Can Ambien be taken with Zoloft? (3+ side effects)

In this article, we will discuss whether Ambien can be taken with Zoloft – a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). We will also discuss some research studies, potential benefits, and risks of taking Ambien and Zoloft. 

Can Ambien be taken with Zoloft?

Ambien (zolpidem) can be taken with Zoloft (sertraline), but only if prescribed by a qualified healthcare provider. When used together, these medications can offer potential health benefits for those who need them, but they might only be suitable for some. 

Therefore, the combined use of Ambien and Zoloft should be closely monitored, and doses should also be adjusted in some cases. Furthermore, these medications can cause additive side effects in some people, which should also be monitored to ensure the future safety of such combinations.

What does research suggest?

Research does show the beneficial effects of taking sertraline and zolpidem together. One research study monitored the effects of 50 mg of sertraline and 10 mg of zolpidem in healthy female participants (1). 

The study showed no severe adverse events or any pharmacokinetic interaction between the two medications. The combination was well-tolerated in most cases (1).

Another research study observed the effects of zolpidem in people struggling with SSRI-induced insomnia (2). It is a known fact that medications like Zoloft can affect sleep architecture, and insomnia, particularly with sertraline, is also frequently reported. 

Although these side effects are expected to subside within a few days as the body adjusts to the medication, some people might experience persistent insomnia. 

This study was particularly designed for such individuals and concluded that the use of zolpidem was well tolerated in individuals experiencing severe insomnia while taking SSRIs (2).

However, these medications can potentially interact when used together. One research study indicated that serotonergic antidepressants, such as SSRIs, can potentially increase the amount of zolpidem in the body (3). This can increase zolpidem-induced hallucination and some other psychological side effects. 

This indicates that the combination of zolpidem and sertraline should be carefully monitored for potential interactions. Zolpidem can also cause nocturnal side effects, like sleepwalking, which may become worse when taken with sertraline (4).

What are the potential benefits of taking Ambien with Zoloft?

The combination of Ambien and Zoloft can offer some health benefits. It is a known fact that antidepressants, including Zoloft, can cause insomnia or sleep disturbances. Ambien is a typical sleep pill with an incredibly fast onset of action. 

Taking Ambien while Zoloft-induced insomnia subsides can be beneficial for such people and can make their treatment with Zoloft a bit more comfortable. The use of Ambien promotes better sleep, which is important for better energy levels the next day. 

This combination can also be beneficial for people who have clinically significant insomnia comorbid with depression. However, Ambien is a controlled drug and has a high potential for addiction and abuse. 

So, most doctors do not recommend taking it chronically and may help you discontinue it once Zoloft kicks in and the sleep disturbances associated with it subside.

What are the potential risks of taking Ambien with Zoloft?

The potential risks of taking Ambien with Zoloft include: (5,6)

Sedation and drowsiness

Both Ambien and Zoloft can individually cause drowsiness and sedation. These effects may become more pronounced when taken together, affecting your overall alertness and coordination.

Impaired cognitive function

Cognitive side effects, such as difficulty concentrating or memory issues, may become more pronounced when Ambien and Zoloft are used together.

Increased risk of serotonin syndrome

Combining Ambien with Zoloft raises the risk of serotonin syndrome, a serious condition characterised by symptoms like confusion, rapid heart rate, and elevated body temperature.


Psychiatric complications, including hallucinations, may be more likely when Ambien and Zoloft are taken together.

What are the alternatives to Ambien for Zoloft-induced insomnia?

Benzodiazepines can be used as alternatives to Ambien while taking Zoloft if the antidepressant affects your sleep or if you have clinically significant insomnia comorbid with depression. 

Benzodiazepines are known as anxiolytic agents and can also be used to manage insomnia. Research suggests that benzodiazepines such as Valium, Ativan, Xanax, etc., can help manage SSRI-induced insomnia as well as early anxiety caused by these antidepressants. 

Some examples of benzodiazepines include: (7)

BenzodiazepineGeneric NameTypical Doses (per day)
AlprazolamXanax0.25 to 4 mg
LorazepamAtivan1 to 10 mg
ClonazepamKlonopin0.25 to 4 mg
DiazepamValium2 to 10 mg
ChlordiazepoxideLibrium5 to 25 mg

However, as with Ambien, the duration of treatment with benzodiazepines should be shorter, as these meds are also associated with a high potential for addiction and abuse. 

Furthermore, these drugs can also cause additive side effects when taken with Zoloft, and the combination should be closely monitored to determine its safety in certain individuals. However, all of the medications we have discussed are prescription meds and should never be taken if not prescribed by a healthcare professional.


  1. Allard S, Sainati SM, Roth-Schechter BF. Coadministration of short-term zolpidem with sertraline in healthy women. J Clin Pharmacol. 1999 Feb;39(2):184-91. doi: 10.1177/00912709922007624. PMID: 11563412. 
  1. Asnis GM, Chakraburtty A, DuBoff EA, Krystal A, Londborg PD, Rosenberg R, Roth-Schechter B, Scharf MB, Walsh JK. Zolpidem for persistent insomnia in SSRI-treated depressed patients. J Clin Psychiatry. 1999 Oct;60(10):668-76. doi: 10.4088/jcp.v60n1005. PMID: 10549683. 
  1. Elko CJ, Burgess JL, Robertson WO. Zolpidem-associated hallucinations and serotonin reuptake inhibition: a possible interaction. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1998;36(3):195-203. doi: 10.3109/15563659809028939. PMID: 9656974. 
  1. Inagaki T, Miyaoka T, Tsuji S, Inami Y, Nishida A, Horiguchi J. Adverse reactions to zolpidem: case reports and a review of the literature. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2010;12(6):PCC.09r00849. doi: 10.4088/PCC.09r00849bro. PMID: 21494350; PMCID: PMC3067983. 
  1. Singh HK, Saadabadi A. Sertraline. 2023 Feb 13. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 31613469. Available from:
  1. Bouchette D, Akhondi H, Quick J. Zolpidem. 2022 Oct 1. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 28723037. 
  1. Bounds CG, Nelson VL. Benzodiazepines. 2023 Jan 7. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 29261973. 

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