Ambien vs. Trazodone

Reviewed on 6/18/2019

Are Ambien and Trazodone the Same Thing?

Ambien (zolpidem) and trazodone are used to treat insomnia.

Trazodone is primarily used to treat depression.

Ambien and trazodone belong to different drug classes. Ambien is a sedative/hypnotic and trazodone is an antidepressant.

Side effects of Ambien and trazodone that are similar include drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness, stuffy nose, dry mouth, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, headache, muscle ache/pain, and visual changes/blurred vision.

Side effects of Ambien that are different from trazodone include weakness, lightheadedness, "drugged" feeling, loss of coordination, nasal irritation, sore throat, stomach upset, confusion, sleep problems (insomnia), euphoria, and balance problems.

Side effects of trazodone that are different from Ambien include vomiting, changes in weight, bad taste in the mouth, or change in sexual interest/ability.

Both Ambien and trazodone may interact with alcohol, antifungal medications, seizure medicines, anxiety medications, and antidepressants.

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

Trazodone may also interact with HIV medicines, digoxin, blood thinners, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), MAO inhibitors, St. John's wort, tramadol, diuretics (water pills), medicines to treat mental illness, and migraine headache medicines.

Do not stop using Ambien 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 Trazodone?

Common side effects of Trazodone include:

  • drowsiness,
  • sedation,
  • dizziness,
  • lightheadedness,
  • constipation,
  • headache,
  • blurred vision,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • dry mouth, or
  • change in sexual interest/ability.

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Trazodone, Oleptro including:

  • extreme mood swings,
  • restlessness,
  • sleep problems,
  • dizziness,
  • fainting,
  • fast or pounding heartbeat,
  • easy bruising or bleeding,
  • agitation,
  • hallucinations,
  • fast heart rate,
  • overactive reflexes,
  • diarrhea,
  • loss of coordination,
  • very stiff (rigid) muscles,
  • high fever,
  • confusion,
  • fast or uneven heartbeats,
  • tremors,
  • trouble concentrating,
  • memory problems,
  • weakness,
  • loss of appetite,
  • unsteadiness,
  • seizures,
  • shallow breathing or breathing that stops,
  • chest pain or heavy feeling,
  • pain spreading to the arm or shoulder,
  • nausea,
  • sweating, or
  • general ill feeling (malaise).

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 Trazodone?

Trazodone is a triazolopyridine antidepressant used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults.

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 Trazodone?

Trazodone may interact with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), alcohol, barbiturates, other CNS depressants, ritonavir, ketoconazole, indinavir, itraconazole, carbamazepine, digoxin, phenytoin, serotonergic drugs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, other drugs affecting coagulation or bleeding, or warfarin. Tell your doctor all medications you use. During pregnancy, Oleptro should be used only if prescribed. This medication may be passed in breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

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 Trazodone Be Taken?

The recommended starting dose of Trazodone is 150 mg once daily in adults. The dose may be increased by 75 mg/day every three days (i.e., start 225 mg on Day 4 of therapy). The maximum daily dose should not exceed 375 mg.

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References

FDA. Ambien Drug Information.

www.ambien.com

FDA. Trazodone Product Information.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/018207s032lbl.pdf

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