ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Xanax vs. Ambien - A Comparison Of The Two Sleep Enhancing Medications

Updated on February 19, 2011

According to the review of the Medical Clinics of North America in the year 2010, insomnia is ranked first among common sleeping disorders. It is also commonly seen and reported in routine medical evaluations. To remedy this sleeping disorder and to keep it from recurring, sleeping pills are prescribed and administered to patients. Taking these kinds of medications could be very helpful. However, patients have to know which kind of medicine to take for their sleeping disorder, as these medicines could pose a health hazard if not properly handled.

Modern treatments for this sleeping disorder usually includes nonbenzodiazepines and benzodiazepines. When it comes to these kind of medications, the popular brand among the benzodiazepines is Xanax, and the nonbenzodiazepine counterpart is Ambien. Both are administered to patients with sleep problems, but they have unique characteristics. Read on and know which medication to take, if you are suffering chronic sleeplessness or anxiety.

Brief History

Xanax is otherwise known as alprazolam, was patented in the year 1976 by Upjohn (which later became a part of Pfizer, now a very famous company manufacturing various well-known medicines). This medication has properties that prevents anxiety, convulsion, and aids sedation as well. Xanax is FDA approved, and is well-prescribed for the treatment of sleeping disorders due to anxiety.

Ambien, on the other hand is also known as zolpidem. Synthelabo/Sanofi-Aventi patented this drug in the year 1983. This medication has similar characteristics with Xanax, but Ambien is approved and more known to address sleeping disorder in particular.

Classification And Its Popularity Among Consumers

Xanax belongs to the benzodiazepine group of drugs, together with Valium. Ambien on the other hand, is a nonbenzodiazepine together with Sonata and Lunesta.

Both of these sleep inducing medications belong to the top 200 list of the "Prescription Drug Info". In April 2010, Xanax became the most popular medication, while Ambien is on the 96th spot.

How It Works

Both Xanax and Ambien stimulate sleep by targeting the GABA receptor, a very important neurotransmitter situated in the CNS, or the central nervous system. These medicines work by stimulating the receptors in the brain, not in the spine, thus it allows patients to sleep comfortably without having to alter body coordination. Both these sleep inducing drugs increase GABA and reach the said receptor.

One thing to note about Ambien is its ability to enhance deep sleep. Xanax provide a relaxing sleep for those who are suffering from moderate to severe anxiety, however, it is not to aid deep sleep among those with difficulty in sleeping.

Xanax and Ambien both aids sleep, in cases when a person suffers insomnia due to anxiety, or any other factors. However, both of these medication is not recommended for long term use.

Should these medications be used for a long time, the patient will more likely develop dependence leading to tolerance, and withdrawal symptoms when stopped. Thus, Xanax and Ambien should be taken with medical supervision. The safe and recommended dose should be followed, as well as the recommended time frame for medication.

Effects Of Ambien And Xanax
Side effects of Ambien and Xanax are similar to each other. Both of these sleep inducing medication are associated with withdrawal symptoms when the patient becomes dependent and develops tolerance in any of these drugs. Xanax and Ambien is also reported to be one of the most commonly abused drugs, among others. Some suicide cases are reported to be caused by the withdrawal symptoms of both Ambien and Xanax.

Patients should take precaution in taking any of these medicines for the cure of anxiety, insomnia and other related disorders. It is encouraged that patients should always consult their doctor before taking a higher dose, or extending the treatment. Aside from some life-threatening withdrawal associated with these medicines, nonbenzodiazepines are also reported to be a potential cancer-causing agent. Both Xanax and Ambien are found to be carcinogenic in rats, and it could be true to humans as well.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hello! faafekd interesting faafekd site! I'm really like it! Very, very faafekd good!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very nice site!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hello! febgecf interesting febgecf site! I'm really like it! Very, very febgecf good!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)