Diazepam vs. Ambien: What’s the difference?

Diazepam vs. Ambien: What's the difference?

Diazepam vs. Ambien: What’s the difference?

What is diazepam? What is Ambien?

Diazepam is a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety, seizures, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, to relieve muscle spasms in certain neurological diseases, and as sedation during surgery. Other benzodiazepines include alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan), clonazepam (Klonopin), and flurazepam (Dalmane). Benzodiazepines act by enhancing the effects of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. It is believed that excessive activity in the brain may lead to anxiety or other psychiatric disorders.

Ambien (zolpidem) is a sedative/hypnotic used for treating insomnia. Conventional tablets are used for short-term treatment of insomnia associated with difficulty falling asleep. Long acting tablets are used for treating insomnia associated with difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Ambien improves initiation of sleep and keeps patients asleep longer. Ambien shares some characteristics of benzodiazepines, which cause sedation, muscle relaxation, act as anti-convulsants (anti-seizure medications), and reduce anxiety. Ambien has selectivity in that it has little of the muscle relaxant and anti-seizure effects and more of the sedative effect. The oral spray form of zolpidem, Zolpimist, has more rapid absorption than the tablet form because it is absorbed through the lining of the mouth.

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