Friday March 27th 2015

What are Ambien withdrawal symptoms?

What are Ambien withdrawal symptoms?

Thinking about quitting Ambien?

If you are asking, “Can I just stop taking Ambien?” the answer depends on how long you’ve been taking it.  Ambien (zolpidem) should not be used to treat long-term insomnia. Instead, Ambien is used to treat short term insomnia. Because Ambien has a quick and high rate of dependency and Ambien withdrawal syndrome manifests when you stop taking zolpidem, Ambien is not prescribed for more than two weeks at a time. After taking Ambien for a couple of weeks, you can expect to experience Ambien dependence symptoms as you stop taking Ambien. So what can you expect as you come off Ambien?

Here, we explain what Ambien withdrawal symptoms you can expect, why they occur, and potential treatments that can help. At the end of the article we invite you to ask any questions you may have about Ambien withdrawal and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Why do Ambien withdrawal symptoms occur?

If you have been taking Ambien for more than a couple of weeks, you have more than likely developed a dependency to the medication zolpidem. When you have developed a dependency on any drug, this means that the drug has assimilated into the overall normal functioning of the way the brain and body work. It is the same with Ambien. Because your central nervous system becomes used to the presence of Ambien, when you stop taking Ambien (zolpidem), you go through withdrawal.

Withdrawing from Ambien happens because when zolpidem is no longer in the system, the body reacts, and doesn’t know how to function without it. The body now, suddenly, has to figure out the way it used to function before Ambien was in the system. This is why sleeping difficulties often seem worse when you stop taking Ambien than before you were taking it. Withdrawal from Ambien can be harder stillbecause rebound insomnia can aggravate mood and discomfort. Even more, abuse of Ambien can make withdrawal much more harder as it has an effect on your memory, creating gaps and confusion that can make withdrawal dangerous. Either way you take Ambien, what can you expect when you detox from it?

What are symptoms of Ambien withdrawal?

During Ambien withdrawal physical withdrawal symptoms can accompany psychological anxiety symptoms. Less frequently, more severe symptoms, such as seizures, can appear. Other severe Ambien withdrawal symptoms include; memory loss, In these states it can be dangerous if the person is not being monitored.hallucinations, and confusion. Finally, recurrence of insomnia appears slowly and progressively within 2–3 weeks. Other symptoms of Ambien withdrawal include but are not limited to the following.

  • abdominal cramps
  • anxiety
  • apprehension
  • dysphoria
  • exacerbated insomnia
  • fear
  • mood changes
  • nausea
  • nightmares
  • panic attacks
  • shaking
  • vomiting

Ambien withdrawal symptoms: How long?

How long withdrawal lasts really does depend on the individual and the situation that they find themselves in. Those who suffer severe physical dependence on zolpidem will have a harder and longer time with withdrawal from Ambien than those just starting to take Ambien. In general, withdrawal can start about 4 hours after the last dose of Ambien has worn off. Acute symptoms of withdrawal can peak and last for a few days after this time. Ambien withdrawal symptoms start to even out in about a week. At this time, you should begin to feel normal again. However, even a few weeks after your last dose of Ambien you might experience continued mood swings, nightmares, and insomnia. Ambien withdrawal symptoms can persist even longer for those addicted to Ambien.

Ambien withdrawal symptoms treatment

Luckily, there are many options out there for Ambien detox and ways of coping with Ambienwithdrawal symptoms. Ambien withdrawal symptoms treatment ranges from inpatient to out-patient monitoring. In fact, a combination of treatments may work best for you and your symptoms. Sometimes, there are remedies lying around your house like relaxation teas, massage products or even basic exercise equipment that can help minimize the effects of Ambien withdrawal symptoms. Otherwise, you can look into medical support for zolpidem withdrawal.

1) Medical support for Ambien withdrawal treatment

It is best to talk to your doctor if you in any wayfeel you are dependent on Ambien (zolpidem). Even if you have been using Ambien outside what your doctor has prescribed, talk to your prescribing physician. There is no shame. Medical doctors can help you figure out the next steps to mitigate the symptoms of Ambien withdrawal. Also, because of the confusion and memory loss attached with Ambien (as well as the potential for severe withdrawal symptoms), it is suggested that you are monitored during Ambien withdrawal so that you don’t end up endangering yourself or those around you.

2) Pharmaceutical treatment of Ambien withdrawal symptoms

Benzodiazepines applied during detoxification can treat zolpidem withdrawal and be helpful when applied in a standard 7-day benzodiazepine/diazepam taper regimen. Additionally, you may be able to take alternative sleep medications to help treat insomnia that don’t have as high a liability for dependence as Ambien.

3) Over-the-counter medicines for treating Ambien withdrawal symptoms

There are lots of over-the-counter medications that can help treat general nausea symptoms attributed to Ambien withdrawal. NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen, Tylenol, or acetaminophen may be helpful for the general aches and pain you will experience with withdrawal. And finally, home made teas can help support the central nervous system and calm the nerves.

