Insomnia was recognized as the most prevalent sleeping disorder by a review published in “Medical Clinics of North America” in 2010. The most common pharmacological treatments for insomnia are known as soporifics or sleeping aids / pills. They fall into two categories: non-benzodiazepines and benzodiazepines. The most frequently prescribed benzodiazepine soporific is Xanax, as per the journal “Prescription Drug Info.” Ambien is the most common non-benzodiazepine. The two drugs have much in common while being different pharmacologically.
The drug alprazolam is better known by the brand name, Xanax. It was first formulated in 1976 by Pfizer / Upjohn. Its main properties are action as a sedative, anxiolytic and anti-convulsant. The FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) has approved Xanax for anxiety conditions and it’s also often prescribed “off label” in cases of sleep disorder.
The drug zolpidem is branded as Ambien. It was developed in 1983 by Sanofi-Aventi / Synthelabo. It has very similar properties to Xanax, being a sedative, anxiolytic and anti-convulsant. The difference is that it FDA-approved for treatment of sleep disorders.
Prescription Drug Info places Ambien and Xanax in it lists of the top 200 bestselling drugs. Indeed, Xanax was the world’s most popular medication in until mid-2010. Xanax is in the top 100, coming in at position 96. A summation from the publication “AARP Bulleting Today” states that alprazolam (Xanax) constituted a total of 44 millions written in 2008. Zolpidem (Ambien) received a total of 28 million for the same year.
Benzodiazepines, the drug category to which Xanax belongs, were initially formulated in 1955 under the name Librium. A more commonly known “benzo” is Valium, which was recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an essential medical drug.
Ambien is pharmacologically distinct from Xanax, although it shares many of its effects. Ambien or zolpidem is in the non-benzodiazepine class, specifically the imidazopyridine group. Ambien was the first non-benzo soporific and subsequent drugs in the class include Sonata and Lunesta.
The patents have expired on Xanax and Ambien and so numerous generics may be easily found.
Method of Action
Ambien and Xanax improve slumber by their similar effects upon the system. Their activity involves receptor sites for the gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter. Essentially, their action is to heighten the probability of GABA binding with receptors sites and no overall increase in GABA levels is promoted.
GABA suppresses neurochemical excitation within the central nervous system (CNS), however the drugs have far more activity within the brain, as opposed to the spine. This region-targeted action improves slumber without impairing motor abilities to any great degree.
Both benzo and non-benzos have the effect of shortening the time it takes for a person to enter sleep. However, they do little to promote a deeper or longer slumber. Ambien however is somewhat better at deepening sleep, compared to Xanax. A report published in 2006 in “Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry” states this based on medical research. Deeper sleep is strongly correlated with a higher level of daytime wakefulness.
The adverse effects are similar for both Ambien and Xanax. They both have potential to develop tolerance and lead to withdrawal symptoms, so addiction is a possibility. Both drugs have also been overdosed on by suicidal people.
One worrying aspect of non-benzos is their linkage to cancer. A report from the “Journal of Sleep Research,” published in 2008, shows a higher incidence of cancer in those who regularly use sleeping pills. Benzos and non-benzos, Ambien included, have been shown to cause cancer in rats. For these reasons, these drugs must only be used when absolutely necessary and under the direction of a medical professional.
Alprazolam and Clonazepam for Anxiety
Alprazolam (Xanax) and Clonazepam (Klonopin) are both used as anxiolytics. As per the National Institute of Mental Health, roughly forty million US adults suffer from anxiety-related conditions. Such disorders manifest emotionally as fractiousness, fear and worry. Physically, the symptoms include:
rapid heart rate
jittery or shaking muscles
numb or tingly feet and hands
It is often necessary to combine therapy with pharmacology to effectively manage or cure anxiety problems. If you suffer from such a condition, your consulting health professional might suggest alprazolam or clonazepam. It’s important the understand how the two drugs compare.
Xanax vs Ambien vs Klonopin High
ADHD stimulants are generally abused. This happens generally when larger (than recommended by a doctor) amount of pills are taken or adhd drug user doesn't have an ADHD and get the pills illegally without a script, to get high from Xanax, Ambien, Klonopin ad other drugs of the type. Why does it happen? Among the benefits of these drugs there are appetite suppression, memory and focus boosting, motivation enhancement. As a result they are used among healthy, non-sleep-deprived people tor the weight loss purposes or using it to help them (students) focus during exams. There are many popular forums where people discuss high they get from Xanax, Klonopin and Ambien.
To get high they often crash the pill, mix it with water or other substances or make intravenous injection.
This way of drug use may be collapsing. In addition Ambien, Xanax, Klonopin e.t.c. cause an addiction which make healthy user to process hard and painful quit off procedures.