Compare Ambien vs. Remeron

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

Ambien
(Zolpidem)

Remeron
(Mirtazapine)

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.Improves mood. Remeron (Mirtazapine) is okay for treating depression and good for sleep. More likely to cause weight gain than any other antidepressant.
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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 Remeron (Mirtazapine)
47%
19% vs. Ambien (Zolpidem)
42%
8% vs. Ambien (Zolpidem)
26%
10% vs. Ambien (Zolpidem)
Side effects
AmbienRemeron
  • 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 »
  • Drowsiness 36%
  • Increased appetite 15%
  • Dry mouth 10%
  • Weight gain 10%
  • Constipation 6%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Muscle weakness 3%
  • Abnormal dreams 3%
  • Flu syndrome 2%
  • Thinking abnormal 2%
More Remeron side effects »
How it works
AmbienRemeron
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.Remeron (Mirtazapine) is an atypical antidepressant. It stimulates your body to make certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, which regulate mood.
Type of medication
AmbienRemeron
SedativePrescription only
Antidepressant
Noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressant
Prescription only
Available as
AmbienRemeron
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
Used for (click to learn more)
AmbienRemeron
How well it works for depression
The free Iodine Start program helps people track how well they are improving, and find the right antidepressant faster.
The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Ambien (Zolpidem)

After 4 weeks using Start and Remeron (Mirtazapine), here’s how much better people feel.

Risk factors for serious side effects
AmbienRemeron
  • 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 »
    • Age 24 years or younger
    • Using other medications that affect serotonin
    • History of heart problems
    • History of liver problems
    • Higher dose
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
        Detailed Remeron (Mirtazapine) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        AmbienRemeron
        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.
        No specific alcohol-related info.
        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.
        No specific sleep-related info.
        Weight
        No specific weight-related info.
        • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) and raise cholesterol than any other antidepressant.
        • Good option for people who are underweight or frail, because it can help you gain weight.
        • Can increase appetite and weight.
        • Remeron (Mirtazapine) can increase appetite and cause you to gain weight.
        Upsides and benefits
        AmbienRemeron
        • 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 some depression symptoms.
        • Starts to work more quickly than most antidepressants.
        • Might be a good option for people who have insomnia with their depression, because it can make you very sleepy.
        • Good option for people who are underweight or frail, because it can help you gain weight.
        • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
        Downsides and risks
        AmbienRemeron
        • 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.
        • Not as effective as other medications for depression.
        • More sedating than other antidepressants.
        • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) and raise cholesterol than any other antidepressant.
        • Like most antidepressants, can cause higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people age 24 and younger.
        • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        AmbienRemeron
        • 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.
        • Makes you sleepy. Take at bedtime.
        • Can increase appetite and weight.
        • Takes 8 to 12 weeks to see full effects on mood.
        • Stop taking slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
        • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
        Learn more
        More about AmbienSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about RemeronSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert