Friday October 9th 2015

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Can you overdose (OD) on Ambien?

Can you overdose (OD) on Ambien?

Yes. You can OD on Ambien. But it takes very high amounts of Ambien to overdose, making it difficult to take too much Ambien at once.  So what can you do to protect yourself from an accidental Ambien overdose? And how much Ambien to OD?  More here. Plus, we invite your questions about Ambien and overdose at the end.

Can you overdose on Ambien?

Yes, you can overdose on Ambien. However, it takes very high amounts of Ambien to be seriously dangerous. Since doctors normally only prescribe Ambien for very short periods of time (typically 7-10 days) it would be very difficult to obtain enough Ambien to die from an overdose. Plus, the length of time Ambien stays in the system is relatively short.  However, even in normal doses, some people can react very badly to Ambien, so it’s important to be very careful when taking this medication. Ambien abuse also increases your risk of potential overdose. In fact, you’re much more likely to overdose on Ambien if you take it ways other than prescribed. This medication should only be taken swallowed as a whole pill, and only in the doses recommended by your doctor.

What happens when you overdose on Ambien?

Ambien overdose symptoms may include sleepiness, confusion, and difficulty breathing. Furthermore, taking Ambien to “get high” can have unpleasant side effects, including memory loss and acting out behaviors in your sleep (including driving) which can put you at risk for physical harm. The likelihood of these side effects goes up with higher doses of Ambien.

How many Ambien is too much?

The recommended daily dose of Ambien is 10 mg, once a day before bed. At 40 times that recommended dose, 400 mg, cases of non-fatal overdose have been reported. However, as little at 70 mg of Ambien at once can cause illness, including feelings of nausea, headache, and muscle pain. Still, it takes a whopping 2000 mg of Ambien to be fatal, which is 200 times higher than the normal dose. It would be very difficult to obtain enough Ambien to be fatal.

Ambien overdose help

If you’ve taken too much Ambien and start experiencing serious symptoms, including trouble breathing or irregular heartbeat, you need to get medical attention right away. Contact a doctor immediately if you think you may lose consciousness. Do not take Ambien if you know that you have a tendency to sleepwalk to act out daily activities in your sleep while on Ambien.

Overdose on Ambien questions

Do you still have questions about OD’ing on Ambien? 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 with a personal and prompt reply for all legitimate queries.

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

Photo credit: Today is a good day

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43 Responses to “Can you overdose (OD) on Ambien?
5:10 am October 14th, 2012

I recently ended up taking 8 Ambien. After I took my first 10mg pill, I went to bed. But I kept getting up and thinking I needed to take my meds. So, I took another. This happened all night until I had accidentally taken 80 mg. I have no memory of this. My wife counted my pills and was the one who discovered it. If you take Ambien, you will suffer from short-term memory loss. I once got dressed, drove to Walgreens at night and dropped off a Red Box movie. Again, I had no memory of this whatsoever.

10:42 am October 15th, 2012

Hi Rich. Thanks for sharing more about the dangers of dosing on Ambien. I wonder if you’ve tried a more “gentle” sleeping aid such as melatonin or even lifestyle changes such as exercise and meditation? These might help if you give them some time to work.

5:45 pm April 11th, 2013

What would happen if you take Ambien and Hydrocodone together?

1:01 pm September 28th, 2013

i take ambein to sleep can ..ambien i take 2can i get a overdose ???

1:45 pm October 2nd, 2013

Hello Mike. You should take Ambien only as prescribed. How many mg of zolpidem have you been prescribed?

10:28 am January 21st, 2014

I am up to 400 mg per night and still cannot sleep. Do I need inpatient drug treatment? How long would it take me to ramp down on that dosage? Is outpatient treatment a viable solution?

1:55 pm January 22nd, 2014

Hi Saucy. These are great questions. Both inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment can work for you…but you can check out this flowchart to figure out which can be better for you: Check with your doctor about tapering doses of Ambien. Generally, it’s better to withdraw from zolpidem slowly, over the course of many weeks. S/He can set up an individualized tapering plan made just for you. Does this help?

8:27 am January 27th, 2014

I’ve been taking ambien for a year now to sleep. The weirdest is the memory loss of the last hour before bed. I can never remember what I was doing, or if I got up. There have been times I’ve gotten up and my roommates have had conversations with me in which I sound drunk. I won’t remember it until one of them tells me the next day.

12:12 pm January 27th, 2014

Hello Sam. Have you reported these symptoms to your prescribing doctor? Keep in mind that Ambien is not meant to be sued for more than 6 weeks at a time.

5:01 am March 12th, 2014

ambien will mess up ypur lifer

3:33 pm May 3rd, 2014

I’m so lucky and thankful that I’m still alive, I tried to commit suicide a couple years back. I took about 50 ambien, A handful of Ib Profin, and a handful of buspar. Obvious information but don’t ever take too much of this medication. I was sick for two days and that amount of ambien made it to where I was seeing double vision for a day, I don’t remember all of what I did, and it made me incapable of walking. I had to crawl to the fridge to get tea to prevent dehidration and my apartment was very messed up from trying to pick up food items and anything I could find to stay alive once I woke up. This medication has given me unwanted effects even in small recommended doses, blurry vision for example. I think it’s a dangerous drug.

Meghann J
12:49 am May 18th, 2014

My ex took about 13 10mg AMBIEN two nights ago. He is experiencing the shakes and also extreme sweating. He was prescribed two a night but when he took them the other 11 and didnt know it. Went for a walk…doesnt remember even doin that.

1:20 pm May 19th, 2014

Hi Meghann. For acute overdose information, call the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

12:09 am June 25th, 2014

I have got addicted to alprax 4mg along with 50 mg of zolpidem but even this dose is not effective in sleep. I wanted to come out of drugs, but at the same time I want to have peaceful sleep. Please help me because so many doctors gave me alternative drugs that makes things worse (even one doctor has proscribed medazolam) Please give me proper and permanent solution.

7:11 am June 30th, 2014

I took 100mg and experienced some extreme symptoms the next day. My heart ached with palpitations, I was dizzy and almost fainted numerous times, it was extremely hard to breathe. I stuck it out because I really don’t have an addiction and was scared to go to the hospital and them want to admit me to rehab. I no longer take ambien, it was after the first pill that I just kept popping them like they where candy. Is this going to have long term effects? My fingernails are somewhat bluish and it’s the 3rd day. My heart no longer hurts but palpitations are still current and I have fits of anxiety that I’ve never experienced. Could there be long term damage here? Should I see my doctor? I’m a little freaked out that I’m just going to pass out and not wake up. I no longer take ambien and no longer will ever take it again.

1:48 pm June 30th, 2014

Hi b. Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for a free, on the phone assessment of overdose risk or with help on what to do next.

3:34 am September 15th, 2014

I took ambien and built of a resistance and then i had to take 20 mg to even get an effect. I drove in my sleep, had inapropriate chats on Facebook and said things i would never say to people i was just auqiantances with . I was seriously embarassed and not only that i did not remember shit. I ate everything in the whole house including 25 minature pancakes, waffles, crackers and a box of ice cream. I gained 8 pounds in one week and it was horrible. The worst thing out of all of this besides the humiliation was the fact that an ex had called me and i ended up going to meet him, woke up at 4am in his room and remembered nothing at all. I mean zero. Then their was the alcohol i added to this which made things 10 times worse and no memory.Needless to say i was making a host of bad decisions and all of this stemmed from Ambien.When i tried to stop taking it i went to sleep and had night terrors, was seeing people that was not there and i was scared as hell. I am not taking it now and i am not drinking anymore but this drug caused me so much anxiety that i felt just like i did many years ago when i was in active addiction and never again. I will try yoga, exercising and meditation but never again will i try a hypnotic like this.

2:40 am September 22nd, 2014

You would be surprised at how easy it is to get Ambien. I take it once every great while for sleep. I used to take it more because of insomnia, which is coming back. Anyway, I was taking 10mg, the typical dose. I now take half that because it gives me migraines the next day otherwise. Anyway, I get a 90 rx with refills. Every couple of months, I can refill it so that I don’t run out. I take it very rarely, so I have quite a supply. I don’t know why I keep filling it. Well, I do know. It is my safety net. I know I can escape if it comes down to it. But it has been a very long time, so that probably isn’t going to happen. That said, I’m going to take one now and hopefully get some sleep.

6:58 am October 7th, 2014

Whateffects should i expect taking 6 10mg ambien at once

9:00 am October 7th, 2014

Hello Mary. Taking 60 mg of Ambien at once can cause some health problems, make you feel ill, nauseated, and cause headache, and muscle pain. Remember that administering more than 10mg a night befor going to bed is not recommended.

5:24 am November 16th, 2014

i have been on Ambein for over ten years couldn’t ever have a nights sleep without it 20mg. Had to do something effecting my health slowly tapered off and used every food supplement I could find to help ones that help the most lots of vitiman c Cal-mag fish oil multi vit lots of b’s finely the main ansewer I found was a really good form of Melatonin and a homapathic wonder called Rescue pearls u can get them anywhere CVS any health food store. For the 1st time in many many years I sleep peaceful restful sleep. Thank my God for guiding me to this ansewer. I hope this helps some one. Be very careful this is a real danger, I had Dr’s who knew what I was doing. Even then had some confusion,muscle problems , and blood pressure problems make sure u get help, and very slowly. It is so worth it. Good luck.

12:41 pm November 29th, 2014

My half-uncle is thinking of suicide.. his friend told me he took 20 ambien pills. Unfortunately Idk the quantity in mg he has in this. Can someone help? Can he die from this dosage?

3:54 pm December 3rd, 2014

Hi Ray. Call an ambulance or get someone to take your uncle to the ER. The recommended daily dose of Ambien is 10 mg.

6:18 pm December 12th, 2014

My best friend overdose on Serta 100mg 50 tablets, Zolfresh 10mg 50tablets, Clozapine 100mg 50 tablets. She is 37 yrs old. Plz guide ahead. As soon as possible……..

2:51 pm December 16th, 2014

Hi Anisha. Call 911 or get her to the ER as soon as possible!

7:19 am January 31st, 2015

I’ve been on Ambien for years and on a few occasions have taken 2 to get to sleep 2 if I woke too early, then 3 the nxt night 2 more if I wake ect.
On both occasions I believe I poisoned myself having ingested too many in such a short amount of time. The hangover and recovery time is usually a BRUTAL
60 hours of slepplessness, extreme headaches, violent and painful dry heaving, sweats and chills and just pure misery.
I’ve dealt with sleep issues for years but I’m fairly confident in advising that multiple ambien 2 or 3 nights in a row just isn’t the answer. That sickness
that the OD causes is horrific.

2:33 pm February 2nd, 2015

I have chronic pelvic pain. I have been taking 20 mg of ambien for years . It is the only sleep med that has worked for me. It also reduces my pain for a few hours. often I take 5 mg during the day.also .I am trying to cut down .
So now I am taking 15 mg / day for two week, then 1 for two weeks and then perhaps stop . Is this slowdown doable without serious withdrawal symptoms? Sleepless nights are terrible. Is there anything I can take to help me sleep while I am slowing down from ambien ?

3:47 pm February 3rd, 2015

Hello Wayne. I’d recommend that you seek professional advice from a pharmacist or from your prescribing doctor. You need medical supervision during a taper after developing dependence on a hypnotic drug like Ambien. My best to you.

11:18 pm February 6th, 2015

If i take 12.5 cr for thirty days will i need to titrate off ambien i really dont want any withdrawal symptoms already went through that crap with opiates.

2:58 am February 10th, 2015

Neighbor just overdosed (died) on Ambien today. Apparently not as difficult as reported.

6:19 pm February 10th, 2015

Hi seeingstars. Good that you are planning on not taking Ambien anymore after 30 days. many people fail to realize it’s for short-term treatment of insomnia only, and shouldn’t be used longer than 4 or 5 consecutive weeks. Even during such a short time, dependence to Ambien can be developed, so it’s best to gradually lower doses in the following weeks before you stop completely. This way, withdrawal symptoms will be less uncomfortable.

Hi Mack K. I’m very sorry about your neighbour. Chances of overdose increase exponentially if a person is taking the medication for the first time and over-does it, and especially if mixed with another drug (illicit or prescribed) or alcohol.

6:30 am April 21st, 2015

I have been on Ambien (90 a month) combined with several other drugs like Potassium, aspirin. allergy, vitamins, Valium( 90 a month). Ultram (100 a month) Oxycontin (90 a month) Lyrica, Furosemide, Allopurinol. Most have been taken for 15 or more years. My Dr is retiring and they do not know where I will go now. To stop all this after over 15 years can be harmful. MY insurance is already saying the will not cover the oxycontin and I have no money to afford it. A few I have stocked up on like Ambien. How much is too much Ambien? I do strange things at times when I take it like sleep walk & do things out of character. What if anything would happen if I took maybe 300?

8:52 am May 2nd, 2015

I just do take one every night, and tonight when I took it I felt very sick, can’t od on it just by one pill a day right? At the same time everynight

3:49 pm May 13th, 2015

In the past few weeks I’ve exponentially increaoursosed my dosage of Zolpildem to 80-100mg. a the result is tharday. I take 10mg. before I go to bed, but usually need to take another to fall asleep, but usually wake up after two or three hours. I take another 10mg to fall asleep again and then can settle in for about another five hours of very deep sleep with vivid dreams. Then I wake up again about 4-5.00 for another 10 mg. and settle back into vivid but not unpleasant dreams.I’m retired and don’t need
to or want to get up so early. As a result I grab a couple of beers and 10 more mg. and try to settle down. In Vain.

9:34 am June 10th, 2015

Are there any longer term effects of taking, say, 10 mg of Ambien with 3-4+ beers and 1-2 bottles of wine? I’m honestly asking for a friend, who I am starting to suspect took 1 of my ambien one night for whatever reason. That night she was fine one minute and the next became increasingly agitated and belligerent…. Instigated a fight with me then drove to another friends house and instigated more drama. She told a lot of very big, unforgivable lies (I realize this may not be pertinent to the story but the point is she does have a penchant for lying/drama but it has never been as bad as that night). And I realize that 3-4+ beers and 1-2 BOTTLES of wine is a lot to drink but It was also over 4 hours or so (still a lot- I know) and she is a pretty seasoned drinker (like I’ve seen her drink way more and not react like that). But anyway she just recently told me that she doesn’t remember hardly anything from that night… Has no idea how she got that drunk… Says her BF got off that night and had never seen her that messed up and he almost took her to the ER. Says she was sick for like 3 days after that and it just got me to thinking like what if she had gotten into my medicine cabinet and taken something. I do take other psych meds (klonipin, Remeron, and concerta) but by the time I even considered her taking anything it was too late for me to accurately count and figure out if any were missing especially since I can be noncompliant at times and miss doses (working on it) but I did think to Check the ambien since it was prescribed to me back in 06/2012 and I had never touched it (too afraid of adverse reactions honestly) and there were only 29 left out of 30. I realize there are a million different things that could have happened to that one pill in the 3 years since I filled the prescription and they’re probably expired at this point anyway BUT I just have to know if any of this could support possible evidence of her taking my ambien and mixing it with so much alcohol. Mainly the 3 day sickness part. Please let me know what you think! Thanks

7:25 pm June 14th, 2015

I have been on Ambien for almost 8 years straight, 10 mg every night, I can not sleep at all with out it,I get terrible pains all over my body if I don’t take it and yes I am suffering memory lose and my eyesight is failing also experiencing mood swings when I can’t get it.Most nights it only works for 4 to 5 hours unless I take more. I would love to get off this medication but I am in to much pain when I try to stop.I have spoke to my Doctor but she says that Ambien is harmless

5:38 am July 10th, 2015

Is it ok to take a 5 ambian then get into bed with one glass of wine

6:22 pm July 14th, 2015

Hi Lauren. As you could read in the article above, it is not recommended and can cause harm.

5:00 am July 21st, 2015

Already took 40mg about to take 40mg more is it too much

7:59 am August 6th, 2015

Last January-albeit, I wanted to die- I swallowed 14 10 mg Ambien pills on an empty stomach. That’s another thing that a lot of doctors don’t make clear enough; taking the drug on an empty stomach makes it much more effective.

Speaking as someone who’s actually experienced an actual overdose on a much smaller dosage than what the article above states, I thought I’d give some insight.

Having snuck away upstairs for less than ten minutes, I’d take a pill, swallow it and wait 30 seconds before I took the next- so on and so forth, until soon all 14 were gone and quickly traveling through my bloodstream. So quickly, as a matter of fact, that in attempts to walk down the stairs and into the main room of the house which I was staying, I tripped on the bottom step and fell face first into the door knob, completely unaffected. I remember nothing from that point until the flashes of the inside of the ambulance. From what I’m told, there was a lot of screaming, falling around and threatening and making advances toward punching both my boyfriend at the time and the first responding police officer in their faces. It’s all black in my mind, and that’s the most terrifying part.
I will say, that waking up in a hospital bed with the faces of your loved ones peering down at you lovingly and concerned is a game changer for anyone feeling suicidal and like this may be a good route for you. It’s not. Suicide is almost never a valid option, and if it were, this wouldn’t be the way to go.

If you’re lucky enough to be able to convince the hospital that you’ve “learned your lesson” and the suicidal activity is passed, they might just skip the 72 hour psych hold and let you go home.The next week, maybe longer depending how much you consumed, your entire body will ache. You’ll feel like you are unable to do the smallest things; getting out of bed, undressing for a shower, BREATHING. It’s excruciating and boy does it linger.

The point in all of this being; you can overdose on much less Ambien than the information above states, in an affecting situation. It’s a dangerous drug, and one that’s hard to shake once you’re in its clutches.

Fun fact: I actually popped one right before stumbling across this as I was heading to bed.

12:24 pm August 21st, 2015

I toolk 9 10mg yesterday

Big Daddy D
4:08 am September 6th, 2015

Haha yeah its a real trip!

4:37 am September 15th, 2015

Can taking too much ambien effect your memory?

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