Ambien vs. Quviviq

What's the Difference?

Ambien and Quviviq are both prescription medications used to treat sleep disorders, but they have some key differences. Ambien, also known as zolpidem, is a sedative-hypnotic drug that works by enhancing the effects of a neurotransmitter called GABA in the brain. It helps individuals fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. On the other hand, Quviviq, or lemborexant, is a dual orexin receptor antagonist that regulates the sleep-wake cycle by blocking the action of orexin, a neuropeptide that promotes wakefulness. Quviviq is designed to help individuals with insomnia by improving sleep onset and maintenance. While both medications are effective in treating sleep disorders, their mechanisms of action and potential side effects may vary, making it important to consult a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable option.


Brand NameAmbienQuviviq
Generic NameZolpidemNot available
Drug ClassSedative-hypnoticSedative-hypnotic
Available Dosage FormsTablet, extended-release tablet, oral sprayTablet
Common Side EffectsDrowsiness, dizziness, headacheDrowsiness, dizziness, headache
ContraindicationsAllergy to zolpidem, sleep apnea, severe liver diseaseAllergy to quviviq, sleep apnea, severe liver disease
Drug InteractionsAlcohol, CNS depressantsAlcohol, CNS depressants

Further Detail


When it comes to treating sleep disorders, Ambien and Quviviq are two commonly prescribed medications. Both drugs belong to the class of sedative-hypnotics and are used to help individuals with insomnia fall asleep faster and maintain a restful sleep throughout the night. While they share a similar purpose, Ambien and Quviviq have distinct attributes that set them apart. In this article, we will delve into the various aspects of these medications, including their mechanisms of action, side effects, dosage, and potential interactions.

Mechanism of Action

Ambien, also known by its generic name zolpidem, works by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that inhibits brain activity. By binding to specific GABA receptors in the brain, Ambien helps to calm the central nervous system, inducing sleepiness and promoting relaxation.

On the other hand, Quviviq, or eszopiclone, functions similarly to Ambien by targeting GABA receptors. However, Quviviq has a more selective action, specifically binding to the alpha subunit of the GABA-A receptor. This selectivity is believed to contribute to its improved sleep maintenance properties compared to Ambien.


Both Ambien and Quviviq have been proven to be effective in treating insomnia. Clinical studies have shown that Ambien significantly reduces the time it takes to fall asleep and increases total sleep time. It is available in immediate-release and extended-release formulations, allowing individuals to choose the option that best suits their needs.

Similarly, Quviviq has demonstrated efficacy in improving sleep onset and sleep maintenance. It has been shown to decrease the number of awakenings during the night and increase total sleep time. Quviviq is available in tablet form, with different strengths to accommodate individual requirements.

Side Effects

As with any medication, Ambien and Quviviq can cause side effects. Common side effects of Ambien include drowsiness, dizziness, headache, and a feeling of lightheadedness. Some individuals may also experience gastrointestinal disturbances, such as nausea or vomiting. In rare cases, Ambien may lead to sleepwalking or other complex sleep-related behaviors.

Quviviq, on the other hand, may cause similar side effects, including drowsiness, dizziness, and headache. Additionally, individuals taking Quviviq may experience an unpleasant taste in their mouth or have difficulty with coordination. It is important to note that both medications can impair cognitive and motor functions, so it is advised to avoid activities that require mental alertness, such as driving, until the effects of the drug have worn off.

Dosage and Administration

Ambien is available in 5 mg and 10 mg immediate-release tablets, as well as 6.25 mg and 12.5 mg extended-release tablets. The recommended starting dose for adults is 5 mg for immediate-release tablets and 6.25 mg for extended-release tablets. The dosage can be adjusted based on individual response and tolerability, but it should not exceed 10 mg for immediate-release tablets or 12.5 mg for extended-release tablets within a 24-hour period.

Quviviq comes in 1 mg, 2 mg, and 3 mg tablets. The recommended starting dose for adults is 2 mg, taken immediately before bedtime. Similar to Ambien, the dosage can be adjusted based on individual response and tolerability, but it should not exceed 3 mg within a 24-hour period.


Both Ambien and Quviviq can interact with other medications, potentially leading to adverse effects. It is crucial to inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements, to avoid potential interactions.

Ambien may interact with central nervous system depressants, such as benzodiazepines, opioids, and alcohol, intensifying their sedative effects. It may also interact with medications that inhibit or induce certain liver enzymes, affecting the metabolism of Ambien and potentially altering its efficacy.

Quviviq, on the other hand, may interact with other sedative-hypnotics, including benzodiazepines and barbiturates, increasing the risk of excessive sedation. It is important to avoid alcohol consumption while taking Quviviq, as it can potentiate the sedative effects of the medication.


In conclusion, Ambien and Quviviq are both effective medications for the treatment of insomnia. While they share a similar mechanism of action by targeting GABA receptors, Quviviq's selectivity may provide improved sleep maintenance properties. Both medications can cause side effects, and it is important to follow the recommended dosage and avoid potential interactions with other medications. Ultimately, the choice between Ambien and Quviviq should be made in consultation with a healthcare professional, taking into consideration individual needs and preferences.

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