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How to stop taking Ambien

How to stop taking Ambien

Are you considering quitting Ambien (zolpidem)?

It can be difficult to stop taking Ambien. Do you get addicted to Ambien if you take it for longer than a few weeks?  Not necessarily.  But even if you aren’t addicted, you can experience physical side effects when you remove the medication from your system. This is because developing tolerance to Ambien and physical dependence on Ambien occurs relatively quickly.  Learn more about Ambien dependence, addiction, and how to stop taking Ambien below.

Can I just stop taking Ambien?

No. Most people can’t just stop taking Ambien. It’s not a matter of lacking willpower. Taking Ambien creates physical dependence on the main ingredient zolpidem over time. Dependence on Ambien symptoms include needing to take Ambien every day, needing to take more Ambien to get to sleep, as well as withdrawal symptoms when you reduce or stop dosing with zolpidem.  In fact, you may experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit  Some withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant, while others, such as seizures, can be dangerous.

What happens when you stop taking Ambien?

When you take Ambien (zolpidem) over a period of time, your body becomes accustomed to having the medication in your system. When you stop taking Ambien abruptly, your body is unable to handle the change, and you experience withdrawal symptoms. This can occure even when you aren’t addicted to Ambien.

Side effects stop taking Ambien

It may take less than a month to develop a dependence on Ambien. Withdrawal effects can be serious enough to require hospitalization, and can include:

  • abdominal and muscle cramps
  • convulsions
  • insomnia
  • sweating
  • tremors
  • vomiting

Withdrawal effects may be worse if you’ve taken Ambien long-term to help you sleep at night.

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Stop taking Ambien suddenly

It can actually be dangerous to stop taking Ambien suddenly. Doctors recommend gradually tapering your dose over weeks or even months, depending on how much you’ve been taking. Stopping suddenly actually makes it harder to quit, due to the potential severity of withdrawal effects, including induced seizures. Many people will simply start taking Ambien again to avoid withdrawals.

Stop taking Ambien cold turkey

There are reasons to quit Ambien cold-turkey, of course. If you’ve taken Ambienlong-term and developed an addiction to Ambien, you may be incapable of exercising the control to slowly taper your dose. You might also have to quit suddenly due to a drug sensitivity or reaction. Ask a doctor for guidance if you’re planning to quit Ambien.

How do I stop taking Ambien?

It’s easiest to quit Ambien and stay off it if you reduce your dose a small amount at a time.

To discontinue hypnotic medications like Ambien, experts suggest a taper schedule of withholding a dose every other day or every third day. However, doctor can help you develop a dosing schedule suitable for your particular needs.

How to stop taking Ambien safely

The safest way to stop taking Ambien is by consulting a doctor. A doctor’s instructions will make the process easier and more effective. Speaking to a counselor or mental health professional can also help you cope with possible Ambien addiction, if psychlogical dependence is keeping you from quitting.

How to stop taking Ambien questions

Still have questions about how to stop taking Ambien? Please leave your questions, comments or experiences about withdrawal from Ambien here. We welcome all feedback and will do our best to respond to you with a personal and prompt reply.

Reference Sources: State of California Department of Health Care Services: An Overview of Treatment Approaches to Insomnia
Federal Bureau of Prisons: Detoxification of Chemically Dependent Inmates
PubMed: Detoxification from high-dose zolpidem using diazepam
PubMed: Intractable nausea caused by zolpidem withdrawal: a case report.
DEA Drug Information: B
MedLine Plus: Zolpidem

Leave a Reply

88 Responses to “How to stop taking Ambien
1:46 am September 24th, 2012

If you suddenly stop taking ambein how many days shall experenice withdrawels bad enough for hospitalaztion

8:49 am September 25th, 2012

Hello Ashley. Cold turkey withdrawal from Ambien can provoke seizures, and is not recommended. In fact, withdrawal from Ambien is, ideally, monitored after drug exposure for several days or weeks. So if you’re planning to decrease dosage, be sure that you do so under medical supervision.

10:01 pm December 2nd, 2012

I have been taking 1/3 to 1/2 of a 10mg zolipidem tablet nightly for the last 5 or 6 nights. Before that I might take the same amount once or twice a week. Can I stop cold turkey without seizure risks? I am 55 years old.

9:16 pm December 8th, 2012

Hi Willow. Physical dependence on Ambien occurs after regular daily dosing over the period of 2-3-4 weeks in a row. But if you are nervous about seizures, I’d suggest that you first talk with your pharmacist or prescribing doctor. It’s better to be safe than sorry!!!

2:36 pm January 11th, 2013

i have taken 5mg of Zolpidem nightly for a couple of years now.I want to get off of them. I am 59 years old. Any suggestions? Thank you in advance.

12:17 pm January 12th, 2013

Hello Bette. Thanks for your question. I’d suggest that you speak with your prescribing doctor and set up a tapering regimen. This is the best way to minimize zolpidem withdrawal symptoms. Then, slowly lower doses over the course of several weeks. And have some sleeping routines in place to help prepare you for sleeping. Check out Dr. Rubin Naiman’s book “Healing Night” as a guide to good sleep.

Haywood Turner
9:45 pm February 10th, 2013

I have been on ambien CR 12.5 mg for some time (years). I have talked to doctors about stopping but none have been able to advise me. They knew how to put me on it and have never said I needed to stop. I have on my own tried to reduce the dosage but with the generic tablet. They did not help. I have cut the 12.5 tablet however I was unable to fall asleep. Can I safely cut the 12.5 tablet (brand). No where I have checked indicates this tablet can be cut. Please advise.

12:22 pm February 11th, 2013

Hello Haywood. This is a question for a pharmacist. Try calling your local pharmacy to learn more about Ambien brand or zolpidem generic doses. Then, get medical advice about a tapering schedule that is best for you. Each taper is individual, so you can gradually lower doses without effect.

7:58 pm February 11th, 2013

hey iam 16 years old and i take 1/2of a 10mg tablet of ambien at night i have been taking for 5 weeks now but i have stoped taking for three nights now and feel ok.Do u think i will be ok. because the pharmacist told my house parent i would have no withdrawls but i have not talked to any one yet so please any comments would help.

10:30 am February 12th, 2013

Hi Austin. It’s possible that 5 weeks of daily Ambien has not developed into physical dependency. If you feel OK, this is a good sign! To be sure, call the pharmacy and speak with a pharmacist yourself. This can help you get some peace of mind!

9:42 pm March 4th, 2013

Hi there. I was prescribed zolpihexal after neck surgery 6 years ago and now I would like to get off it. I was not warned about the long term effects and in fact was told it was non addictive. I have developed unusual symptoms and I can only attribute them to overuse of this drug. Memory loss, disassociation, sweats, aches in muscles, poor concentration, vision disturbances, moodiness etc etc. when I tried to stop, these symptoms worsened considerably. What now? Please help as this is affecting my quality of life and my ability to function normally.

9:22 pm March 21st, 2013

I take 5mg of ambien every night. I do not take more. My prescribing doctor has told me that it is ok to continue to use in this manner. But I hear/read very negative info on ambient. So I dont know what would be the appropriate action.

6:55 am March 24th, 2013

Hi Michele. You’ll really have to read more about Ambien and weigh your options. Keep in mind that Ambien is meant to be prescribed for short term use and that hypnotics like zolpidem have yet to be studied or reported over long term use.

7:53 am March 26th, 2013

How long does it take to develop a situation where withdrawal symptoms would occur? in other words, is it safe to just take Ambien every once in awhile as needed (vs. every nite) without risking withdrawal symptoms? Or, say I take it 3 nites in a row; can i stop after that without a problem?

2:34 pm March 26th, 2013

Hi Kathy. Ambien dependence occurs after several weeks of nightly dosing in a row. Still, consult with a pharmacist to learn about how to avoid Ambien dependence and don’t take Ambien for longer than a few weeks at a time. As a hypnotic, Ambien is meant for short-term use only.

Jack Long
3:09 pm April 1st, 2013

I am taking ambien 10 mg for 6 years and would like to stop.Help?

2:35 pm April 3rd, 2013

Hi Jack. Speak with your prescribing doctor first and get a tapering calendar catered to your needs. Then, talk with a pharmacist and verify the procedure, as well as other over-the-counter products that can help support your sleep.

3:46 pm April 3rd, 2013

Hi, I have been on Zolpidem (10mg) for at least 3 years. I believe I am experiencing some strong side effects, such as: worsening (much worsening) depression, agitation, forgetfulness, and extreme mood swings. Since it is not a ‘necessary’ drug, I want to get off of Z to see if these symptoms decrease.

Does this sound like I NEED to get off Z, and if so, would I need to quit cold turkey (with medical oversight) or taper off.

Thees symptoms are debilitating and even to the point of being somewhat dangerous.

7:04 am April 4th, 2013

Hello Karyn. Tapering off Ambien is very much recommended. Check with your prescribing doctor for a tapering schedule, or with your local pharmacist for dosing advice. A slow taper over at least a few weeks can help minimize disturbances.

As for the mood symptoms, I’d suggest that you see a psychologist or psychiatrist for a mental health check up. It’s possible that there are some underlying issues or that your brain is a little low on dopamine or serotonin, neurotransmitters that regulate mood. Seek a diagnosis, and the course of treatment will follow.

2:45 pm April 4th, 2013

Thanks, I am on Gabapentin and Lamotrigin, both are for fibromyalgia, pain and depression. I didn’t need them before Ambien. I will consult with both prescribing doctors. Thanks again.

2:54 pm April 8th, 2013

Been taking .5 ambian twice a day for one month. Want to stop. How should I wean myself off. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

5:34 am April 9th, 2013

Hi Sandy. Check in with a pharmacist or your prescribing doctor to create a tapering schedule and calendar specifically for you. Cold turkey Ambien withdrawal can bring on unnecessary withdrawal symptoms that can be avoided if you slowly lower doses.

2:24 am April 30th, 2013

I have beebntaking Ambien for 5 years 10 mg. But they dont work unkess I take a second one.I also take Clonezpam 2 mg.
I was rwice in rehab in CAlifornia but it was useless. The primary reason I had indomania because I have a handicapped son age 25 lives withus. He suffers from psychosis and was born with Kleinfelter Syndrome. I need to get off Ambien .Can you find a counsellor who can do phone counselling,Life is vert sad and frightening because of my son’s proble,He locks himself 24/7 dont go ou. Hr cweighs 250kg.He is embarrasses ro go out.We live inUK but would phone counselling any onewho you feel competent.Kimdly help.Life is very difficult.

Don McElderry
11:24 pm May 19th, 2013

1. What is considered a small dose reduction?

2. Are there any taper schedules for Zolpidem that are similar to Dr. Ashton’s for Lorazepam?

4:15 am May 20th, 2013

Hi Don. It will be best to seek a tapering schedule from your prescribing doctor, as s/he will know more about your personal case.

Phyllis Thomas
9:29 pm May 25th, 2013

I been on ambien for two years how can I stop and get a good nite sleep

8:46 pm May 27th, 2013

I have been taking 10mg of ambien for 8 years. My dr can’t or won’t admit I have a problem, but I know I do. She switched me to Lunesta. Couldn’t sleep with that.Back on ambien but it’s not working now. I NEED TO GET OFF THIS STUFF.What can I do?/

5:20 am May 28th, 2013

Hi Joanne. I’d suggest that you seek a second opinion and possibly find a new doctor. Also, read up on sleep treatments from sleep clinics, meditations for sleep, and find out more about alternative to sleeping hypnotics. It’s nasty stuff, in terms of brain wiring and dependence. I wish you all of the best!!!

3:35 am May 29th, 2013

Hello I’ve been on ambien for almost thirteen years.i live in a small town, the dr just giving it to me and now I’m going cold turkey.What can I expect? Any info would be helpful

10:13 am June 3rd, 2013

Hi Kathy. Ambien should be tapered. Seek help from your prescribing doctor and ask for a personalized tapering regimen before stopping cold turkey.

7:00 pm June 14th, 2013

Please reply to my above question. I am going to a rehab in CA. They say it can be tapered off within 30 days. I take 20mg Zopidiem and 2 to 4mg Clonezpam in night.I am scared for seizures. I need your reply
because I want to forward to Cliffside Malibu so they prepare an individual program which will be without risk. Thank you for your help.

5:34 pm July 20th, 2013

Due to working the night shift I have become dependent on Ambien, I have not gone a night without at least 10mg of Ambien for over 5 years. Lately I have found that I have been waking up several times a night and need to take more. Now I am at the point I have been taking it occasionally during the day to boost my mood and fight off stress and anxiety. Between day and night I have taken as many as 5 or 6 10mg pills per day/night. It definitely helps my mood and helps me sleep, can a person continue to take it this way ? As of now I have had no other side effects other than the stress and anxiety but then again I have had that my whole life long before Ambien came along.

9:29 am July 25th, 2013

Hello Dhiraj. Check out page 10 of this manual, which equates zolpidem withdrawal to benzodiazepine withdrawal:

4:30 pm October 13th, 2013

Used medical cannabis chocolate bars and in 6 weeks I got off the ambien with only a few nights of intense craving. I am now 6 weeks clean and am easily getting off the cannabis. Wouldn’t recommend this if you have chemical dependency with pot bit it worked when other therapies and AA didn’t. A note about medical cannabis to those who used it years ago..?.be really careful the stuff is incredibly potent.

10:00 pm November 1st, 2013

I all it want is to sleep…take a pill….take a 10mg pill a night, no problem…..HMMMMM
It’s been at least 7 years… I take a half at 6 pm, then a 10mg at bedtime. Been fighting depression, extreme fatigue, sleepiness throughout the day…whatever happened to my zest for life….it’s sucking everything I have out of me. I want out and off. Of course they talk about seizures…that is what scares me the most, and getting panic attacks now because I do not want my husband to find me on the floor seizing at the mouth when he comes home. Our first grandson will be born in January, I want to enjoy his life and be happy and actually hear his crying at night…..

What next?

6:15 am November 7th, 2013

Hi Pat. The next step is to consult with your prescribing doctor and to work on a taper.

4:03 pm December 10th, 2013

I’ve been taking Ambien for more than a dozen years. I have a diagnosis of Insomnia (seems to run in the family) along with some anxiety. I would like to quit Ambien because of the recent research studies linking Ambien to possible early death. But I’m afraid my insomnia will continue. I do take a medication for anxiety and I’m hoping that this medication alone may help with my sleeping issues. Any suggestions. Is it a good idea for me to get off the medication. I’m 67 years old.

9:39 am December 12th, 2013

Hello Dusty. Your question seems to be both personal and medical in nature. Ambien was never meant to be prescribed for years on end; in fact, doctors are urged to prescribe zolpidem for 6 weeks or less. If you decide to stop taking Ambien, it will help to manage insomnia with alternative lifestyle changes to diet, exercise, and relaxation methods. Problems sleeping are a product of an active mind, but can be changed using practices over time. It’s not a quick fix, but one that requires commitment and determination. Have you consulted with a sleep specialist?

4:56 pm February 2nd, 2014

I have taken 10 mg of Ambien since 2007. It was prescribed after I was diagnosed with breast cancer, which resulted in severe depression, anxiety and insomnia. I took Xanax but stopped taking it in 2009, but still take Celexa and Ambien. It has been the only thing that gives me the ability to sleep at night. I also have arthritis of the neck which makes it difficult to get comfortable enough to sleep. Suddenly, my doctor (not the original prescriber) decided not to prescribe Ambien anymore. I’ve gone about 3 weeks with almost no sleep. He never even suggested weaning me off with a reduced dosage, simply made me go cold turkey. I’m miserable and about to lose my mind over my inability to sleep. HELP!!!!!

Patricia Moynihan
5:03 pm February 23rd, 2014

I did suspect all this stuff, but to see it written down stunned me. I’ve been taking Zolpidem for at least 10 years. I knew it couldn’t be good so now I have to get off it. I’ll go to my PCP but I wish I could just go cold turkey.

3:31 am March 6th, 2014

I’m quitting zolpidem gradually, from 5 mg nightly to 2,5 mg a night. I’ve had very few moments of sleep and a lot of nightmares. I’ve been doing this process for three days now. I want to quit because I’ve been taking this pill for 2 years. Enough is enough. I just want to know how many days should I expect that cycle of nasty nightmares lasts, until I get back to normal sleep. Thank you for your answer. God bless.

6:26 am March 6th, 2014

Hello Catalina. Right. Good for you. Hmmm. Nightmares are one of the side effects of Ambien withdrawal. They can last for days or weeks as your body adjusts to the new chemical environment in the central nervous system. Have you consulted with your prescribing doctor for suggestions on how to cope?

11:20 pm March 7th, 2014

I have taken Ambien 12.5 now for 1o years and it has caused several major issues with me such as nightly sleepwalking, I eat massive amounts of food that I either cook or get from a box or a bag, I clean, I call people on the phone and have conversations that I don’t remember, I broke the bones in my cheek from a fall that I didn’t even feel or know how it occurred and hurt when I woke up the next morning. What really depresses me is that 6 years ago I had ruen y gastric bypass surgery and lost ALOT of weight, but no one told me that one of the side effects of Ambien is sleep eating so I have gained most of the weight back. none of the doctors I have seen has helped me to quit—told sleepy time tea which is crazy. Help!!!!!

10:31 pm April 13th, 2014

I have taken Ambien/Zol. on/off 10 years. Ambien worked Great for the 6 years, but was switched to Zolipdem 10 mg 4 yrs, now Zol. 5 mg. It’s not working well at all I take one, then two, three. I get drowsy, no sleep. I know my tolerance is up. I take Wellburtrin 150 mg for depression, that helps me feel better emotional, but not sleep So my psychr. says if Zol.5 mg, don’t work to try Trazadone 100-200 mg. It might work and then it might not. I have had sleep issues for over 20 years and I just want to be able to lay my head down and sleep. And I do use my sleep apnea machine, but that doesn’t always mean sleep. HELP!!!!

5:30 pm May 31st, 2014

been taking 5 mg of Ambien for 6 years & would like to go off. Concerned that my Dr doesn’t have a clue as to how to taper off. YOUR SUGGESTIONS
Thank you

2:04 pm June 2nd, 2014

Hello Richard. I have a hard time finding an Ambien withdrawal guideline…but you can start by reading here: And consult with your local pharmacist, or seek multiple counsel from prescribing physicians. The more you know, the better you can approach a taper!

12:36 pm June 3rd, 2014

Hello Debra. Zolpidem is simply the generic version of Ambien. From my reading, a blend of lifestyle changes can REALLY help you adjust and start sleeping naturally. A growing tolerance to these medications might be a sign that it’s time to address some of the underlying issues which have created the insomnia; prescription drugs are really meant to be prescribed SHORT TERM (6 weeks or less) for sleeping problems.

11:30 am June 7th, 2014


8:11 pm June 15th, 2014

I’m used to 10mg of ambien and I want to quit. Should I drop to 5mg for a while or can I just stop and substitute Melatonin?

Rick Lewis
3:32 am June 19th, 2014

I’ve been taking 10mg of Ambien or it’s generic since the end of 1998. It was originally prescribed for a strange issue of not being able to take a deep breath (or yawn) while lying down.
I no longer have that issue, but I recently read an article about Ambien and cancer that was rather frightening, yet I feel that after almost 16 years of taking it nightly, it’s had plenty of time to sow that seed.
I made a deal with my daughter that if she would quit smoking, I would quit Ambien.
So, here I am reading your very thought provoking blog. I was going to try quitting cold turkey, but I’ve decided to discus tapering it off with my MD.
Many thanks to you.

4:45 am June 30th, 2014

I’ve been taking 5mg of zolpidem for the past month. How long will it be safe for me to be taking it? I am 61 years old. Please let me know!

12:07 pm July 10th, 2014

I stopped taking ambien because of the difficulty in getting refills. I have all my meds on auto refill at Kroger. When my Ambien refills run out I am not notified by anyone that I will not get anymore untill I see my Doctor then, I takes several days to get an appointment. This last time I was without for ten days before I can get in. I also take lorazipam for anexiety only as needed 1mg. So at night if I could not get to sleep I would take one of those and that worked. I have only taken lorazipam two or three time. The problem for me now is I still have trouble falling asleep I just cant wake up now. I almost went off the road several time trying to get there. I have never been that way. Now what?

11:25 pm July 25th, 2014

Hello….I have been taking Ambien on and off for about 15 years. A few years ago I saw a sleep doctor who prescribed Rozerum which I took simultaneously with the Ambien. Over a months time, I tapered off the Ambien and then stopped the Rozerum. Terrific Now,due to stress in my life,I can’t sleep, I’m back on Ambien and it’s destroying my mental state. As before, I am having difficulty processing information, making even the simpilist of decisions and I feel like a walking zombie.
My question for you is this: I have researched various strains of marijuana and found that Indica provides a peaceful, relaxing calm to help fall asleep. As medical marijuana is becoming legal in many states in the US do you think smoking the “right” pot would be a viable option to help me sleep.
I have tried meditation and follow all the guide rules for falling asleep….no caffeine, bed is only for sleeping etc, etc but I’m still struggling and must get off of Ambien
Thank you

11:23 pm July 28th, 2014

been on ambien for about 3 months. Last two months, taking it every night. It worked great at first. Then I was waking up in the middle of the night, having some side effects from it. I went today to my physician. He told me to get off it. I told him when I went off of it for 1 day, I had extremely nervous, anxious, restless, and couldn’t sleep. He told me to stop taking it and prescribed trazodone. It this ok?

4:36 am August 27th, 2014

I’m 5 days off Ambien after being on 3 years, cold turkey. Every night I use indica cannabis and fall asleep right away. I do wake up after 6 or 7 hours of sleep. But, I don’t sleep walk any more. I can see much clearer. I have very bad dry mouth and drink water constantly, but my headaches have lesson and my blood pressure is decreasing. I feel like I’ve lost 10 pounds and am more alert. What a difference. I was living in a fog and couldn’t cope. I feel Ike my body is cleansing its self. My aches and pain are less..

Michael J
10:33 am September 15th, 2014

Thinking about quitting Zolpidem(ambien) for a while now I had a heart attacksix years ago and had a stent put in…was working security at the time nights on a FEDERAL SITEAND STARTED GETTING CHEST PAINS AND FINALY WENT TO MERCY SAN JAUN WHERE THEY PUT A STENT IN MY HEARTAND AFTER5 DAYS SAID COULD GO HOMEi WAS GIVIN PLAVIX AND FOR SLEEPAMBIANNOW FOR FIVEIVEYEARSIVE TAKING THIS AND WANT OFF TOOK THE PLAVIXFOR OVER FIVEAND MUST SEE THE DUCKFOR ADVICEIam an adddict27 yearsoff boose two years off tobaccobut I gotta see the duck

8:36 pm September 16th, 2014

I was prescribed Ambien 10mg in the hospital after my hysterectomy. I stayed on it for six weeks and took myself off. I would fall asleep on my own for the first week, but now I’m waking up after 2-3 hours of sleep at night. I evenutally fall back to sleep an hour before it’s time to get ready for work. What do you suggest. I was started on medication by my OB/GYN

8:21 pm October 8th, 2014

I have taken ambien for 10 years. I forgot it on a weekend trip and decided to try and get off of it. I haven’t taken it for 4 nights now and have had very little sleep. I am trying to decide if I should take a small dose by cutting a pill in half or wait longer and take nothing.

6:51 pm October 15th, 2014

I am 53 yrs old and have been prescribed Ambien for almost 10 yrs. I took 10 mg up until about a year ago when I reduced it to 5mg. I suffer from horrible lucid dreams. Last night was particularity scary because I couldn’t seem to get out of my dream. How do I safely get off this medicine?

3:36 pm October 17th, 2014

Hi Donna. A tapering schedule of withholding a dose every other day or every third day is mostly recommended. But, since every organism is different, ask your doctor to help you create a dose-reducing schedule suitable for your particular needs.

2:37 am November 30th, 2014

Frustrated!! I have been on Ambien or Zolpidem for about 10 years, I have been on only 5m the past year. When my pharmacy called my doctors office for a refill, they replied “not appropriate”???
It was the proper 30day notice for refill, so I am confused and concerned. I haven’t had any Zolpidem for a 2 nights now, of course sleeping like crap, but reading some of the side effect on this blog scares me, I have already had some neurological issues in the past with seizures and tremors (non-related to going off of Ambien) and I feel so fatigued, light sensitive,racing heart kindof feeling(anxiety?)….
.It is the weekend now, and I am feeling Like I am just going to call the on-call doc about this!!!! I could wait until Mon, call and leave a message with the nurse for my doc, but that usually is another 24-48 hours to response, so then it will be like 5 days without
Just so frustrated that I didn’t request to cold turkey off and have been weaning from 20 to 5mg, at my request but I had no IDEA that they weren’t going to refill..ugh..thanks for listening

6:15 am December 20th, 2014

I have been taking 5 mg zol[idem for more years than I can count. I asked my doctor how to stop and she had no idea. She referred me to my CPAP doctor who thought it was an interesting question but had no suggestions. I am currently on my own trying breaking a little piece off the end so I am taking less. After a week or so I’ll break off a bigger piece. My problem has always been I seem built for a 26 hour day; I just don’t get sleepy. Sometimes I consider staying up until I get sleepy, but that would disrupt my days. There has to be a program developed. Someone could get rich. Marijuana sounds like a possibility. How would I use it? Some days I feel fuzzy.

5:34 pm January 11th, 2015

My 88 yr old father has been taking Ambien since April 2009 every night to sleep (after 2 brain surgeries). NOW they have taken him off cold turkey saying at his age he should not be taking this!! I thought they would have done the step down method – Nope. Help plz.

5:36 pm January 13th, 2015

Hi again, Donna. I’m aware that some doctors just cut people off of medications that they’ve been taking a longer period of time, and it’s done as if they are unaware of the withdrawal symptoms and risks. I’m very sorry for what your father has to go through, but you should be ready to get medical help if your father comes to need it. Can you talk to his prescribing doctor to continue the prescription only for the time needed for your father to do a taper?

5:32 pm January 28th, 2015

Bette, I had been taking Ambien or its geq for more than 10 years. I asked my doctor how to stop; she referred me to CPAP doctor, who also didn’t know. After reading this blog, I deiced to break a little piece off the end and take the big piece. After 5 nights I took all the little pieces. The next night I broke a little bigger piece off the end. After four nights I took the pieces. And so on. At three nights I repeated it once. At two nights I broke it in half and took the bigger half. I did this twice and then the next night I took the four smaller halves in order of size. Then thirds and so on. It turned out to be easier than I thought, but I was helped by the fact I had the flu in the beginning, so sleeping was easier, and success breeds success. I did sweat a lot, but that could have been the flu. I am recovered now. It has been two weeks completely off. I have had two nights where it took me a long time to get to sleep, but I resisted taking anything. The only question I have is whether I can safely use it on trips where I will have jet lag with time change. Any opinions on using it for jet lag if you’ve read this whole rambling?

6:29 am February 20th, 2015

hi, I have been taking ambien 10 mg for four years. I’m 18 now. I really want to get off this medication but it seems to fail every time I try. I’m concerned that I may never be able to get off. Ive talked to a doctor but my plans to quit never work. I’m looking for Maybe a new way to quit like a natural method to use to sleep while getting off ambien. any suggestions?

1:01 pm February 20th, 2015

Hello Sylvia. Why do you fail to not use Ambien every time you try to quit? Are you experiencing too harsh withdrawals or you go back to it in order to get some sleep again? You see, after that long time of using Ambien, your brain has stopped producing it’s own chemicals that put it to sleep and has learned to depend on the chemicals you administer. This is not an easy process, but you are NOT destined to use Ambein forever, and you can sleep again on your own. Good news is-our brain are great at repairing and healing on their own; Bad news is-it takes a while for the brain to return to homeostasis. But, first, you need to slowly and gradually reduce doses to prevent the adverse withdrawal effects that may occur from abrupt cessation of the medication. Sleeping won’t be easy for some time, but try to relax, drink calming teas, hot baths, massages, relaxing music…

10:49 pm March 29th, 2015

I’ve tried to stop. It’s been 20 years and I just can’t do it by myself. Is there a clinic or someplace I can go to get help.

11:50 am April 14th, 2015

Hi Carole. Yes, you can successfully stop using Ambien for good. I can suggest you start your search for a medical facility in your area here and here Good luck to you!

4:32 am April 20th, 2015

I’m doing a school project on Ambien and I’m wondering what a person can do to get off it. Like do they go to a rehab?

11:52 am April 20th, 2015

Hi Kenzie. I’ll send you the titles of our articles where I believe you can find valuable information for your school project. The article about Ambien detox treatment, also Detox from Ambien where you can review detox options, and Cold turkey Ambien where you can explore specific details about quitting Ambien all at once and why it’s not recommended. I hope this provides enough information and that you get an A :)

7:47 pm May 6th, 2015

Was just prescribed ambien have been taking it for 2 days, i want not yo take it but I cant sleep without it. I just bought Valerian root pills as well as typtophan.
Satrted taking them. Any suggestions if I will get off this pill? And if so, how cam I to be able to sleep naturally again.

4:20 am May 8th, 2015

been on zolpidem for the last 2 years. highest dose was the CR version. now in .05 for the last month. trying to taper and cutting a bit out of the .05. I would only sleep well if I take 1mg Xanax with it (which I try not to take every day). how long do I still have to keep cutting the .05 for me to feel better. symptoms are feeling restless (every other day) and headache (although I sleep for at least 6 hrs I believe) Went to a CPAP doctor, but that didn’t work.

12:54 pm May 10th, 2015

I have taken 12.5mg of ambient for about 12 yes. Rules changed at insurance level. I have had to stop cold turkey but the only problem I have experienced is insomnia. I am 70. I am wondering if I can ever achieve a normal sleep pattern. Taking this drug allowed me many great nights of sleep, however I want to rid my body of drugs that aren’t essential to my health.

3:38 pm May 18th, 2015

I have been taking 10mg of Ambien for 8 years and have tried over and over to quit taking it. I always go back because it’s easier then dealing with side effects. Now I’m concerned with memory loss and need to stop. What do you suggest the tapering should be?

3:00 am May 19th, 2015

Been taking Zolpidem 10MG for at least 10 years. along with Ropinirole 1MG for Restles Legs. I am out of Zolpidem and can’t get my perscription filled for a few days and I take it every night. I really would like to rid my addiction to Zolpidem. I am 24 hours into it and concerned, after reading all the info available, How can I make this easier to transition to. I don’t smoke pot, but friends have said it could help. What do you think?

6:06 pm July 3rd, 2015

I am 75 years old I’ve been taking it for about a year 10 mg.I quit .I haven’t taken in 2 days .can I stop all at once without it hurting m

8:18 pm July 8th, 2015

Why won’t you give a dose amount to decrease dosage? I take 5 mg so would I reduce by half to start?

12:31 pm July 9th, 2015

Hi Anne. The usual dose reduction is 10% to 20% off your initial dose each week. If it’s too fast for you, you can lower doses even more gradually, each two weeks. Talk to your doctor or your pharmacist about medications to help you manage any possible withdrawal effects.

9:51 am July 10th, 2015

I have been taking ambien 10mg for 7 years now. I have come off of it twice, a month each time but go back when i have had issues sleeping or because it seems easier. The last few months have been very stressful in my house; i have been drinking more than I should and some nights taking more of the ambien than I should. I want to stop; I am hurting myself and others around me but I am scared of the withdrawals and that I might not be strong enough to deal with them. My husband doens’t necessarily believe that tapering is necessary but the thought of quitting cold turkey scares me. Help.

11:15 pm July 16th, 2015

Hello I was put on zolpidem 10mg about 5 months ago as couldn’t sleep at night over a period of 18 months, same pattern every month, couldn’t sleep 2 weeks before my monthly cycle, with palpitations keeping me awake as well, the tablets have helped me sleep, I wake up about 5 each day and that’s it, want to wean off but worried I won’t sleep which affects my work and moods with lack of sleep, I am 49, could this be perimenapusal symptoms? Would it be best to take holiday off work and wean off them ? Please any help would be appreciated regards liz

9:05 pm July 28th, 2015

Im 64 been taking 10mg zolpidem for 7 years. Been weaning off by first taking half each night for a week. now on a quarter each night on my 5th night. my dr also gave me trepiline 10mg to take at night to help wean off zolpidem. only 3 nights left for zolpide. can i also stop the trepline

7:21 pm August 30th, 2015

I’ve taken Zolpidem-5 mg. for 2 years. I abruptly stopped taking Zol and started Trazadone-50 mg. for 3-4 days. Had horrible side effects, dizzyness, confusion, etc. and not sleeping at all. (Also, at the same time, I switched anti-depressants from 20 mg. Prozac to Wellbutrin-150 mg.) I’ve been off Zol. and Traz. (taking nothing but Wellbutrin) for over a week now. Could I-should I-substitute some form of Melatonin. I hate the thought of going back on Zol. after suffering through the last couple weeks without anything…..Any suggestions??? Thank you.

5:40 am September 3rd, 2015

just an update from may 8th post….I was able to quit the ambien completely. it took me about three months. It is possible. Im still having trouble, specially waking up in the middle of the night, but the restlessness is gone and I feel more energized and able to go through my day. Immsonia comes once in a while, but Im able to pass by with half a Xanax. exercising and melatonim also works…

8:47 pm September 13th, 2015

I have been taking Ambien for many years and I decided I wanted to come off of it. My doctor prescrbed Tazadone 50 mg and after 2 days i was not sleeping and i didnt like the way i felt so i stopped. I have nowi have not taken anything for 10 plus days and i cant not sleep at all I am exhausted what do I do . I just want o sleep . I didn tell my docor because he keeps pushing antidepreseents and i dont think that is what I need.

7:27 pm September 14th, 2015

I have been taking Ambien for a long time. Anywhere from 5 0 10 MG per nite – sometimes more.

I want to stop and have read that I should not stop cold turkey but reduce slowly. Would reducing to 5 MG to start for a few weeks and then down to 2.5 MG and then alternate every other day and then stop entirely be a good plan.

3:11 am September 17th, 2015

I have been taking ambien for well over ten years. I wrestle with quitting quit frequently. I’m also a recovering alcoholic. Sober since 1-11-07. I also take Celexa 20 mg.for depression and axiety. I’m 55. Still have moments I do not remember the next day. Not good. Married for 28 glorious like 5 min. Under she’s wonderful actually. Do not like dependance. Control when I eat can’t 2 hours before I take it.Any suggestions would be great.

3:12 am September 17th, 2015

Also I take 15 mg.a night

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