Ambien Drug Interactions

by on April 21, 2012

Like many other sedatives and sleep aids, Ambien often has serious interactions with other medications that have a sedative effect.

Some drugs that are known to interact with Ambien include:

Anti-psychotic drugs

  • chlorpromazine (Thorazine, Thor-Prom)


  • sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Tricyclic Anti-depressant such as imipramine (Tofranil)


  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane)

Benzodiazepine Antagonist

  • flumazenil (Romazicon)

When combined with Ambien, these drugs can potentially cause negative interactions. Usually, these drugs affect the way Ambien interacts with the brain chemicals.

Other drugs which moderately interact with Ambien include:

  • Ativan (Lorazepam)
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine)
  • Trazodone
  • Gabapentin
  • Klonopin
  • Vicodin
  • Lexapro
  • Lisinopril
  • Lyrica (pregabalin)
  • Tramadol

Concurrent use of imipramine and Ambien can cause additional decrease in awareness. Impiramine is thought to potentiate the action of Ambien. To prevent potential drug interaction, your healthcare provider may recommend using alternative treatments. The same effect can happen if patients use chlorpromazine with Ambien. But aside from reduced awareness, a decrease in mental function and coordination may also occur. Caution must be taken with these drugs. Because of these potential adverse effects, co-administration of Ambien with drugs that affect the central nervous system is not recommended.

Ambien is thought to increase the effects of alcohol such as risk taking behaviors, depression and changes in mood. Patients taking Ambien are therefore advised to avoid drinking alcohol while on medication.

The anti-depressant drug sertraline can increase the amount of Ambien in the blood. Although the possible adverse effects of such an increase are not yet well established, it is recommended that patients avoid using these medications together.

The effects of antibiotic drugs, particularly rifampin, on Ambien are quite unpredictable. These drugs are thought to affect the way Ambien is metabolized in the body hence the intended results may not be achieved. Dose adjustments may be necessary.

Meanwhile, flumazenil seem to reverse the sedative effect of Ambien. Inform your healthcare provider if you are taking flumazenil before starting with Ambien.

Other CNS (central nervous system or drugs acting on the brain) drugs may also interact with Ambien. However because of the limited studies conducted on these drugs, caution is recommended when using Ambien with other CNS-active drugs. For instance, drugs with potential for depressant effects could increase the depressent effects of Ambien. This same effect can happen with anti-anxiety drugs. It is important to discuss with your healthcare provider all other CNS drugs that you are taking.

In addition, there are some over-the-counter medications that contain chemicals that act on the nervous system. These drugs can potentially interact with Ambien therefore must be avoided. Make sure that you avoid taking these drugs along with Ambien without consulting your healthcare provider. As much as possible, discuss with your healthcare provider all drugs that you normally take.

Lastly, this information guide may not list all the medications that can potentially interact with Ambien. Discuss with your healthcare provider potential drug interactions that may apply in your situation.