Compare Ambien vs. Silenor

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

Ambien
(zolpidem)

Silenor
(doxepin)

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 relax, and sleep. Doxepin is a non-addictive way to help people stay asleep, but it comes with a list of side effects.
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Coupons for Ambien
Best available price for 30 (10mg) tablets of ambien
Coupons for Silenor
Best available price for 30 (10mg) capsules of doxepin
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

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Have you used Silenor (doxepin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AmbienSilenor
  • 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 »

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

FDA side effect reports for Silenor »
How it works
AmbienSilenor
Ambien (zolpidem) is in a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics. It interacts with your brain to make you relaxed and sleepy.Doxepin is a tricyclic antidepressant. It keeps norepinephrine and serotonin in your brain longer, helping you relax, and sleep. It also blocks the chemical that causes itch, and wakefulness.
Type of medication
AmbienSilenor
Prescription only
Available as
AmbienSilenor
  • Pill
  • Oral spray
  • Sublingual pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
AmbienSilenor
  • Alcoholism Anxiety Depression Anxiety Depression Anxiety Depression Psychoneurotic Personality Disorder Insomnia Pruritus Moderate
Risk factors for serious side effects
AmbienSilenor
  • 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 »
    Coming soon.
    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.

    Interactions
    AmbienSilenor
    No interactions related info.
    • Doxepin can interact with many different medications, vitamins, and alternative treatments.
    Alcohol
    AmbienSilenor
    • Avoid alcohol and drugs when taking Ambien (zolpidem).
    • Stay away from alcohol while taking Doxepin, because it can slow your brain, and stop your breathing.
    Kidneys and liver
    AmbienSilenor
    • 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
    AmbienSilenor
    • 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.
    No sleep related info.
    Weight
    AmbienSilenor
    No weight related info.
    • Doxepin can increase your appetite, leading to weight gain.
    Upsides and benefits
    AmbienSilenor
    • 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.
    • In a clinical trial Doxepin was able to significantly improve sleep quality.
    • Doxepin helps improve your appetite, energy level, and sense of well-being, which increases your interests.
    • Once your body gets used to Doxepin, most of the side effects go away.
    • Doxepin comes in a generic form, so it is pretty cheap.
    • Doxepin is not addictive.
    Downsides and risks
    AmbienSilenor
    • 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.
    • Some people taking Doxepin walk, drive, eat, and have sex while sleeping. Be sure to tell your doctor if this happens to you.
    • Doxepin can increase your appetite, leading to weight gain.
    • Taking Doxepin can make emptying your bladder difficult.
    • Some people have suicidal thoughts when taking Doxepin.
    • Doxepin can interact with many different medications, vitamins, and alternative treatments.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    AmbienSilenor
    • 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 Doxepin 30 minutes before bedtime so it starts working when you get in bed.
    • Avoid activities that need you to be fully alert like driving, until you know how Doxepin affects you.
    • Follow up with your doctor so he or she can make sure Doxepin is the right medication for your depression.
    • Stay away from alcohol while taking Doxepin, because it can slow your brain, and stop your breathing.
    • Some people get dry mouth, or constipation when taking Doxepin. Sugar free gum or candy can help the dry mouth, and drinking more fluid can help with constipation.
    • Avoid direct sunlight while taking this medication. When you can’t avoid it, be sure to use sunscreen. It’s also important to put on a long-sleeved shirt, pants, hat, and sunglasses.
    Learn more
    More about AmbienSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Ambien (zolpidem)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about SilenorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Silenor (doxepin)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it