Ambien (zolpidem) is used to treat insomnia, or difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. It works by slowing activity in the brain to allow sleep. While Ambien is a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic, it acts on the central nervous system in ways similar to benzodizaepines.
So, what can you expect as you detox from this psychoactive medication? And is there a preferred method for quitting Ambien? We review here…and invite your questions about Ambien detox at the end.
Ambien detox: How long?
Sleep problems usually improve within 7 to 10 days after you start taking Ambien. However, Ambien should normally be taken for short periods of time. So, if you take zolpidem for 2 weeks or longer, Ambien may not help you sleep as well as it did when you first began to take the medication. But what happens when you take Ambien for a period of six (6) weeks or longer (considered long term use)?
After regular daily dosing of Ambien for a couple of weeks or more, the central nervous system adapts to the presence of zolpidem. This is a process called “dependence” and is characterized by a set of symptoms which manifest when you significantly lower or stop Ambien dosing altogether. These symptoms, also known as withdrawal, can persist for days, weeks, or months after use…depending on a few factors:
- The length of time you’ve used Ambien
- The dosing amount/frequency of Ambien dosing
- Your general health
- Your medical history
To generalize, overall symptoms of Ambien start a few hours to a couple of days after your last dose of Ambien and can last for several weeks after peak symptoms have resolved. In fact, Ambien affects each person differently. People who develop addiction to or extreme dependency on zolpidem may experience a more difficult detox process than those who take Ambien for short period of time at low doses.
Symptoms of Ambien detox
Symptoms of withdrawal which occur during detox from Ambien include but are not limited to:
- abnormal extroversion
- mood disorders
Ambien detox side effects
Never come off Ambien cold turkey. Ambien detox can cause adverse or serious side effects. This is why any Ambien detox requires medical supervision. In fact, the safest way to detox from Ambien us under medical supervision. Your doctor can help you first taper down your doses of Ambien over the period of a few weeks (or more) and set up an alternative plan for dealing with problems sleeping. Additionally, medical supervision helps identify and treat problems as they occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms occur:
- aggressive behavior
- loss of personal identity
- strange behavior
- suicidal thoughts
- worsening depression
Questions about Ambien detox
Do you still have questions about Ambien detox? Please ask your questions in the comments section below and we will get to you promptly.