Compare Ambien vs. triazolam

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

Ambien
(zolpidem)

Halcion
(triazolam)

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 stay asleep. Halcion (triazolam) can be used to help you fall asleep, but your body can become used to it very quickly.
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 Halcion (triazolam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Ambientriazolam
  • 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 »
  • Drowsiness 8%
  • Headache 2%
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Nausea and vomiting 1%
  • Difficulty controlling movements 4%
  • Lightheadedness 4%
More triazolam side effects »
How it works
Ambientriazolam
Ambien (zolpidem) is in a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics. It interacts with your brain to make you relaxed and sleepy.Halcion (triazolam) is a benzodiazepine. It helps you stay asleep by extending how long you stay asleep, and improving the quality of your sleep so you don't wake up as much at night.
Type of medication
Ambientriazolam
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
Ambientriazolam
  • Pill
  • Oral spray
  • Sublingual pill
  • Pill
Used for
Ambientriazolam
Risk factors for serious side effects
Ambientriazolam
  • 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 »
  • Using Halcion (triazolam) for more than 10 days
  • People age 65 or older
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Not allowing enough time for sleep
Detailed Halcion (triazolam) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

Alcohol
Ambientriazolam
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs when taking Ambien (zolpidem).
  • Don't drink alcohol while taking Halcion (triazolam) since it can slow your breathing.
Kidneys and liver
Ambientriazolam
  • 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
Ambientriazolam
  • 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.
  • People taking Halcion (triazolam) for sleep while fighting jet lag have reported not being able to remember what happened a few hours after taking the medicine. This is more likely to happen if you drink alcohol, or if you don't have enough time to sleep. Give yourself at least 7 to 8 hours to sleep to stop this from happening.
Upsides and benefits
Ambientriazolam
  • 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.
  • Halcion (triazolam) is available as a generic.
  • Compared to other similar medicines, you're less likely to have a hangover effect from Halcion (triazolam) the next day.
Downsides and risks
Ambientriazolam
  • 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.
  • Your body can get used to Halcion (triazolam) after 2 weeks.
  • Stopping Halcion (triazolam) suddenly can make your insomnia worse. Talk to your doctor if you want to stop taking it.
  • People who take Halcion (triazolam) can have more anxiety during the day.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Ambientriazolam
  • 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 Halcion (triazolam) on an empty stomach; otherwise, it won't work as well.
  • Don't drink alcohol while taking Halcion (triazolam) since it can slow your breathing.
  • You should only use Halcion (triazolam) for 7 to10 days. If it doesn't help you sleep, talk to your doctor.
  • You might have a hangover-like feeling the next day after taking Halcion (triazolam). Be careful driving or doing anything requiring concentration until you know how your body reacts to it.
  • Only take Halcion (triazolam) if you know you're going to bed right away.
Learn more
More about AmbienSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Ambien (zolpidem)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about triazolamSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Halcion (triazolam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it