How long does Ambien withdrawal last?
Doctors do not recommend you take Ambien for longer than a couple of weeks at a time. Ambien (zolpidem) is a sedative-hypnotic that reduces activity in the brain to allow for sleep. So, whether you are treating Ambien addiction or just wanting to detox from Ambien for a while, you’ve come to the right place.
If you have become physically or psychologically dependent on Ambien, you are not alone. But what is withdrawal from Ambien like? What are symptoms of Ambien withdrawal and how long do they last? More here about the withdrawal process of Ambien and what occurs over the course of the first couple of weeks when you stop taking Ambien. We also invite you to ask any questions about Ambien you may have at the end.
How long until Ambien withdrawal starts?
After your last dose of Ambien, onset of withdrawal symptoms can manifest a few hours to a couple of days later. Withdrawal symptoms are not as likely if you’re using Ambien within the prescribed two week period, but minor symptoms may still present themselves. A common symptom to experience with onset withdrawal is rebound insomnia. You may also have feelings of apprehension, restlessness, and increased anxiety. Other possible symptoms of withdrawal from Ambien which have been reported include:
- abdominal cramps
- memory loss
- panic attacks
Ambien withdrawal timeline
Ambien affects each person differently. Those who are also diagnosed with Ambien addiction or who have developed extreme dependency on zolpidem may experience a more difficult withdrawal process. However, overall symptoms 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. Below is a general outline of Ambien withdrawal and what symptoms to expect within each time frame.
24 – 72 hours after last Ambien dose – In this phase of Ambien withdrawal, you may experience bouts of confusion and memory loss. You could experience mood changes and have increased feelings of fearfulness and anxiety. For some people, hallucinations and psychosis are possible(his is on the more severe end of the spectrum). You may also have a harder time sleeping again or experience shakes and vomiting.
Week 1 after stopping Ambien – Sleep disturbance can still be present. Some people withdrawing from Ambienhave reported nightmares and continued anxiety. As you have used Ambien to sleep, these first few days can be almost unbearable as sleeping disturbances return. Drug craving is a challenge during this week.
Week 2 after stopping Ambien – Symptoms of withdrawal tend to even out and you can begin to feel normal again. Drug cravings, depression, and mood swings may still be present. Rebound insomnia should even out around this time, as well, unless you suffer from chronic insomnia. During this phase of withdrawal, symptoms can include possible panic attacks and increased psychological need for zolpidem.
Weeks 3-4 after stopping Ambien – If you have been taking Ambien appropriately you should no longer be experiencing symptoms. However, others who have grown psychologically dependent on zolpidem or who abuse Ambien still experience psychological symptoms around this time. Some may return to having trouble getting or staying asleep.
How long do Ambien withdrawal symptoms last?
Overall withdrawal symptoms of Ambien withdrawal will affect you within the first 72 hours after your last dose of Ambien. Rebound insomnia will manifest during this time as well. Symptoms of Ambien withdrawal can last anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks after your last dose of Ambien. Most symptoms should resolve themselves after a month after your last dose of Ambien. After this period, you may still experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome for several months. Hang in there and know that eventually you will feel a sense of normalcy return. Cravings and psychological needs may still be present for some people well after Ambien is no longer present in the body.
Ambien withdrawal: how long?
Ambien affects each person differently depending on the dosage and how long you have been taking Ambien. For those who have developed a dependency on zolpidem, a longer withdrawal period is expected. They will also experience the more uncomfortable or intense symptoms of withdrawal.
In general, if you’re taking Ambien you need to be careful of its physical dependency. Ambien is one of those medications with a likelihood of developing a dependence. Take Ambien only as prescribed by your doctor. Ambien is not a cure of chronic insomnia and should not be used as such. Doing this insures less likelihood of major withdrawal symptoms.
Additionally, former Ambien users have reported suffering Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) after Ambien usem, which is a set of persistent symptoms that occur right after you stop taking Ambien and persist for several weeks to months after you last doseof Ambien. Insomnia, nightmares, depression and anxiety are typical of Ambien PAWS symptoms. Psychological effects of addiction and dependence may also still be present long after you are no longer taking Ambien.
How long Ambien withdrawal questions
If you have any more questions regarding withdrawal from Ambien please ask. We do our best to respond to your accurately and promptly.
Reference Sources: FDA: Ambien Drug Label
National Library of Medicine: Modest abuse-related subjective effects of zolpidem in drug-naпve volunteers
DailyMed: Ambien CR
National Library of Medicine: Zolpidem withdrawal delirium
Photo credit: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services