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Ambien vs. Lunesta

Are Ambien and Lunesta the Same Thing?

Ambien (zolpidem) and Lunesta (eszopiclone) are sedative/hypnotics used for treating insomnia.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Ambien?

Common side effects of Ambien include:

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

What Are Possible Side Effects of Lunesta?

Common side effects of Lunesta include:

  • dizziness,
  • tiredness,
  • daytime drowsiness (or during hours when you are not normally sleeping),
  • loss of coordination,
  • headache,
  • depression,
  • memory problems,
  • numbness or tingly feeling,
  • nervousness,
  • excitability,
  • irritability,
  • changes in menstrual periods,
  • itching,
  • increased or decreased interest in sex, or
  • blurred vision.

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Lunesta including:

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

Rarely, after taking Lunesta, people have gotten out of bed and driven vehicles while not fully awake ("sleep-driving"). People have also sleepwalked, prepared/eaten food, made phone calls, or had sex while not fully awake. Often, these people do not remember these events. This problem can be dangerous to you or to others. If you find out that you have done any of these activities after taking Lunesta, tell your doctor right away.

QUESTION

What is insomnia? See Answer

What is Ambien?

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

What is Lunesta?

Lunesta (eszopiclone) is a sedative hypnotic used to treat insomnia.

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 Lunesta?

Lunesta may interact with alcohol, 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), ketoconazole, rifampin, or antidepressants.

Ambien may also interact with chlorpromazine or itraconazole.

SLIDESHOW

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

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 Lunesta Be Taken?

The recommended starting dose of Lunesta is 1 mg, taken with a full glass of water. Avoid taking Lunesta within 1 hour after eating a high-fat or heavy meal, because this will make it harder for your body to absorb the medication.

Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when Lunesta is administered to a nursing woman. A doctor should be consulted both before becoming pregnant and before nursing while taking Lunesta. This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as anxiety, abdominal cramps, vomiting, sweating, or shakiness) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately.

Disclaimer

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Any drug information published on RxList.com regarding general drug information, drug side effects, drug usage, dosage, and more are sourced from the original drug documentation found in its FDA drug monograph.

Drug information found in the drug comparisons published on RxList.com is primarily sourced from the FDA drug information. The drug comparison information found in this article does not contain any data from clinical trials with human participants or animals performed by any of the drug manufacturers comparing the drugs.

The drug comparisons information provided does not cover every potential use, warning, drug interaction, side effect, or adverse or allergic reaction. RxList.com assumes no responsibility for any healthcare administered to a person based on the information found on this site.

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If you have specific questions regarding a drug’s safety, side effects, usage, warnings, etc., you should contact your doctor or pharmacist, or refer to the individual drug monograph details found on the FDA.gov or RxList.com websites for more information.

You may also report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA by visiting the FDA MedWatch website or calling 1-800-FDA-1088.

References
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
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