Ambien vs. Belsomra

Are Ambien and Belsomra the Same Thing?

Ambien (zolpidem) and Belsomra (suvorexant) are sedative/hypnotics used to treat insomnia.

Side effects of Ambien and Belsomra that are similar include daytime drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, diarrhea, and headache.

Side effects of Ambien that are different from Belsomra include weakness, lightheadedness, "drugged" feeling, tiredness, loss of coordination, stuffy nose, nasal irritation, sore throat, nausea, constipation, stomach upset, muscle pain, confusion, sleep problems (insomnia), euphoria, balance problems, and visual changes.

Side effects of Belsomra that are different from Ambien include sleepiness, abnormal dreams, cough, and upper respiratory tract infection.

Both Ambien and Belsomra may interact with alcohol, azole antifungals, seizure medications, and rifampin.

Ambien may also interact with other medicines that make you sleepy or slow your breathing (such as cold medicines, pain medications, muscle relaxants, and medicines for depression or anxiety), chlorpromazine, and antidepressants.

Belsomra may also interact with antibiotics, nefazodone, antiretrovirals, conivaptan, aprepitant, diltiazem, grapefruit juice, imatinib, verapamil, and digoxin.

Do not stop using Ambien or Belsomra suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Insomnia symptoms may also return after you stop taking Ambien. These symptoms may seem to be worse than before you started taking Ambien.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Ambien?

Common side effects of Ambien include:

  • Daytime drowsiness,
  • Dizziness,
  • Weakness,
  • Lightheadedness,
  • "Drugged" feeling,
  • Tiredness,
  • Loss of coordination,
  • Stuffy nose,
  • Nasal irritation,
  • Dry mouth,
  • Sore throat,
  • Nausea,
  • Constipation,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Stomach upset,
  • Headache,
  • Muscle pain,
  • Confusion,
  • Insomnia,
  • Euphoria,
  • Ataxia (balance problems), and
  • Visual changes.

Tell your doctor if you have unlikely but serious side effects of Ambien including:

  • memory loss,
  • mental/mood/behavior changes (such as new or worsening depression, abnormal thoughts, thoughts of suicide, hallucinations, confusion, agitation, aggressive behavior, or anxiety).

What Are Possible Side Effects of Belsomra?

Common side effects of Belsomra include:

  • headache,
  • sleepiness,
  • next day drowsiness,
  • dizziness,
  • abnormal dreams,
  • diarrhea,
  • dry mouth,
  • cough, and
  • upper respiratory tract infection

Belsomra may cause serious side effects that you may not know are happening to you, including “sleep-walking” or doing other activities when you are asleep like eating, talking, having sex, or driving a car. Call your doctor right away if you find out you have done any of these activities after taking Belsomra.

SLIDESHOW

Sleep Disorders: Foods That Help Sleep or Keep You Awake See Slideshow

What Is Ambien?

Ambien (zolpidem) is a sedative/hypnotic used for treating insomnia.

What Is Belsomra?

Belsomra (suvorexant) is a selective antagonist for orexin receptors OX1R and OX2R used to treat insomnia characterized by difficulties with sleep onset and/or sleep maintenance.

What Drugs Interact With Ambien?

Ambien may interact with other medicines that make you sleepy or slow your breathing (such as cold medicines, pain medications, muscle relaxants, and medicines for depression, anxiety, or seizures) or antidepressants.

Ambien may also interact with alcohol, chlorpromazine, itraconazole, ketoconazole, or rifampin.

Insomnia symptoms may also return after you stop taking Ambien. These symptoms may seem to be worse than before you started taking Ambien.

What Drugs Interact With Belsomra?

Belsomra may interact with alcohol, azole antifungals, antibiotics, nefazodone, antiretrovirals, conivaptan, aprepitant, diltiazem, grapefruit juice, imatinib, verapamil, rifampin, carbamazepine, phenytoin, and digoxin. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. During pregnancy, Belsomra should be taken only if prescribed. This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding. Withdrawal symptoms may occur if you suddenly stop taking this medication.

Belsomra may also interact with primaquine, thabendazole, antibiotics, or heart rhythm medications.

QUESTION

What is insomnia? See Answer

How Should Ambien Be Taken?

The recommended adult dose of Ambien is 10 mg as conventional tablets or spray or 12.5 mg as extended-release tablets.

How Should Belsomra Be Taken?

The recommended dose for Belsomra is 10 mg, taken no more than once per night and within 30 minutes of going to bed, with at least 7 hours remaining before the planned time of awakening.

Disclaimer

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References

FDA. Ambien Drug Information.

www.ambien.com

Merck. Belsomra Product Information.

https://www.belsomra.com

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