Monday September 1st 2014

Detox from Ambien

Have you been taking Ambien to fall to sleep for a while?  Are you ready to learn how to stop Ambien to get to sleep? If so, you may want to go through a process called detox as you withdraw from Ambien. Here, we review common detox practices, how long Ambien withdrawal lasts and whether or not you should detox from Ambien at home. Then, we invite your questions about detox from Ambien at the end.

Detox from Ambien symptoms

There are quite a few symptoms that may come up for you as you are detoxing from Ambien. Severe detox from Ambien symptoms can include: memory loss, hallucinations, and confusion. In these states, it can be dangerous if you are not being monitored. While severe symptoms do not occur in every case of withdrawal from Ambien, it is best that you ALWAYS SEEK MEDICAL SUPERVISION WHEN DETOXING FROM AMBIEN. Other detox from Ambien symptoms include but are not limited to the following:

  • abdominal cramps
  • exacerbated insomnia
  • mood changes
  • nausea
  • nightmares
  • shaking
  • vomiting

Detox from Ambien at home?

If you have decided to detox from Ambien, FIRST SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE. In fact, because of the risk of seizures and depressed heart rate you shouldn’t detox from Ambien on your own. Ambien is a central nervous system depressant and act on your body like alcohol, making it dangerous to develop and withdraw from chemical dependence. So if you are planning to detox, do it under the care of a physician.

On the other hand, you can prep for detox at home and slowly reduce medication dosage over time. Be in contact with a clinician as you are approaching detox. This way, medical staff can figure out any medications you may need and assess medical and psychological health before detox. Finally, you can prepare for Ambien detox at home by preparing close friends and family on the process and your potential needs.

Detoxing from Ambien time

If you want to detox from Ambien, NEVER suddenly stop taking Ambien or go cold turkey. You may think that you will speed up Ambien detox time. Instead, you can provoke severe withdrawal symptoms. So how long will detox last?

You generally have the option of different Ambien tapering timelines to reduce levels of zolpidem in the body either slowly or more rapidly. In fact, you can taper zolpidem doses down from a period of 6 weeks to 6 months. Finally, once Ambien is out of your system, detox clinics provide 24, 48, 72 hours detox processes where you are being monitored and observed full time and given necessary replacement therapies such as Klonopin or Busprione to treat detox symptoms.

Ambien detox treatment

Detox is a treatment designed to rid the body of zolpidem, the main ingredient in Ambien, that affects the central nervous system. Detox helps your body regain normalcy and restore the chemical balance in your brain. So how do clinicians treat Ambien dependence? What medications are used?

Before the actual detox you will meet with a doctor to set up a schedule. The time frame for Ambien detox will includes assessments and anaylzing whether or not you are a good candidate for detox. During assessment, clinicians also set up parameters to help address possible Ambien addiction after you have completed detox. They may then decrease your doses for a couple of weeks to help prep for detox and compensate for withdrawal symptoms. There are several ways that clinicians treat Ambien withdrawal, which include:

1. Medically managed detox: This is an impatient process during which you are monitored and treated for acute Ambien withdrawal symptoms.

2. Social support: When going through detox, social support such as relapse prevention or groups or behavioral therapies help promote continued maintenance away from Ambien link you with the proper after care.

3. Medically supervised outpatient: Monitored tapering of Ambien under the supervision of a medical professional.

a. Preparation: You will be assessed on medical and mental health so that detox is specifically tailored to you. Appropriate medical and behavioral therapies are then incorporated into treatment.

b. Detox schedule: Doctor usually suggest three different options for detox from Ambien. A reduction of doses over a period of 6 weeks. A reduction over the course of 6 months and then a replacement medication using diazepam.

Because Ambien is a hypnotic-sedative, detox can at time be tricky. Ambien stays in the system and can trigger withdrawal symptoms long after detox has been completed. For this reason, Ambien withdrawal symptoms will still need to be addressed during and after withdrawal. You will need to see your prescribing doctor multiple times as you detox from Ambien.

Clinicians also recommend other therapies once the physical detox has been completed. They will refer you to relapse prevention techniques, support groups, or treatmentfacilities. It is important that once detox is complete, relapse is likely to occur in the first couple of hours and weeks afterwards. Clinicians may provide care and support as well as relapse prevention support to help for when detox is complete to help maintain abstinence. This will take about 3 to 4 weeks. Replacement medications and/or longer acting benzodiazepines can addressagitation and anxiety that arises with detox.

Detox Ambien questions

Do you still have questions about Ambien detox? What to know more about Ambien detox and what to expect? Have experience with detoxing from Ambien? If so please ask any questions or share any experience you may have with detox. We would love to hear from you. And we will answer questions you may have personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: SAMHSA: Detoxification and Substance abuse treatment
Oasas: Detoxification guide
State of Arkansas Human Services: Detoxification 

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12 Responses to “Detox from Ambien
Mark
4:31 pm June 11th, 2013

Hi, I’m located in Portugal and have been seriously addicted to Ambien for a long time now. I am to go through detox this Summer…do you know if there are places at all for ambien detox in my country? I’ve been searching for ages but have never been able to find anything.

Cheers

12:03 pm July 5th, 2013

Hello Mark. Here’s what I found about drug addiction (and detox) treatment in Portugal:

http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/data/treatment-overviews/Portugal

Pauline
3:07 pm August 3rd, 2013

I am 88 and I want to detox from ambien at home. Please help.

7:48 am August 13th, 2013

Hello Pauline. You always need medical supervision when coming off Ambien. First, seek a tapering schedule from your prescribing doctor. Then, record your symptoms in a journal or on a calendar. Finally, prepare to have alternative ways to cope with possible rebound insomnia during withdrawal and after. Best of luck to you, Pauline!

Joan Compton
11:45 pm September 3rd, 2013

Hi. I took Ambien, usually half of 10mg, for about 6 months. I started to experience hypoglycemia, weakness, shakiness and rapid, shallow breathing and through research determined that these symptoms were from Ambien use. I decided to quit cold turkey, which may not have been a great idea. Withdrawal symptoms, aside from insomnia, included increasing nausea to the point of vomiting one day, loss of appetite for several days, increased depression (suicidal thoughts, and feeling of lost identity.) Then I gradually got better. But the insomnia continues, with occasional weakness and rapid breathing. It’s been almost 3
months. Could there be any lingering withdrawal symptoms?

5:26 am September 5th, 2013

Hello Joan. Hmm…look into protracted withdrawal symptoms PAWS for zolpidem. Have you reported these symptoms to your physician? Also, I’d suggest that you seek counsel with a pharmacist. But from my reading….yes, the brain can take a while to recover from hypnotics like Ambien (which are only meant to be used for a few weeks).

Gerri Eslary
3:01 pm October 5th, 2013

I have been taking Ambien for years but only as needed. This year has been an emotional ride and I found myself taking only 5 mgs every night. I have tried to stop lately but find it impossible. I take Lyrica for neuropathy before I go to bed, also. I only get four to five hours of sleep. I am 76 yrs. old. Is 5 mgs a danger?

11:05 am October 9th, 2013

Hello Gerri. What does your prescribing doctor say?

Brady Cherry
11:39 pm June 13th, 2014

I have been taking 10 milligrams of ambien for almost 3 months.I recently started taking 3 quarters of the pill. I didn’t find out about the problems and withdrawals until it stopped working and made my insomnia worse. All the rehabs I have called say they don’t prescribe any addictive medication witch means they don’t taper you off. They just give you anti seizure medication and mood stabilizers. I already take medication for the psychosis I went into a year ago and I am scared of going back into a psychosis. I haven’t been able to find any rehabs that tapper you off. I want off of it really bad.

Josephine
7:07 am June 15th, 2014

I live in New Orleans, La. and been taking ambien for 10 years at least, learn how to play with it when did not work anymore, five mg, 21/2mg or the 10mg ; lately is not working at all and makes me feel in a daze all night , I want to stop I don’t have a doctor; last week stopped for 3 days with no mayor trouble than the lock of sleep but then I thought of looking for a way to do it and found your blog, today I’m going to take i/4 to sleep some. HELP ME Im 59 years old

3:13 pm June 16th, 2014

Hello Josephine. Well, get a doctor! No, seriously. You need help during withdrawal, and there are alternatives to sleeping aids. In addition, there may be a sleep consulting center in a major city like New Orleans. So, check out the listings here (http://www.aasmnet.org/) , and schedule an appointment so that you get the support you need and deserve during Ambien detox. The rebound insomnia can be difficult, and you need to be prepared!

Gerri Eslary
3:13 pm June 18th, 2014

I take 5mg when I first go to bed and that lasts four hours. I wake up to use the bathroom and take another 5mg and that takes me to morning. So far I’m happy with this since I have no side effects with zolpidem. But things always seem to change.

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