Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Mental health

Ambien Alternatives

(zolpidem)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Mental health
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Compare Ambien (zolpidem) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Ambien (zolpidem) or used for similar purposes.

Ambien
(zolpidem)

Sonata
(zaleplon)

Lunesta
(eszopiclone)

Unisom Sleeptabs
(doxylamine)

Rozerem
(ramelteon)

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 sleep. Sonata (Zaleplon) helps you fall asleep, but it's not as good for staying asleep. It also interacts with a lot of diseases and other drugs.Helps you sleep. Lunesta (Eszopiclone) is good for falling asleep and staying asleep. Not as habit-forming as some sleep medicines, but more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms if you stop suddenly.Treats allergy symptoms and helps you sleep. Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) can help you get a good night's sleep, but you can have a hard time waking up if you don't give yourself enough time to sleep.Helps you fall asleep. Rozerem (ramelteon) is a good sleep medicine that's not addictive, but it can be expensive.
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
Reviews for Sonata
42%
+25% better vs. Ambien
23%
+27% better vs. Ambien
27%
+11% better vs. Ambien
175 reviews
Have you used Sonata (zaleplon)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Lunesta
55%
+12% better vs. Ambien
36%
+14% better vs. Ambien
17%
+1% better vs. Ambien
592 reviews
Have you used Lunesta (eszopiclone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Unisom
58%
+9% better vs. Ambien
32%
+18% better vs. Ambien
11%
-5% worse vs. Ambien
585 reviews
Have you used Unisom Sleeptabs (doxylamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

Not enough reviews for this treatment. Help someone out, leave a review!

Have you used Rozerem (ramelteon)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AmbienSonataLunestaUnisomRozerem
  • 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 »
  • Abdominal pain 3%
  • Drowsiness 1%
  • Eye pain 2%
  • Tingling sensation 2%
  • Menstrual cramps 1%
  • Amnesia 1%
More Sonata side effects »
  • Headache 8%
  • Unpleasant taste 14%
  • Drowsiness 7%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Nausea 1%
  • Infection 2%
  • Dry mouth 2%
  • Nervousness 2%
  • Low mood disorder 4%
More Lunesta side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Unisom »
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Sleepiness 1%
  • Fatigue 1%
  • Nausea 1%
  • Worsening insomnia 1%
More Rozerem side effects »
How it works
AmbienSonataLunestaUnisomRozerem
Ambien (zolpidem) is in a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics. It interacts with your brain to make you relaxed and sleepy.Sonata (Zaleplon) 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.Lunesta (Eszopiclone) 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.Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) is an antihistamine. It blocks histamine, a chemical that causes congestion, itching, and other allergic reactions. It also makes you sleepy.Rozerem (ramelteon) is a melatonin receptor agonist. Melatonin is a chemical the body uses to maintain a normal sleeping cycle; Rozerem (ramelteon) helps you fall asleep and stay asleep.
Type of medication
AmbienSonataLunestaUnisomRozerem
Prescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription or OTCPrescription only
Available as
AmbienSonataLunestaUnisomRozerem
  • Pill
  • Oral spray
  • Sublingual pill
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for
AmbienSonataLunestaUnisomRozerem
Risk factors for serious side effects
AmbienSonataLunestaUnisomRozerem
  • 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 »
  • 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
Detailed Sonata (zaleplon) 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
Detailed Lunesta (eszopiclone) risks & warnings »
  • Using other drugs with similar ingredients
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Children age 6 years or younger
Detailed Unisom Sleeptabs (doxylamine) risks & warnings »
  • Alcohol
  • Taking narcotics, tranquilizers, or antihistamines
Detailed Rozerem (ramelteon) risks & warnings »
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.

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.

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

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
AmbienSonataLunestaUnisomRozerem
No interactions related info.
  • Interacts badly with many other medications.
No interactions related info.No interactions related info.No interactions related info.
Alcohol
AmbienSonataLunestaUnisomRozerem
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs when taking Ambien (zolpidem).
  • It works best if taken without food and avoid taking it with alcohol or drugs.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Might not be safe if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse, depression, lung disease, or a condition that affects metabolism.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
  • Drinking alcohol while taking Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) isn't recommended.
  • While taking Rozerem (ramelteon), don't drink alcohol or take other medicines that can make you sleepy, like opioids for pain relief, or benzodiazepines for anxiety.
Kidneys and liver
AmbienSonataLunestaUnisomRozerem
  • Might not be safe if you have problems with your liver, kidneys, lungs, or if you have a history of depression.
  • 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.No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.
Pain
AmbienSonataLunestaUnisomRozerem
No pain related info.No pain related info.No pain related info.No pain related info.
  • If you’re taking Rozerem (ramelteon), you need to be very careful about drinking alcohol, or taking medicines such as narcotics for pain relief, tranquilizers for anxiety, or antihistamines. Taking Rozerem (ramelteon) with alcohol or these medicines can slow down your central nervous system to the point where you stop breathing. Talk to your doctor to see if you should change your other medicines while you take Rozerem (ramelteon).
Sleep
AmbienSonataLunestaUnisomRozerem
  • 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.
  • Only take it if you have time to sleep for at least 7 hours.
  • Can cause headache, drowsiness, or dizziness.
  • Effective at helping people fall asleep faster.
  • People have sleep-walked, sleep-driven, and sleep-eaten while on Sonata (Zaleplon).
  • Lunesta (Eszopiclone) 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 Lunesta (Eszopiclone) 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.
  • Only take it if you have time to sleep for at least 7 hours.
  • Can cause headache, drowsiness, and dizziness.
  • Effective at helping people fall asleep faster and sleep longer.
  • Not habit-forming like other sleep aids can be.
  • Don't take Rozerem (ramelteon) if you're not able to sleep for at least 8 hours.
  • If you're not sleeping better after taking Rozerem (ramelteon) for 7 to 10 days, talk to your doctor.
Upsides and benefits
AmbienSonataLunestaUnisomRozerem
  • 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.
  • Effective at helping people fall asleep faster.
  • Doesn't last as long in the body as some other sleep medicines, so it's okay to take it in the middle of the night as long as you enough time to sleep. (But be sure to discuss it with your doctor first.)
  • Effective at helping people fall asleep faster and sleep longer.
  • Not as habit-forming, so you can use it for longer than most other sleep medicines.
  • Works well to help you fall asleep and doesn't make you feel groggy the next morning.
  • Has fewer side effects than prescription sleep aid medications.
  • Available over the counter without a prescription.
  • Not habit-forming like other sleep aids can be.
  • Rozerem (ramelteon) isn't a controlled medicine, and it's safe to use in people age 65 or older.
  • If you stop taking Rozerem (ramelteon) suddenly, your insomnia won't come back.
  • Rozerem (ramelteon) won't make you feel hungover or groggy the next day.
Downsides and risks
AmbienSonataLunestaUnisomRozerem
  • 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.
  • Not typically used for long-term treatment since it can be habit-forming.
  • Doesn't last as long in the body as other sleep medicines, so it's not as good at helping you stay asleep.
  • Interacts badly with many other medications.
  • Not a good option if you're pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • People have sleep-walked, sleep-driven, and sleep-eaten while on Sonata (Zaleplon).
  • Might not be safe if you have problems with your liver, kidneys, 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 behaviors so you can sleep better naturally.
  • More likely to cause withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it suddenly.
  • Might not be safe if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse, depression, lung disease, or a condition that affects metabolism.
  • 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.
  • Shouldn't be used unless you have a full night to sleep.
  • You shouldn't drive after taking Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) until you know how it affects you.
  • Drinking alcohol while taking Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) isn't recommended.
  • It can increase the risk of falls, so elderly people shouldn't use Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine).
  • Rozerem (ramelteon) is only available as a brand name.
  • Rozerem (ramelteon) is only available in 1 strength.
  • If you take Rozerem (ramelteon) on a full stomach, it won't work as well.
  • Not recommended for children.
  • Rozerem (ramelteon) can't be used if you have sleep apnea.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AmbienSonataLunestaUnisomRozerem
  • 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 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime.
  • Only take it if you have time to sleep for at least 7 hours.
  • It's very addictive and meant for short-term treatment. Dependence can start to form after using it daily for 2 weeks.
  • Can cause headache, drowsiness, or dizziness.
  • It works best if taken without food and avoid taking it with alcohol or drugs.
  • Withdrawal symptoms usually get better in 1 to 2 days.
  • Tell your doctor about any sudden confusion or changes in thoughts or behavior.
  • 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.
  • Starts working in 30 minutes.
  • Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) makes you tired, so take it before you go to sleep.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
  • If you need to use it for more than a few weeks, talk with your doctor. A different medication might work better for you long-term.
  • Unisom comes in two different generic forms, doxylamine (Unisom SleepTabs) and diphenhydramine (other Unisom products). Both are antihistamines that help you sleep.
  • Take Rozerem (ramelteon) on an empty stomach 30 minutes before you sleep.
  • Don't take Rozerem (ramelteon) if you're not able to sleep for at least 8 hours.
  • Swallow the Rozerem (ramelteon) tablet whole; don't break or crush it.
  • While taking Rozerem (ramelteon), don't drink alcohol or take other medicines that can make you sleepy, like opioids for pain relief, or benzodiazepines for anxiety.
  • If you're not sleeping better after taking Rozerem (ramelteon) for 7 to 10 days, talk to your doctor.
Learn more
More about AmbienSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Ambien (zolpidem)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about SonataSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Sonata (zaleplon)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about LunestaSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Lunesta (eszopiclone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about UnisomSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Unisom Sleeptabs (doxylamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about RozeremSide effectsFDA package insert
Have you used Rozerem (ramelteon)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it