Is Zolpidem The Same As Zolpidem Tartrate?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not there is a difference between zolpidem tartrate.

Question

My new doctor rx'd me Ambien 10mg (1 tablet per night for insomnia). Everytime I get it filled, it just says zolpidem, as opposed to zolpidem tartrate, which I think is what I used to get. Its made by Teva, but I feel like it's not as strong as the tartrate one. Is the zolpidem that I'm getting now the same thing as the zolpidem tartrate 10mg?

Asked by Kristen1 On Jul 09, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Jul 10, 2018

All Ambien products contain the active ingredient zolpidem tartrate.


There are no less than 7 different generic manufacturers of zolpidem tartrate, including Teva, Actavis, Northstar and Apotex. The fact that your pharmacy sometimes labels your prescription as "zolpidem" and sometimes as "zolpidem tartrate" is most likely just how they have their drug files set-up in their pharmacy software. Rest assured that all zolpidem products are zolpidem tartrate.


In regard to you feeling different effects with different manufacturers, this isn't overly common but it isn't unheard of. Although every generic Ambien product contains the same active ingredient and has been deemed substitutable and bio-equivalent per FDA standards, different products do contain different inactive ingredients, which may cause a slightly difference in how a particular medication is tolerated.


For example, one manufacturer may add lactose to their tablets, which can certainly cause tolerability issues for some patients. Often times, you can request your pharmacy to fill the same generic manufacturer every time for you, assuming that it is available to them.


To illustrate the difference between two zolpidem products, below are the ingredients lists for two different manufacturers of zolpidem tartrate 5 mg.


Northstar Zolpidem 5mg Tablet:

  • Zolpidem Tartrate 5 mg
  • Hypromellose
  • Lactose
  • Magnesium Stearate
  • Microcrystalline Cellulose
  • Polyethylene Glycol
  • Sodium Starch Glycolate
  • Titanium Dioxide


Mylan Zolpidem Tartrate 5mg Tablet:

  • Zolpidem Tartrate 5 mg
  • Calcium Phosphate Dibasic
  • Crospovidone
  • D&C Red No. 30
  • FD&C Blue No. 2
  • FD&C Yellow No. 6
  • Hypromellose
  • Lactose
  • Magnesium Stearate
  • Microcrystalline Cellulose
  • Polydextrose
  • Polyethylene Glycol
  • Povidone
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Triacetin

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger Pharm.D

Dr. Brian Staiger is a licensed pharmacist in New York State and the founder of PharmacistAnswers.com. He graduated from the University At Buffalo with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2010. He has been featured in numerous publications including the Huffington Post as well as a variety of health and pharmacy-related blogs. Please feel free to reach out to him directly if you have any inquiries or want to connect! He's answered thousands of medication and pharmacy-related questions and he's ready to answer yours! Brian.Staiger@PharmacistAnswers.com Office: 716-389-3076

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