Ambien vs Lunesta: Which is the better treatment for insomnia?

Ambien Vs. Lunesta

Difficulty falling or staying asleep is a day-to-day problem. It can be due to daily life stress or activities, changing sleep patterns, or any other life or work-related issues. But consistently trouble to fall asleep is insomnia. There are insomnia medications, such as Ambien and Lunesta. 

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that continuously stays you awake for a prolonged period. People with insomnia experience difficulty falling or stay asleep, waking up too often during the night, and trouble going back to sleep. If a person has these symptoms, it is advisable to see a doctor and have treatment for sleep disorders.

The first-line treatment for sleep disorders is to change your lifestyle and sleep habits. If it does not work, the underlying cause may be different. A doctor should prescribe medications to treat insomnia.

Ambien vs Lunesta

To know about sleeping disorders, check this blog here: Sleeping Disorders 

Two of the most often prescribed medications for the treatment of short term insomnia are Lunesta and Ambien. Ambien is a brand name version for zolpidem, while Lunesta is a brand name version for eszopiclone drugs.

Both Ambien and Lunesta belong to a sedative-hypnotics class of drugs prescribed to people above 18 years of age for the treatment of insomnia.

People often use Lunesta or Ambien for insomnia. It is essential to know the differences and similarities between these medications.

How do they work?

Both Lunesta and Ambien decreases the activity of the brain to produce a sense of calmness. It helps the insomniac person fall asleep. Both are short term use of medications. Ambien and Lunesta work similarly in the brain and causes the same efficacy. However, they differ in forms and strengths and how long their effects last.

You can buy Ambien online in 5mg and 10mg immediate-release tablets and 6.25mg and 12.5mg extended-release tablets.

Lunesta is available in 1mg, 2mg, and 3mg immediate-release tablets. It does not come in extended-release formulations.

However, the immediate-release Lunesta is a longer-acting medication compared to immediate-release Ambien. Lunesta is more effective in helping you stay asleep.


The usual dose of Lunesta pills is 1mg per day given at bedtime. It is the same for both men and women. The doctor may increase a dose if it is not efficient for a person with insomnia.

The usual dose of immediate-release Ambien sleeping pills is 5mg per day for women and 5-10mg per day for men. The average daily dose of extended-release tablets is 6.25mg for women and 6.25-12.5mg for men.

Side Effects

FDA (Food & Drug Administration) issued a safety announcement for Ambien in 2013. It causes lingering effects in the morning for many people. These effects impair the alertness of a person. Women are more likely to get affected as their body process Ambien more slowly.

The most common side effects caused by both Lunesta and Ambien are dizziness, drowsiness, and lightheadedness.

Severe side effects of Lunesta and Ambien include:

  • Memory loss,
  • Behavior changes
  • Depression or suicidal thoughts
  • Hallucination
  • Confusion

People using Lunesta or Ambien sleeping pills start doing unusual things in sleep, such as sleepwalking, cooking, eating, driving, making a phone call, and having sex. Some of these activities could be dangerous and even life-threatening. Doctors suggest taking sleeping pills only when you have complete eight to nine hours for sleeping to prevent unconscious activities.


Frequent drug interactions of Lunesta and Ambien include:

  • Muscle relaxants
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Allergy medications
  • Opioid analgesics
  • Cough and cold medications


Lunesta and Ambien both are effective medications, but it is not certain which one works best for you, causing lesser side effects. Therefore, consult your doctor about the effectiveness and side effects of both medicines before taking them.

Moreover, never take Lunesta or Ambien sleeping pills with alcohol. It results in severe CNS depression and can lead to fatal side effects.

Inform your doctor about all the previous and current medical issues you have. Insomnia is sometimes a symptom of some other medical condition.

Inform your doctor about all the concurrent medications you are taking. Drug interaction with Lunesta and Ambien can be dangerous. A list of all supplements, over-the-counter medications, and prescription drugs helps your doctor to decide which sleep medicine is best for you and in what doses.

But in case you experience severe side effects, consult your doctor.


Using Lunesta and Ambien for insomnia treatment carries the risk of dependence and withdrawal. Similarly, people using drugs at high doses or for prolonged periods may develop a physical dependence.

Above all, abruptly stopping the medication can cause withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms of Ambien and Lunesta withdrawal are similar such as nausea, vomiting, and shakiness. Also, consult your doctor for gradually reducing the doses when you need to discontinue the medication.

A person taking Ambien CR (Read about Ambien CR) or extended-release Ambien should not engage in activities that need complete alertness such as driving or operating machinery, following morning after taking the medication. It stays in the body for longer durations and may cause impairment of alertness.

In conclusion, try and use either of the medicines according to the diagnosis which your medical professional provides you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *