Both Ambien and Lunesta are prescription drugs designed to combat insomnia. Each is a nonbensodiazepine hypnotic drug that has a similar effect on the body, but they also carry with them the risk of addiction as well. While each drug is similar in makeup, there are differences in how they are prescribed.
Ambien is what is known as a sedative-hypnotic drug that is designed to help people fall asleep faster. The product is available in tablets of varying dosages with an extended release version that helps people stay asleep longer. Lunesta is also a sedative-hypnotic drug that is used to treat insomnia by helping people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Lunesta also comes in tablet form with varying dosages depending on the prescription.
Ambien is taken orally on an empty stomach and is designed for short term usage that lasts no longer than two weeks in total. The effect of the drug on an empty stomach is very quick, so people are advised to take Ambien when they have gone to bed. Plus, they will need to allow for a full seven to eight hours of sleep in order to provide the body with what it needs for the night.
Lunesta has the same effects as Ambien and is taken in the same manner as well. Taking either drug on a full stomach will lessen its effects as it will take longer to get into the blood stream. Both drugs are also stored in the same manner out of the sunlight and they can last up to three years on the shelf.
The Differences Between Ambien and Lunesta
There are the typical differences that lie between the dosage amounts and how they are administered, but the most notable difference is that Lunesta is not limited to short term use like Ambien. Ambien is designed to overcome insomnia is a short period of time so that the body can properly rest. Lunesta however is available for longer-term usage which does raise questions about its addiction levels.
However, the differences themselves are fairly minor overall when it comes to their effect, including side effects which are generally considered annoying, but not serious. While both products may produce an allergic reaction in certain patients that will require immediate medical attention, the general side effects of headache, dizziness and the like are remarkably similar.
Overall, it can be stated that both drugs are very similar to the point where the only real difference is how long you can take Lunesta as compared to Ambien. In essence, those who feel that their insomnia issues may last for longer than two weeks may be more interested in taking Lunesta. However, the risk of becoming addicted to both brands of sleeping pills is strong enough to warrant caution and talking to your doctor to ensure that your body does not become addicted to either one.
In the end, the differences are fairly minor, so you may actually have some selection when it comes to which one works best for you.