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Ambien overdose: How much amount of Ambien to OD?

Ambien overdose: How much amount of Ambien to OD?

Can you prevent an unintentional Ambien overdose? Yes.

In this article, we cover how Ambien overdose happens as well as general guidelines for how much Ambien is safe. If you have questions about Ambien overdose, we invite you to ask them at the end. We try to respond to all legitimate Ambien questions with a personal and prompt reply.

How does Ambien overdose happen?

You can take too much Ambien (zolpidem) for a number of reasons. If you suffer from insomnia, you may take more Ambien than directed to try to get relief. In fact, if you increase the amount or the frequency at which you take Ambien,it’s easy to unintentionally overdose on Ambien. Another way to OD on Ambien is to try to get “high” on Ambien, particularly since euphoric effect takes larger amounts of the drug than are normally prescribed. And some people attempt to OD on Ambien as a way to commit suicide or self-harm.

Ambien overdose – How much is too much?

The amount of Ambien you need to take to overdose depends on your body weight, previous exposure to the medication, and other factors. But there are some basic guidelines you can follow.

1. Maximum daily dosage

You’ll usually only be given 5-10 mg once a day, to be taken directly before you go to sleep. 10 mg is the normal maximum daily dosage.

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2. Avoid high doses of Ambien

At 70 mg, you may begin to experience serious adverse effects of taking too much Ambien, although this dose is low enough that you probably won’t suffer permanent injury. The amount needed to overdose can range from 400-600 mg. But even this dose probably won’t kill you – the reported fatal dose for Ambien is much higher, at 2000 mg.

3. Don’t experiment with different ways of taking Ambien

Ambien abuse does increase the risk of death and overdose. Zolpidem should only be taken swallowed as a whole pill, and only in the doses recommended by your doctor. You’re much more likely to overdose or experience adverse effects of Ambien when you chew, crush, inject, or snort Ambien pills.  And avoid mixing Ambien and alcohol.  Sedative effects are more intense when the two are combined.

Ambien overdose complications

The most dangerous complications of taking too much Ambien are related to breathing and heart rate. At very high doses, Ambien may effect your breathing or heartbeat. But taking more Ambien than recommended can cause memory loss and acting out physical behaviors in your sleep (like driving) that can put you in danger. Excessive tiredness and dizziness may also put you at risk of accidents.

Ambien overdose prognosis

The prognosis for Ambien overdose is usually good. It takes a very high amount of Ambien to overdose, and even more to experience long-term health effects or death. While taking more Ambien than directed can be unpleasant and dangerous because of the degree to which it impairs you, medically speaking in terms of OD liability, Ambien isn’t a very dangerous drug.

Ambien overdose amount questions

If you have any questions about safe amounts of Ambien in your system, please leave them here. We are happy to try to help answer your questions about Ambien, and will try to respond promptly.

Reference Sources: ToxNet: Zolpidem
FDA: Medication Guide Ambien Tablets C-IV
DailyMed: Ambien Tablet

Photo credit: exper

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71 Responses to “Ambien overdose: How much amount of Ambien to OD?
kathyanemone anemone
7:58 am December 17th, 2012

10 mg is not working for me i sleep about hours on it should i try something else or ask my dr to up my dose

8:51 pm January 4th, 2013

Hi Kathy. There are ways to manage insomnia without drugs like Ambien which develop physical dependence. You can up your dose, but it may result in another block for you further down the road. Often, lifestyle changes are required for getting good sleep. Have you consulted with a sleep doctor or are you working with a family doctor at the moment?

4:19 am February 23rd, 2013

Ok. I tried going 3 nights without sleeping (avoiding sleep during day even though I was tired) and after the 3 days and nights I could not go on. HOW do you get off of this stuff? I have been on it since it first came out and touted how safe it was. Oddly, though I’ve increased my dose to the 12.5mg, it does not seem to work as well as a 10mg and a half of a 5mg. Is it legal to prescribe this? I have been doing it on my own because the 12.5 is so expensive, the Dr. doesn’t want to prescribe it as such, and the 12.5 doesn’t work as well. All of this being said I really want to stop the use of it all together but it is a miserable process. Any suggestions? No insurance so in-hospital is not an option. Thank you for any help you can suggest to get out of this nightmare of my own making.

2:46 pm February 25th, 2013

Hi Teresa. Have you tried to taper down doses? Ask your prescribing doctor or pharmacist for a tapering schedule/calendar to help you slowly get Ambien out of your system. Never cold turkey!

2:21 am July 18th, 2013

I just took 3 10 mg doses because well, the first didnt work, the second didn’t work, why not three? Are they all going to hit at once and then I’m done for??? I took them with a full stomach, so hoping that helps…

12:06 am October 2nd, 2013

My mother took 300 mg of ambein should she go to the doctor ?

1:09 pm October 2nd, 2013

Hello ophelia. Thanks for your question. What’s the recommended dose? How long have you been taking Ambien?

Adarsh Sharma
4:41 pm October 10th, 2013

very informative!

Julie Luton
5:47 pm November 23rd, 2013

I took 30- 40 Ambien and the generic Zolpediem. I am just wondering if I can ever resume a normal life. I want to return to work. My sleep patterns are dictated by an amount of 400 mg Seroquel, which I was forced to take to resume sleep patterns at a local hospital. Coordination is much less than before. I have trouble with pain in joints and hope it wont get worse. I am 48 Female….and very embarrassed at what I did. Quite remorseful. Is there any hope for me?

Julie Luton
5:49 pm November 23rd, 2013

This was over 14 days ago. I will do anything to get my cognitive skills back. So ready to do what I can to resume a normal life.

12:43 pm November 25th, 2013

Hello Julie. I hope that you are feeling better. Remorse, guilt, and shame can be helpful if we’re learning to grow from our experiences. Have you consulted with a neurologist, pharmacist, or possibly even a toxicologist on your case yet? It seems like you’ll need professional medical advice for accurate answers to your questions.

2:13 pm December 26th, 2013

My brother took 30 Ambian…he recovered within about 2 days but now he has a jerking tremmor…could this be a long term effect of the overdose?

7:18 am April 24th, 2014

I overdosed on ambien and Zoloft on purpose like 2 weeks ago and I’m out of the hospital now and I get dizzy and have chest paints frequently and I was wondering could it have caused any heart problems?

12:31 am May 8th, 2014

I need to know if you give a 30 lb dog 100 mg of ambiem will it put her to sleep? I am 300 miles from the nearest vet and have no transportation. My 18 year old dog is suffering andneeds to be put to sleep. will this do it? She has cancer and looks like a skeleton. She can’t eat for throwing up.She’s afraid of any noise and acts like ahe doesn’t know me. When She can get up she runs into the wall .she acts like she doesn’t know where she is. I am so sad, I love my dog but I can’t leave here for 6 more month’s. I can’t bear to see her suffer. Please help.

10:49 am May 14th, 2014

Hello Dee Dee. I’m so sorry to hear about your pet’s condition. I’d suggest that you phone a vet and seek counsel. But never administer Rx drugs made for humans to animals with proper guidance.

Jennifer Dirksen
8:58 am June 5th, 2014

Can you od on ambien and ativan if taken together? What if alcohol is involved?

Took an energy supplement hours ago. now can’t sleep

10:47 am June 5th, 2014

Hello Jennifer. Please call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for an assessment of your condition.

6:36 am June 11th, 2014

I have been on 10mg of ambien I use fall sleep right after I took it but now I am use to it and cant fall sleep. I STAY up all night till 5 am then I fall sleep. I use to fall sleep anytime I went to bed all my life around 9to10 when I was 16yr one night I stayed up all night went to school sleep deprived got bakeracted for insulting nurse since then I have insomina and I am on zyperaxa life hard

1:57 pm June 12th, 2014

Hello Jonas. It sounds like you’re describing the phenomenon of tolerance. You’ll need to work with your prescribing doctor to address it, and might consider alternative sleep help such as lifestyle change to diet, exercise, and mind calming practices like meditation.

1:32 am June 16th, 2014

My sister died 2 months ago. The written report listed cause of death as “Accidental – Acute intoxication from combined effects of Ethanol (alcohol) and zolpidem”. I am confused – the blood alcohol level is shown as 0.08% (legally drunk in my state), but the zolpidem level is listed as 0.10 mcg/mL. Does this not seem like a very small amount to cause death, even with the alcohol level? Do these levels change after death? The autopsy was done approximately 14 hours after death. She weighed 123 lbs, in her early 60s, and was a relapsing alcoholic. I believe she was using Ambien CR. The test also showed positive for Prozac, Soma, and Seroquel, but did not list the amounts. I can only assume the levels for these drugs were not very high as they were not listed in the cause of death, but that is only a guess. Could you give me any information? Thank you.

3:10 pm June 16th, 2014

Hello Grieving. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Part of the process of grief is in finding answers to all your questions. OR at least asking them. I’d suggest that you consult with a toxicologist at a diagnostic lab. You need a professional medical opinion in order to get a full understanding of the toxicity of these drugs.

1:49 am July 18th, 2014

I’m 5’3, weigh 95lbs and I have 10mg zolpidem, is this a safe dosage?

valelry freeman
12:44 am August 2nd, 2014

I am currently on librium its my second day and I feel a liitle more relaxed, my docs gave mezolpidem 10mg but I find them usell im still not sleeping I have no energy, I have two young kids who need me but im always tired durin the day dew to lack of sleep, im talking the 10 mg of zolpidem tartrate but I dont find its working, can I up now dose, had a physical and al vital signs were goog, if u coild help id greatly appreciate it, many thanks

8:25 am August 3rd, 2014

I have been taking a sleeping aid since the 70’s due to radiation damage from cancer. I chose sleeping aids over painkillers. Now, my problem is I need 4-5 10mg zopidem to get to sleep. What can I do? I need help please.

4:48 am August 9th, 2014

I would not go above 10mg. I have taken this does for several years and know all to well, this is the most I should take and if the does does not work, I might ask my physician to give me an alternative hypnotic, to break the tolerance, then resume the zolpidem.

Linda, taking 10 mg of zolpidem 4X a day is way too much, all you will do is become tolerant of the medication and it will not have any sedative affect, yet will affect your brain function.

It is a safe dose, yet the drug is best used short term.

I have used zolpidem at 10 mg with diazepam at 5 mg for several years. Having a terminal illness, and being over 60 years, I still will keep the medications at this dose, perhaps lower 5 mg each would be better as the drugs become less effective when tolerance increases.
No one will (reasonably) die from too sleep and the best way to deal with this is to set your alarm clock an hour earlier and drink strong coffee, then not does off during the day.

Your body will retain homeostasis in a few weeks, usually.
I am not usually on the net, as that is contraindicated to my maintaining a restful state of mind and is usually does out of boredom, so, take my advice for what it is worth. Best of luck

4:32 pm August 10th, 2014

I accidentally took ambien 12.5 cr at 7:25 instead of my acid pill. Is there anything that can be done to lessen the side effects

3:23 am August 18th, 2014

Sleep Mellissa.

5:30 am September 4th, 2014

My sister gave me 18 ambien in 8 hrs on an empty stomach after surgery instead of what I was supposed to be taking. I’ve noticed since then, even though I’m not touching it anymore, but I have memory loss and I’m sleep talking! Is this normal?

highly concerned
11:01 pm October 6th, 2014

My boyfriend gets prescribed 10mg ambien and shoots then up in his veins. I’m strongly against this and I’m highly concerned. Can he o.d from this? What are the end results of this sick behavior?

4:47 am November 6th, 2014

Hi – I´ve been taking Zolpidem 10 mg for over 5 years now – I never slept well, so I used to drink A LOT (a bottle of vodka) to get to sleep. As soon as I started Zolpidem, I quit drinking – once for all. Nowadays I can´t even have a beer! However….. I´ve created a strange relationship with the drug – as it only works for less than 2 hours with 15 mg (1 pill and a half), I take several “nappies” during the day. Problems: 1 – sometimes it does not work, so I stay like a zombie (but strangely doing everything, with a small sensation of lost memories sometimes) ; 2 – taking the drug, during the first hour after I´ve had it, makes me feel calm and relaxed only enough to get my things done! Exactly: weirdly, it has Always (since the beginning) helped me concentrate and perform things more accurately…. until I feel like “ok, now I can sleep for half an hour” (I work from home, so it´s ok to do that). Thing is I was taking almost 80 mg a day counting the 2 pills every 3 to 4 hours, and now I´m trying to reduce it….. But the major problem is not my night sleep anymore, but being able to concentrate at work, even if it´s for 2 hours every time I take the pills….. I know this is not a common typical reaction, so….. what should I do? Thanks a lot!!

11:18 pm November 8th, 2014

Can taking too much ambien leave you wired or restlessness?

10:45 pm November 17th, 2014

These pills are bad. no matter 1 or 3. how bad is 0.21? I get confused sometimes even though its simple. new mexico recorded this when driving. nothing else in me.i left home and don’t remember a thing. I was 2 miles from home. no previous record,recent award for disability. there trying to hang me with interlock,sr22 insurance and a steep fine,why the multi billion pharmacy can get away with this drug. I asked my doctor at the v.a. of 9 years I needed something for sleep. this was worse than taking lsd that I took in the early 70,s. I don’t take anything for sleep.he told me there all addicting . Thank You,Thomas

1:40 pm November 22nd, 2014

Hello , iam taking zolpidem(zolfresh 10 mg) 3 ables in afternoon and 40 mg at night.i am getting good sleep.pleae advice me if it cause any side effects

5:08 am November 28th, 2014

I took ambien with my prescription z-pack is that ok

8:23 am December 2nd, 2014

You say avoid alcohol when using Ambien. I have at most 4 ounces of 80 proof brandy before 5pm . I eat then and go to bed after 10pm. 5 hours between alcohol and Ambien. On 3 occasions I have taken 2 Ambiens an estimated 4 hours apart. What do you think?


12:40 pm December 3rd, 2014

Hello Layher. My personal opinion is that you are taking a potentially dangerous combination of central nervous system depressants in order to get some sleep. Have you considered addressing the underlying anxiety which make it difficult to fall asleep naturally?

ambien and alprzolam
7:43 am December 18th, 2014

3X1 milligram milligram alprazolam at night for bed and the 12.5 ambien to sleep at night? When I started the ambien worked or the alprazolam worked. Tonight I just took 3 alprazolam and 12.5 ambien an hour and :10 ago and I’m emailing w/ u people. Any real suggestions?

8:30 am January 18th, 2015

Don’t mix Ambien with narcotics, even small amounts of each

10:41 pm February 17th, 2015

I weight 350 lbs. I take 2 10mg of Ambien with an hour between each 10mg tablet in order to get some sleep. Is this dangerous? Thanks

9:51 pm February 22nd, 2015

Hi All. I am prescribed Ambien–too afraid to take it.. In the interim as I research more- can I ask how old some of you are? I feel bad for the mom of the young kids on here…having sleep issues? Any idea why you started having sleep issues? I am 51- and can trace back – a lot of things that I see – were a catalyst to some of my medical and mental health issues.. Stay alive folks :) One Day At A Time! Some days – one second at a time.. 😉

9:29 am April 10th, 2015

I slept on 5mg zolpedem tart rate 6.25 and in a foggy state was snorting to breath but was hard to wake up. I was on my back. Luckily I woke up finally. This was a fresh restart with none in weeks. What happened and is that dangerous?
I once on new fresh dose of ativan sleeping on back left my body floated to the ceiling feeling peace then wham back in my body heart racing and couldn’t breath. It was terrible. Did I die? What happened? Thesame thing?
II’m not taking ativan now though.

12:28 am April 14th, 2015

Is there a way to stop the addiction to ambien? Whenever I try to stop I go through terrible withdrawls and my ears start to ring. I’ve heard that ambien is a benzo derivative an I’ve had problems with Benzos in the past. What is the safest to get off of this medication?

11:30 am April 14th, 2015

Hi Jason. We’ve already covered this topic on how to stop Ambien addiction. Here is the link: If you need additional info, please feel free to write us again.

7:29 pm April 20th, 2015

My mom took 17 10mg Ambien in 6 days. It has been 5 days since she took her last 3 to 4 10mg pills. How long would this much Ambien stay in her system. And could she experience Detox/withdrawal systems. My mom is 83.

Thank you

2:20 pm April 21st, 2015

Hi Shelley. If your mother is not feeling any withdrawal symptoms by now, she will be fine. The medication will be eliminated from her system in a few days, while Ambien metabolites may be present for a little longer. If she experiences any unusual effects, you can take her to the doctor. But I believe she will be just fine.

10:18 am April 23rd, 2015

Complocatesa still

We need to learn more about the dangers of over doraahea

4:06 am April 29th, 2015

I am a senior in college and have been taking ambien since my sophomore year. My typical routine is drink a couple 12 onze beers and take the two ambien around 10 or 11. I plan on easing off when i graduate but for the time being i would like to stick to my routine. I admit i have a problem to it but feel it would be hard get off with all the of the school stuff on my plate. Here is the thing though, I get 30 10mg every month and i am usually finished with the bottle within 10 or 15 days, so that leaves me another 15 days to be off of ambien, and i never have withdrawl symptoms i just take some melatonin when i am out of ambien. my question is has there been anybody that has not woken up or had a heart attack in there sleep from doing what i am doing? I never really drank alcohol and took drugs in high school, i guess to get to my point is how long would i have to expect to stay in my routine until liver or heart problems start arising? my family does not have much of a past with these health defects if that can be taken into consideration at all.

5:30 am May 1st, 2015

I TOOK A 10mg ambient at 1:30 pm today and just took another at 11:00 pm toning is it safe?

4:42 pm May 2nd, 2015

My grandson who is 9 and weighs about 90 pds. took 5 ( 10 mg.) of ambien. He is staggering around and his eyes are droopy.

6:14 am May 6th, 2015

Ambien is safe if used properly. Always take the medication in bed. 20mg is considered the max dose. Some people may need the extended release version. The strength of these are 6.25 and 12.5. Ambien does not work like a true cns depresent. It would take a lot of pills to overdose. Taking it with alcohol doesn’t add to the drugs effectiveness. It actually negates the drug. Also chemical addiction is less of a concern. Drug is listed as a control more for it’s safety concerns. You should not take this medication before you are prepared for bed. Every once in a while I will have a conversation in bed before I fall asleep that I don’t remember in the morning. Takes pillow talk to a whole new meaning. XD.

Cathy Granger
5:29 am May 7th, 2015

My neighbor came out to talk to me, he is soo high he said he took 10 ambians and drank 4 or 5 beers.he is a big guy over 200 pounds. He told me he has taken 30 at a time before. Should I cal 911 on him

7:08 pm May 11th, 2015

i have not slept for two nights and i feel like a zombie. i took 10 mg ambien last night at 830am and woke up still tired at 1030am i took anothe r 10 mg ambien at 11am and i havem’t been to sleep yet? what is wrong with me?

2:51 am May 14th, 2015

I took to ambien 12.50mgcr twice last because I woke up at 2 a.m. and could not go back to sleep. What should I do tonight? Thank you for helping me.

Ck go
10:56 pm May 17th, 2015

I accidentaly drank 11 pieces of ambiem with is call zolpidem what shoud it do?will i be overdosed??? Please reaply asap

11:14 am May 18th, 2015

Hello Ck go. Please call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 to talk to a poison expert to assess your condition and provide guidance on what you should do next.

7:26 am May 21st, 2015

If someone who normally takes 1 5mg ambien a night took 8 a one timr what would the likely side effects be?

3:49 am May 22nd, 2015

10 and 20 mg. of ambien do not put me to sleep. last night i took 30 mg. went to sleep — woke up a few hours later — had some fruit juice and went back to bed and slept. seems i have a tolerance when it comes to sleep aids, i’ve taken 30 mg. of valium and felt nothing, also 20 mg. of flexeril, 2 mg. of ativan. i want to sleep. i tried forcing a small, glass of wine which i don’t like and that doesn’t put me to sleep.

2:13 am May 27th, 2015

My daughter believes she swallowed a 90 pill supply of 10 mg Ambien in the middle of the night after first taking 2 pills to go to sleep. Did she do permanent damage (she doesn’t detect any)? Do the effects last more than a few hours (days or weeks)?

2:42 pm May 27th, 2015

I had a great 2 night bender with a pal. Stayed up 2 nights. End of night 2 whilst sipping some fine red wine we decided to take 2 10mg stilnox each to wind down..and wow ..I turned into a incoherent zombie! Was amazing walking over the soft mountains growing through the carpet. I can’t remember much else but I’m told I sat their awake and slurring weird gibberish . So it was fun. But dangerous? Could have been I suppose. But I came to fresh as daisy

1:43 am June 3rd, 2015

Thank you for the article

4:25 pm June 5th, 2015

Dan, if she did swallow that amount you should take her to the doctor immediately. Request tests to make sure no organ damage has happened as a result of the overdose. Are 90 pills really missing?

7:27 am June 13th, 2015

i took 2 ambian sleeping pill by accident and im woundering if that would be considered and overdose the ambian i take is 12.5cr

1:48 pm June 20th, 2015

My best friend is on 10mg of ambien- she’s also been on dilaudid for 4yrs. When out of pain meds I notice she seeks other drugs and alcohol to ease her pain and sleep. The other day she doesn’t remember anything and her 20 ambient were gone- she don’t remember taking them or drinking her husband’s beer!! I’m worried. She seemed ok yesterday..but I’ve talked to her at length over meds; she’s not addict, but her body is!
How do I help?!

6:49 am July 7th, 2015

Yesterday I took 1 mg of Xanax with 10 mg of ambien and didn’t do a thing. Then today I try 1 mg of Xanax and 20g ambien its was ok but o need someone else

3:05 pm July 7th, 2015

I’m prescribed 2 10mg at night before bed. I’ve been taking them for about seven years now and have definitely acquired a tolerance to them. I know I shouldn’t but sometimes when I just can’t sleep I’ll take 3 10mg instead of 2 10mg. And that’s what I did tonight. I feel fine but still can’t get to sleep… And that was taken 5 hours ago, would it be safe to take them again? I have to get some sleep, I’m just soo tired. Any info will help and be appreciated.

1:43 pm July 16th, 2015

Hey There! I have a question regarding the overdose of Ambien. My girlfriend has been taking excessive Ambien for the last 5 years, and has been hospitalized thrice in the last year for a convulsion, all three times being a cause of electric activity, assumed to be caused by the overdose of Ambien over a long period of time. I understand that she had been taking about 200mg per day on average. She recently decided to get off it and did so very well for about 2 months, after which she relapsed. The reason she takes them is because they are the only thing that soothes her during an anxiety attack, which she has been getting a lot of lately. I was wondering if those anxiety attacks were just actually effects of getting off the drug completely, and if so, how would you suggest she should go about calming herself down in those situations. She has stopped taking Ambien for a week now again. Please let me know if there’s anything you can do to help, since I really want her to be rid of these issues and not depend on these meds.

Any help will be highly appreciated.
Many thanks in advance.


10:05 am July 19th, 2015

Replying tp Ophelia….I took an Ambien 10 mg after a big midnight snack (two bowls of cereal and some ice cream) and it took an very long time to take affect. Take it on an empty, or nearly empty, stomach if you want it to work fast.

7:28 am July 21st, 2015

I have a question about my daughter that is 9 years old and recently got into my ambien sleep pills that she see me take every night and decided to take one. I take 12mg one a night and she put in her mouth when I noticed what she had did I made her spit the rest out. I think she only took about a third of my 12mg pill but she is starting to act drunk to put it right at the point. I have given her some liquids to drink, we went on a short walk around our neighborhood and now I am feeding her a meal. Please tell me what you recommend will she be ok and just need to sleep it off or should I take her to the ER.

10:25 am July 21st, 2015

Hi Sandie. If you are not absolutely sure how much she took, I’d advise you that it’s best to get her to see a doctor.

5:33 am July 25th, 2015

Ambien confusion

1:24 am July 27th, 2015

its says not to crush or chew but the instructions on the bottle say half or hole can i break it in two and be safe?

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