Q&A: What over the counter drug is most like Ambien?

Question by boygeeorge: What over the counter drug is most like Ambien?
I need an over the counter sleep aid, not a prescription. Ambien works best because I never feel tired the next day. What drug is most like ambien in chemical composition? Don’t tell me to ask my doctor.

Best answer:

Answer by Jessica
Melatonin. It’s in with the vitamins.

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4 Responses to “Q&A: What over the counter drug is most like Ambien?”

  1. the_only_solorose says:

    I won’t tell you to ask your doctor, because I can tell you…. there are no otc meds with a composition even close to ambien, that is why it is a prescription drug. All over the counter sleep aids, contain one primary ingredient, that is diphenhydramine…benedryl in lay terms.

  2. jurdonna says:

    Melatonin is great and natural, but have you tried breaking your Ambien in half, or thirds?

  3. ens_imp says:

    Ambien is not at all like anything that you can get over the counter in terms of chemical composition. It works on a neurotransmitter in the brain called GABA and in some ways works like benzodiazepines like Valium.

    Now, that having been said, Melatonin may be worth a try-not because it is similiar to Ambien but because it is a naturally occurring hormone that is already involved in the sleep-wake cycle. Its a complicated process but the end result is that normally when your eyes sense it getting dark a signal gets sent to a gland called the pineal gland which secretes melatonin. When we get older or do things like fly through time zones, the body gets confused and the secretion of the hormone goes awry. The idea is that unlike some drugs like Ambien, Valium or Benadryl which just sedate you, melatonin works by essentially saying “hey body, its time to sleep!” As a result, it tends not to be sedating for most people.

    There are some other over the counter herbals like Kava Kava but these are not tightly regulated, can interact with other medications and can in rare cases cause nasty side effects. Melatonin is a little safer in my mind because its is something your body makes naturally. Normal dose would be in the 3mg range. Another thing you could try is warm milk-I know it sounds hokey but warming milk helps break down proteins that ultimately play a role in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is often associated with calming and wellbeing (hence post thanksgiving turkey coma).

    What it comes down to though is if you are looking for something short acting like Ambien, then there really is no absolute correlate on the market. Bendaryl containing agents work for many but will sedate you and though while not habit forming in the traditional way, can be agents one can become tolerant to. If you are looking for something indicated for long term insomnia and are willing to try prescription Lunesta or Rozerom would be appropriate.

    I concur with the comments about Kava Kava-I do not recommend it myself but I list it as something you might have heard of. If you have a specific question about one of these agents please ask though knowing most people, they will take the advice of the person with the most obscure background over someone with an actual DEA number.

  4. knicname says:

    Melatonin should only be used in a specific way, otherwise your
    pineal gland will think the Melatonin you are taking is enough & it will get lazy & stop producing natural Melatonin (lazy pineal gland).

    Take 3mg 1st nite; 2mg 2nd nite; 1mg 3rd nite; 4th nite none; then repeat in cycle.
    You might try Traditional Medicinal’s “Nighty Night” or Celestial Seasons “Sleepytime” teabags which contain Valerian Root, Hops, Catnip, Passionflower.

    DO NOT take Kava Kava. It is not for sleep. It can make you feel high & is contraindicated with other medications.
    Also don’t use St. John’s Wort..it is not for sleep.

    They are not like Ambien but you can try Tylenol PM (not long term); Sominex; Unisom.

    Good luck


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