Compare Ambien vs. desipramine

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

Ambien
(zolpidem)

Norpramin
(desipramine)

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.Stabilizes your mood. Norpramin (desipramine) is not a first choice for treating depression because of its effects on the heart, but it can be good if other medicines haven't worked.
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Prices and coupon for 30 (10mg) tablets of zolpidem
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Prices and coupon for 30 (10mg) tablets of desipramine
Reviews & ratings
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5.1Ambien
Reviews for Ambien (zolpidem)
67%
of people (All ages) say Ambien (zolpidem) 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 Norpramin (desipramine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Ambiendesipramine
  • Drowsiness 3%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Sinus inflammation 2%
  • Allergy 3%
  • Drugged feeling 3%
  • Back pain 1%
  • Sore throat 2%
  • Lack of energy 2%
  • Dry mouth 2%
  • Diarrhea 1%
More Ambien side effects »

The desipramine FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about desipramine side effects »
How it works
Ambiendesipramine
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.Norpramin (desipramine) is a tricyclic antidepressant. It increases the amount of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain, two chemicals that regulate mood.
Type of medication
Ambiendesipramine
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
Ambiendesipramine
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Used for
Ambiendesipramine
Risk factors for serious side effects
Ambiendesipramine
  • 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 »
    • People under age 24
      • Tricyclic antidepressants
      • Fentanyl
      • Tramadol
      • Buspirone
      • ADHD medicines
      • Triptans
      • History of heart disease
      • History of seizures
      • History of brain damage or alcohol withdrawal
      Detailed Norpramin (desipramine) 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.

      The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

      Alcohol
      Ambiendesipramine
      • Avoid alcohol and drugs.
      No alcohol related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      Ambiendesipramine
      • Might not be safe if you have problems with your liver, kidneys, or lungs, or if you have a history of depression.
      No kidneys and liver related info.
      Sleep
      Ambiendesipramine
      • 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.
      • 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.
      No sleep related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      Ambiendesipramine
      • 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.
      • Norpramin (desipramine) is available in generic and in many different strengths, so the dose can be more customized.
      • Norpramin (desipramine) has fewer side effects than similar tricyclic antidepressants.
      Downsides and risks
      Ambiendesipramine
      • 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.
      • Norpramin (desipramine) isn't recommended if you or your family has heart disease, seizures, or glaucoma.
      • Norpramin (desipramine) isn't a first choice for depression because it has more side effects than other antidepressants.
      • In some people, Norpramin (desipramine) can make you sleepy. In other people, Norpramin (desipramine) can keep you awake.
      • If you have diabetes, Norpramin (desipramine) can make your blood sugar go up.
      • Not recommended in children under 12 years of age.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      Ambiendesipramine
      • 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.
      • Don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how Norpramin (desipramine) affects you since it can make you feel sleepy.
      • Talk to your doctor right away if your mood suddenly darkens and you want to hurt yourself while taking Norpramin (desipramine).
      • If you're being switched to Norpramin (desipramine) from monoamine oxidase inhibitors, you'll need to wait 2 weeks before you can start it.
      • Don't stop taking Norpramin (desipramine) suddenly without talking to your doctor first.
      Learn more
      More about AmbienSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Ambien (zolpidem)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it
      More about desipramineSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Norpramin (desipramine)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it