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Restoril vs. Ambien: Comparing Two Sleep Aids


Restoril vs. Ambien: Comparing Two Sleep Aids

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While sleep is essential to your overall well-being, it’s not always easy to come by if you struggle with insomnia. A lack of sleep can contribute to various health concerns and mood changes, so it’s important to seek treatment to get the rest you need. 

With so many treatment options available, it’s hard to know which one will work best for your symptoms. In this article, we’ll discuss Restoril and Ambien, two sleep aids that could help alleviate your insomnia symptoms. 

If you’re navigating sleeplessness and are looking for insomnia treatment, Klarity can help. Take our brief self-evaluation, and we’ll connect you with a licensed care provider in your state within 48 hours. 

This article discusses suicide, suicidal ideation, and self-harm. If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or is in crisis, contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately at 800-273-8255.

What is Restoril?

Restoril is also known as Temazepam in its generic form. It’s a prescription medication within the benzodiazepine class of drugs, known for its sedative and calming effects. This medication is often used to treat sleep issues so that you can fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.  

Restoril Forms and Doses

Restoril is available in both immediate-release and extended-release capsules. The recommended starting dose of Restoril is 7.5 mg for adults, but your care provider may increase or decrease that dose based on your response to the medication and individual needs.

Conditions Restoril Treats

Restoril works by slowing down the central nervous system and is used to treat insomnia or difficulty falling and staying asleep. Because Restoril is a member of the benzodiazepine family, it can have off-label uses for conditions including generalized anxiety, OCD, schizophrenia, muscle spasms, and seizures.

Restoril Costs

The cost of Restoril varies depending on the pharmacy you use and your insurance coverage. It is generally more affordable with insurance, but you can find coupons or discounts online to help reduce the cost. Restoril’s most common generic form can cost anywhere from $39.00 to $227.66 monthly.

Restoril Side Effects

Like all medications, Restoril can cause side effects. Some common side effects of Restoril include:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness during the day
  • Memory issues
  • Loss of coordination
  • Headache
  • Vision problems
  • Muscle weakness
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Excitability
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased thirst
  • Numbness or tingly feeling

More serious side effects may include confusion, hallucinations, suicidal ideation, anxiety, depression, and difficulty breathing. You should immediately contact your care provider if you experience any side effects.

Restoril Warnings For Use

Before taking Restoril, you should tell your healthcare provider if you have any allergies or medical conditions, such as liver or kidney disease, lung disease, or a history of drug or alcohol abuse. You should also tell your care provider if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as Restoril may not be safe to take in these situations.

Restoril Interactions

Restoril can interact with other medications, benzodiazepines, opioids, and alcohol. Of the medications most commonly cross-referenced, Restoril has major interactions with Norco and Tramadol. It is important to tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you are taking before starting Restoril to avoid any potential interactions. 

Moderate interactions occur with the following:

  • Ativan
  • Cymbalta
  • Flexeril
  • Gabapentin
  • Klonopin
  • Lasix
  • Lisinopril
  • Lyrica
  • Neurontin
  • Seroquel
  • Trazodone
  • Xanax
  • Zoloft

What is Ambien?

Ambien, also known as Zolpidem, is a prescription medication within the sedative or hypnotic class of drugs. It works by boosting the chemical gamma-aminobutyric (GABA), which blocks some of the neurotransmitters that send messages to your brain, resulting in a calming effect. 

Ambien Forms and Doses

Ambien is available in two forms: immediate-release and extended-release tablets. The immediate-release tablets help you fall asleep, while the extended-release tablets assist with falling and staying asleep, releasing the medication slowly over time. Your dose varies from 5 to 12.5 mg daily, depending on the form and your care provider’s recommendation.

Conditions Ambien Treats

An effective treatment for insomnia, Ambien helps you fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. It can also be prescribed off-label to treat some neurological disorders. 

Ambien Costs

The cost of Ambien depends on the pharmacy you use, the dose you’re prescribed, and your insurance coverage. For the most common form of generic Ambien, you can expect to pay between $8.19 and $42.71. Speak with your provider about taking the generic form of Ambien for more affordable prices. 

Ambien Side Effects

Some common side effects of Ambien include the following.

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of coordination
  • Congestion
  • Nasal irritation
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Confusion
  • Euphoria
  • Visual changes

More serious side effects may include:

  • Hallucinations
  • New or worsening depression
  • Unusual thoughts
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Anxiety
  • Aggression 
  • Difficulty breathing 

You should contact your care provider immediately if you experience any of these side effects.

Ambien Warnings For Use

Before taking Ambien, you should tell your healthcare provider if you have any allergies or medical conditions, such as liver or kidney disease, lung disease, or a history of drug or alcohol misuse. Additionally, if you experience mental health issues or sleep apnea, it’s important to let your provider know before taking Ambien. 

Ambien Interactions

Ambien interacts with 435 drugs, with 28 major interactions, 405 moderate interactions, and two minor interactions. Of the medications most frequently checked, Ambien has major interactions with Tramadol.  

Moderate interactions include:

  • Ativan
  • Clonazepam
  • Cymbalta
  • Flexeril
  • Gabapentin
  • Klonopin
  • Lexapro
  • Lisinopril
  • Lyrica
  • Trazodone
  • Xanax
  • Zoloft

Which Insomnia Medication Should I Take?

Whether you take Restoril, Ambien, or another sleep aid depends on your health history, current symptoms, and your care provider’s recommendation. Both medications can help you fall asleep. If you’re specifically looking to target staying asleep, Ambien might be the better option, as it can reduce the number of times you wake up throughout the night. 

Restoril and Ambien Frequently Asked Questions

Are Restoril and Ambien the same class of drug?

No, Restoril and Ambien are not the same class of drug. Restoril is a benzodiazepine and Ambien is a sedative-hypnotic. 

What’s better for Insomnia? Restoril or Ambien?

The best option for treating insomnia depends on your needs and medical history. Ambien is more effective in helping you fall and stay asleep, but it may not be the right choice for everyone. 

How should Restoril be taken? How should Ambien be taken?

Ambien and Restoril should be taken exactly as prescribed, no more or less, since they can create harmful dependency. These medications should be taken before bed with a full glass of water for the best results. Additionally, if you abruptly stop taking either drug, you could experience withdrawal, so it’s important to taper off with your provider’s guidance.

Can Restoril cause depression? Can Ambien?

Restoril and Ambien can cause a depressed mood, worsen current depression, or contribute to other symptoms of depression. If you are taking Restoril or Ambien and experiencing symptoms of depression, such as a loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy, feelings of hopelessness, or changes in appetite and sleep patterns, speak with your provider.

Can I drive on Restoril or Ambien?

You should not drive while taking Restoril or Ambien, as these medications can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and impaired coordination. 

Can I drink alcohol when taking Restoril or Ambien?

Do not drink alcohol while taking Restoril or Ambien. Alcohol can increase the sedative effects of these medications, which can cause excessive drowsiness and increase the risk of other side effects, such as dizziness and difficulty breathing. If you are taking these medications, it’s best to avoid alcohol altogether.

Does it matter what time of day I take Restoril?

Take Restoril and Ambien immediately before bedtime. By taking these medications at the same time each day, you can establish a consistent sleep-wake cycle. You should always follow the instructions of your healthcare provider when taking these medications, as using them at the wrong time of day can increase the risk of adverse side effects.

Start Your Insomnia Treatment Today With Healthcare Providers on Klarity

Getting a good night’s rest shouldn’t be up for debate. Klarity’s telehealth platform allows you to quickly access treatment without the long wait times and inconvenient commutes of a traditional office.

No insurance? No problem. We work hard to offer affordable rates, with your first appointment at $149 and every subsequent visit just $59. When your medication and dosage are stable, your provider may enroll you into the monthly direct refill program, which only costs $25 per prescription.

Learn more about insomnia treatment and take our self-evaluation to get started with your insomnia treatment today!


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“Temazepam (RX)” MedScape

Sanjai Sinha. “Restoril”

Ruth Jessen Hickman. “Restoril (Temazepam) – Oral” VerywellHealth

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John P. Cunha. “Restoril Side Effects Center” RxList

“Restoril Interactions”,restoril.html

Sanjai Sinha. “Ambien”

“Zolpidem” NHS

Femi Aremu. “Zolpidem, Oral Tablet” Healthline

Agustin Dominguez Linio. “Off-Label Uses for Zolpidem in Treating Neurologic Disorders” Medical News Bulletin

“Ambien” GoodRx

John P. Cunha. “Ambien Side Effects Center” RxList

“Ambien Interactions”,ambien.html

Kristi C. Torres. “Restoril vs. Ambien: Differences, similarities, and which is better for you” SingleCare

IBM Micromedex. “Temazepam (Oral Route)” Mayo Clinic

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