Compare Oleptro vs. Ambien

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

Oleptro
(Trazodone)

Ambien
(Zolpidem)

Improves mood and helps you sleep. Oleptro (Trazodone) works well as a sleep aid, but has more side effects when used at higher doses for treating depression.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.
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Reviews & ratings
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4.833333333333333Oleptro
Reviews for Oleptro (Trazodone)
72%
of people say Oleptro (Trazodone) is worth it
48%
say it works well
24%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Ambien (Zolpidem)
66%
6% vs. Oleptro (Trazodone)
50%
+2% vs. Oleptro (Trazodone)
16%
+8% vs. Oleptro (Trazodone)
Side effects
OleptroAmbien
  • Somnolence/sedation 27%
  • Drowsiness 21%
  • Dry mouth 14%
  • Dizziness/lightheadedness 13%
  • Dizziness 13%
  • Blurred vision 11%
  • Nausea 8%
  • Fatigue 7%
  • Skin condition/edema 6%
  • Headache 6%
More Oleptro side effects »
  • 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 »
How it works
OleptroAmbien
Oleptro (Trazodone) is a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.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.
Type of medication
OleptroAmbien
Antidepressant
Serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor
Prescription only
SedativePrescription only
Available as
OleptroAmbien
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
OleptroAmbien
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 Oleptro (Trazodone)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)
Risk factors for serious side effects
OleptroAmbien
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • History of seizures
  • Alcoholism
  • Eating disorder
  • Higher dose
  • Drug interactions
    • Age 65 years or older
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    Detailed Oleptro (Trazodone) risks & warnings »
    • 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 »
      Pregnancy category
      OleptroAmbien
      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
      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
      Alcohol
      No specific alcohol-related info.
      • 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.
      Food
      No specific food-related info.
      • Works best if taken without food.
      Kidneys and liver
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      • Might not be safe if you have problems with your liver, kidneys, or lungs, or if you have a history of depression.
      Sex
      • Fewer sexual side effects than many other antidepressants.
      • Seek medical attention for unwanted, persistent erection.
      • Rarely, Oleptro (Trazodone) can cause a painful, persistent erection for 4 hours or more. Seek medical attention.
      No specific sex-related info.
      Sleep
      • Commonly used in lower doses to help treat sleep problems (insomnia).
      • Safer sleep medication than others (benzodiazepines or Unisom) for people age 65 and older.
      • Has been used for sleep and depression for a long time. There's a lot of information available about how it works and how safe it is.
      • Comes as a generic medication and is cheaper than many other sleep aides.
      • 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.
      Weight
      No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      OleptroAmbien
      • Commonly used in lower doses to help treat sleep problems (insomnia).
      • Safer sleep medication than others (benzodiazepines or Unisom) for people age 65 and older.
      • Fewer sexual side effects than many other antidepressants.
      • Has been used for sleep and depression for a long time. There's a lot of information available about how it works and how safe it is.
      • Comes as a generic medication and is cheaper than many other sleep aides.
      • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
      • 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.
      Downsides and risks
      OleptroAmbien
      • Not as effective as other medications for depression.
      • More sedating than other antidepressants.
      • Causes more side effects when used at higher doses for depression. Includes sleepiness, dizziness, upset stomach, and irregular heartbeat.
      • 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.
      • 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.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      OleptroAmbien
      • Makes you sleepy. Take at bedtime.
      • Can cause temporary dry mouth and upset stomach.
      • Seek medical attention for unwanted, persistent erection.
      • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
      • 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.
      Learn more
      More about OleptroSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about AmbienSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert