Compare Ambien vs. Restoril

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

Ambien
(Zolpidem)

Restoril
(Temazepam)

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.Helps you relax and sleep. Restoril (Temazepam) is a good short-term option to help you sleep, but it shouldn't replace good sleep habits.
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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 Restoril (Temazepam)
56%
10% vs. Ambien (Zolpidem)
56%
+6% vs. Ambien (Zolpidem)
22%
6% vs. Ambien (Zolpidem)
Side effects
AmbienRestoril
  • 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 »

We haven’t found good data for Restoril side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Restoril »
How it works
AmbienRestoril
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.Restoril (Temazepam) is a benzodiazepine. It affects chemicals in the brain to calm down your nervous system, helping you sleep and be less anxious.
Type of medication
AmbienRestoril
SedativePrescription only
Anti-anxiety
Benzodiazepine
Prescription only
Available as
AmbienRestoril
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
AmbienRestoril
Risk factors for serious side effects
AmbienRestoril
  • 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
    • Women of childbearing age
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
      • Taking with alcohol
      • Taking with other drugs that acts in the brain
      • Age 65 or older
      Detailed Restoril (Temazepam) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      AmbienRestoril
      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
      XFDA pregnancy category (Unsafe)

      Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

      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.
      • It is not safe to drink alcohol while taking this.
      • Restoril (Temazepam) can make you dizzy and drowsy, especially when combined with alcohol and many other medicines that acts in your brain. It is not recommended for people age 65 years or older.
      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 be habit-forming, meaning you'll start to rely on Restoril (Temazepam) to sleep.
      • Shouldn't make you drowsy the next day as long as you're using normal doses of it.
      • Use only as needed when you can't sleep.
      • Can cause dizziness and drowsiness, so don't do anything (like driving) after taking it that requires you to focus.
      • Stopping Restoril (Temazepam) suddenly can 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.
      • Restoril (Temazepam) can make you dizzy and drowsy, especially when combined with alcohol and many other medicines that acts in your brain. It is not recommended for people age 65 years or older.
      Weight
      No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      AmbienRestoril
      • 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.
      • Helps you fall asleep and stay asleep.
      • Can be helpful to reduce anxiety.
      • Shouldn't make you drowsy the next day as long as you're using normal doses of it.
      Downsides and risks
      AmbienRestoril
      • 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 be habit-forming, meaning you'll start to rely on Restoril (Temazepam) to sleep.
      • Your body can get used to Restoril (Temazepam) and it may not work as well long-term.
      • It's not recommended for people age 65 years or older.
      • Can't be used by pregnant women since it'll cause harm to the baby.
      • If it's used everyday for more than 2 to 4 weeks and you decide to stop taking Restoril (Temazepam), you'll need to work with your doctor to slowly get off the drug to avoid extra side effects.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      AmbienRestoril
      • 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.
      • Use only as needed when you can't sleep.
      • Starts working within 45 minutes.
      • Can cause dizziness and drowsiness, so don't do anything (like driving) after taking it that requires you to focus.
      • Take it only if you can get a full night's rest.
      • It is not safe to drink alcohol while taking this.
      • Tell your doctor if you notice any changes to your memory or mood.
      Learn more
      More about AmbienSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about RestorilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert