Xanax and Ambien are both prescription substances, and many people commonly use them. They have some similarities and some differences as compared to one another, but what about using Xanax and Ambien at the same time? Can Xanax and Ambien be taken together, or is this risky?

The following provides more information about Xanax and Ambien separately from one another, as well as what you should know about combining them.

Xanax is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S., and it’s classified as a benzodiazepine. It is intended to help with anxiety and panic disorders, and it calms neuron activity in the brain to make the user feel more relaxed. The generic name of Xanax is alprazolam.

Despite the fact that physicians so often prescribe Xanax, it may be habit-forming, and there is the potential to overdose on Xanax and ultimately die.

People are warned against combining it with alcohol because it can not only increase the side effects, but this also increases the risk of becoming addicted to it.
Xanax acts as a sedative in many people, particularly at higher doses and in older adults who use it.

Some of the common side effects of Xanax may include slurred speech, lack of balance and coordination, drowsiness and memory problems.

Before answering “can Xanax and Ambien be taken together,” what is Ambien?

Ambien is the brand name of a drug called zolpidem, which is used to treat insomnia and certain sleep disorders in adults. When you take Ambien, it’s intended to help you fall asleep faster, and it’s part of a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics, which have a calming effect on the brain.

Ambien is intended only for short-term use because like Xanax it can be habit-forming. People may also become physically dependent on Ambien, and that means if they stop taking it suddenly they may go through withdrawal.

Withdrawal from Ambien can include nausea, vomiting, cramps, and flushing. Physicians advise patients to gradually taper off Ambien to avoid withdrawal.
Some of the side effects possible with the use of Ambien can include dizziness, sleepiness during the day and in rare cases things like memory loss, new or worsening depression, or hallucinations.

There have also been some instances where people taking Ambien have done things that could be dangerous while sleepwalking such as driving vehicles or making food.
As with most drugs, interactions are possible with the use of Ambien. St. John’s Wort is an example. This herbal substance may affect how Ambien is removed from the body, and as a result, how it works.

So, what about Xanax and Ambien? Can Xanax and Ambien be taken together?

Now, after having looked at Xanax and Ambien separately, can Xanax and Ambien be taken together?

The recommendation is usually no; you shouldn’t take Xanax and Ambien together. First, when you use Xanax and Ambien together it can increase the side effects of one or both, and the side effects of each are similar to one another, so the effects can be amplified.

For example, some of the side effects that can appear or increase when you take Xanax or Ambien together include confusion, concentration problems, dizziness and extreme drowsiness. Also possible with Xanax and Ambien together, particularly in elderly people, is impaired coordination and judgment.

People who take Xanax and Ambien together are advised to avoid any activity that requires them to be mentally alert as well, particularly if they don’t know how one or both of these medicines will affect them.

Both Xanax and Ambien are depressants, and they slow the activity of the central nervous system, including respiration. If you combine both, particularly in large doses, you may be putting yourself at risk of severe respiratory depression and overdose.

Finally, both Xanax and Ambien have a potential for abuse and dependence. The risk of addiction may be higher if you combine Xanax and Ambien, as opposed to taking them separately from one another. Both Xanax and Ambien can also cause withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking them because a physical dependence is possible.

To sum up, can Xanax and Ambien be taken together? The ultimate advice regarding Xanax and Ambien should ultimately always come from your physician, but the recommendation, in general, is that you don’t combine Xanax and Ambien.

There are a few primary reasons it’s not a good idea to combine Xanax and Ambien. First, combining these two prescription drugs can cause more severe side effects than you might ordinarily experience with one or the other. Also, if you combine Xanax and Ambien, it can cause extreme drowsiness and impairment.

It’s also best to avoid Xanax and Ambien because both are depressants and they may suppress the activity of the central nervous system too much, to the point where you experience an overdose.

If you or someone you know needs help stopping Xanax or another drug, The Recovery Village® can help. Our addiction professionals are experts in treating addiction to benzodiazepines, other substances and co-occurring mental health conditions. Call today to start the journey to recovery.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.