesta (eszopiclone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AmbienLunesta
  • 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 »
  • Headache 8%
  • Unpleasant taste 14%
  • Drowsiness 7%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Nausea 1%
  • Infection 2%
  • Dry mouth 2%
  • Nervousness 2%
  • Low mood disorder 4%
More Lunesta side effects »
How it works
AmbienLunesta
Ambien (zolpidem) is in a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics. It interacts with your brain to make you relaxed and sleepy.Lunesta (Eszopiclone) 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.
Type of medication
AmbienLunesta
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
AmbienLunesta
  • Pill
  • Oral spray
  • Sublingual pill
  • Pill
Used for
AmbienLunesta
Risk factors for serious side effects
AmbienLunesta
  • 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 »
  • 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
Detailed Lunesta (eszopiclone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

Alcohol
AmbienLunesta
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs when taking Ambien (zolpidem).
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Might not be safe if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse, depression, lung disease, or a condition that affects metabolism.
Kidneys and liver
AmbienLunesta
  • 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.
Sleep
AmbienLunesta
  • 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.
  • Lunesta (Eszopiclone) 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 Lunesta (Eszopiclone) 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.
  • Only take it if you have time to sleep for at least 7 hours.
  • Can cause headache, drowsiness, and dizziness.
  • Effective at helping people fall asleep faster and sleep longer.
Upsides and benefits
AmbienLunesta
  • 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.
  • Effective at helping people fall asleep faster and sleep longer.
  • Not as habit-forming, so you can use it for longer than most other sleep medicines.
Downsides and risks
AmbienLunesta
  • 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.
  • More likely to cause withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it suddenly.
  • Might not be safe if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse, depression, lung disease, or a condition that affects metabolism.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AmbienLunesta
  • 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.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about AmbienSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Ambien (zolpidem)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about LunestaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lunesta (eszopiclone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it