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Restoril vs. Ambien

Reviewed on 4/8/2019

Are Restoril and Ambien the Same Thing?

Restoril (temazepam) and Ambien (zolpidem) are sedative hypnotics used to treat insomnia symptoms.

Restoril and Ambien are different types of sedatives. Restoril is a benzodiazepine and Ambien is a type A GABA receptor agonist.

Side effects of Restoril and Ambien that are similar include dizziness, daytime drowsiness (or during hours when you are not normally sleeping), muscle weakness, loss of balance or coordination, headache, blurred vision or vision changes, nausea, stomach upset, or dry mouth.

Side effects of Restoril that are different from Ambien include amnesia or forgetfulness, depression, nervousness, excitability, irritability, vomiting, increased thirst, or numbness, burning, pain, or, tingly feeling

Side effects of Ambien that are different from Restoril include lightheadedness, "drugged" feeling, tiredness, stuffy nose, nasal irritation, sore throat, constipation, diarrhea, muscle pain, confusion, sleep problems (insomnia), or euphoria.

Both Restoril and Ambien may interact with alcohol or other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety), itraconazole, or ketoconazole.

Ambien may also interact with chlorpromazine or rifampin.

Withdrawal symptoms may occur if you suddenly stop taking Restoril or Ambien.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Restoril?

Common side effects of Restoril include:

  • dizziness
  • daytime drowsiness (or during hours when you are not normally sleeping)
  • amnesia or forgetfulness
  • muscle weakness
  • loss of balance or coordination
  • headache
  • blurred vision
  • depression
  • nervousness
  • excitability
  • irritability
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • stomach discomfort
  • dry mouth
  • increased thirst, or
  • numbness
  • burning
  • pain, or
  • tingly feeling

Tell your doctor if you experience serious side effects of Restoril including weak or shallow breathing, fast or pounding heartbeats, confusion, slurred speech, unusual thoughts or behavior, hallucinations, agitation, aggression, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself, restless muscle movements (in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck), pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness, fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, problems with urination, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

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).

QUESTION

What is insomnia? See Answer

What Is Restoril?

Restoril (temazepam) is a benzodiazepine sedative hypnotic used to treat insomnia symptoms, such as trouble falling or staying asleep. Restoril is available in generic form.

What Is Ambien?

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

What Drugs Interact With Restoril?

Restoril may interact with fluvoxamine, itraconazole, ketoconazole, nefazodone, or other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety). Tell your doctor all medication you use. Restoril must not be used during pregnancy. Other medications in this class have caused birth defects when used in the first three months of pregnancy, and have also caused unusual drowsiness, feeding problems, and liver problems in newborns when used at or near the time of delivery, or withdrawal symptoms in newborns when used for a long time during pregnancy. Use birth control while taking this drug. This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding. Withdrawal symptoms (such as unusual depressed/anxious mood, stomach/muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, shakiness, seizures) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication.

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.

SLIDESHOW

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

How Should Restoril Be Taken?

The recommended dose of Restoril is 40 to 320 mcg twice daily for adults and 40 to 80 mcg twice daily for children. If you are also using a bronchodilator, use it first before using the beclomethasone inhaler. There may be other drugs that can interact with Restoril.

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.

Disclaimer

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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
SOURCE:

FDA. Restoril Product Information.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/018163s064lbl.pdf

Sanofi-aventis. Ambien Product Information.

https://www.ambien.com/
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