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Difference Between Ambien and Ambien CR

Ambien vs Ambien CR

Insomnia is a difficulty in sleeping or lack of sleep. The rate of those who have insomnia has gone to 15% of the entire American population. But the problem commonly occurs in women who are more exposed to alcoholic substances, cigarette smoking, use of narcotics, and depressing activities. Insomnia is not a disease, though. It usually disappears after a short period of time. However, if insomnia occurs more frequently, over three weeks, then it could be a symptom of serious types of diseases.

That is why as minor as insomnia may seem, it needs to be treated especially if it has fallen into the chronic category. This is because a lack of sleep weakens a human’s immune system, exposing him/her to ailments. Insomnia can be cured with medicines. Although it is completely unnecessary to use medication when you’re an insomniac because it only leads to drug dependency, you really need to utilize a medication prescription from your doctor so you can avoid getting serious mental illnesses such as brain cancer and serious cardiovascular problems.

Ambien and Ambien CR are sedative pills that help people relax so they fall asleep and stay asleep. Both are prescribed medications used to cure short-term insomnia and other brain disorders. Ambien and Ambien CR are two types of Zolpidem. While Ambien and Ambien CR are both trade names of Zolpidem and are both prescribed drugs approved by the Food and Drug Association, they have certain distinctions that set them apart from each other. These distinctions make the one preferable from the other pill (as chosen by doctors). What are these distinctions? Read on further.

Ambien is a sedative or a hypnotic pill that helps to cure short-term amnesia. It basically allows the patient to sleep. Ambien has a lasting effect of 2-3 hours, and the patient can feel the immediate effect kicking in within 30 minutes. This drug is exclusively permitted by doctors, meaning it cannot be purchased OTC without a doctor’s prescription. This is because, like any other pain relieving medications, the long-term usage of this drug could cause drug dependency in the user. Not only that, the usage of this drug has plenty of side effects that may or may not be helpful to the patient. In 2009, Ambien became available as a generic drug.

Ambien CR, on the other hand, is an extended release sleeping pill prescribed for adult insomniac patients. This drug is proven to actually work on patients who have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. What sets Ambien CR apart from Ambien is that it has two layers of Zolpidem. The first layer works exactly like Ambien by making the patient feel relaxed to quickly fall asleep and stay asleep. The second layer of the pill enables patients to safely stay asleep for as long as seven hours. This version was formulated to have longer-lasting effects compared to Ambien. This is because Ambien CR releases little doses of Ambien while the patient is still asleep. This drug was not available as a generic drug as Ambien was in 2009.

All in all, the importance of these two insomnia drugs springs from the needs of those people (regardless of the social background) who are trying to catch some sleep. That is why both drugs as generic drugs would benefit even those who can’t afford a doctor’s appointment. Ambien and Ambien CR as generic drugs would be as effective as non-generic versions but less expensive.


1.Both Ambien and Ambien CR are types of Zolpidem.

2.Ambien has a lasting effect of 2-3 hours, and the patient can feel the immediate effect kicking in within 30 minutes.

3.Ambien CR, on the other hand, was specially formulated to have longer-lasting effects for as long as seven hours.

4.Ambien became available as a generic drug in 2009 while Ambien CR did not.

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1 Comment

  1. How much zolpidem is released in the first layer of the cr version? Is it the same as the 5 mg IR ambien? I’ve looked everywhere for the answer to this question but can’t find an answer anywhere.

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