Ambien withdrawal symptoms questions

Are you planning to withdraw from Ambien? Want to learn more about some of the possible serious adverse side effects? Please ask your Ambien questions below. We are happy to respond to you personally, and will try to answer your questions ASAP. And if we don’t know the answer, we will refer you to someone who does.

Reference Sources: PubMed: Detoxification from high-dose zolpidem using diazepam
PubMed: Evidence of zolpidem abuse and dependence
NCBI: Zolpidem withdrawal delirium
NCBI: Zolpidem abuse, dependence and withdrawal syndrome: sex as susceptibility factor for adverse effects
Pub Med Health: Zolpidem

Photo credit: NIH Images from the History of Medicine

Leave a Reply

114 Responses to “What are Ambien withdrawal symptoms?
Ann Baumbach
11:26 pm February 13th, 2013

I have been taking ambien for years. I decided I wanted to get off and my doctor was supportive. Well my doctor retired before I started withdrawing so I’m on my own. I took half for 3 weeks and had nausea and acid stomach. It usually is at night. I wanted to decrease again so I am taking 1/4 tablet. I continue to have stomach problems. My question is how long should I continue to decrease or should I just stop?How long do you think I will have the stomach problems?

8:21 am February 14th, 2013

Hello Ann. It’s usually best to slowly reduce doses of Ambien over the course of several weeks. In lieu of your prescribing doctor, seek help for a tapering schedule, as well as advice for dealing with symptoms, from your local pharmacist.

8:46 pm February 22nd, 2013

I have used zolpidem for four yrs. for sleep. Am starting withdrawal .made my first mistake by just stopping .after two weeks I have had some of the side effects.

As long as I have been without for two weeks what should I do to continue ?

J. C. Saunders
12:35 am March 11th, 2013

Have been on Ambien CR for 2-3 yrs, per physician. He has now decreased dose to 6.25 per FDA recommendations. Will I still have withdrawal problems? Can it be effectively titrated down? I am 75 and am concerned. Any info will be appreciated

2:10 pm March 11th, 2013

Hello J.C. Am not sure. I’d suggest that you consult with your local pharmacist for a more precise and medically validated response. You can also look into other alternative sleeping aids such as melatonin or homeopathic combinations.

Diane Hansen
7:47 pm May 17th, 2013

I’ve been on 12.5MG Ambien for 4 years and am trying to get off it completely. I talked with the pharmacist and she recommended a gradual process.

I’ve gone to 10MG for 1 week and had difficulty sleeping 3-4 hours per night with other mild symptoms.

I then split the 10MG tablets and have taken only 5 MG for the last three nights.

I now get 2 hours of sleep per night and have the following symptoms;
- Nightmares
- aching on the back crown of my head
- Angry and irritable
- Confusion
- Depressed and anxious

What can I do to help and where can I go for help? I live 10 miles North of St. Paul Minnesota. HELP

4:18 am May 20th, 2013

Hello Diane. If the 1/2 dose decrease was too much, it might provoke unwanted symptoms such as those that you describe. Speak with your prescribing doctor and see if a 7.5 mg dose might help you. However, always taper from Ambien under medical supervision and with a plan…and a back-up plan!

8:44 pm July 5th, 2013

Have used solo idem since 2008. After reading many articles on use I asked my doctor about these. He said that’s its not true with everyone and kept/still gives me scripts. I took 10Mg nightly for over 4 yrs nd slept well every night and no groggy feeling ever. I ran out 5 days ago and the Dr is gone for vacation. The 1 st night without pill, no sleep at all, 2nd night 4 hrs and last night 5. The funny thing is I am awake until 3 am before sleeping and I retire about 11:00. Who should I listen to,the Dr or the info I Read. The cost doesn’t enter into it as with my insurance I only pay $3.75 for 30 10mg pills. The last two days I get kind if a dizzy feeling for about 4-5 hours the last two days. Is this one of the withdrawal effects.?

9:37 pm July 8th, 2013

I was taking 12.5 mg of Ambien for approximately 10 years. My Dr decreased my dose to 6.25 mg about 3 weeks ago. I am having terrible stomach cramps and nausea and am worried he decreased it too fast and wonder how long I will feel sick and how much worse I will get when the drug is totally out of my system.
Please help me with your experiences or knowledge ASAP.I am very sick and my stomach feels like it is constantly in knots!,

2:34 am August 7th, 2013

I am in the middle of tapering, decreasing from 10mg to 5mg. I have been at 5 for 2 weeks & the physical withdrawals have subsided. I have started on the mental ones. Does the Benzo help with the mental withdrawals? I would like to go down to 2.5 in the next week but need the mental issues to stop first. My doctor isn’t a big fan of Benzos so unless it will absolutely help, I am sure he will not want to give me any.

7:25 am August 13th, 2013

Hello Amy. I’m with your doctor. Benzos can be habit forming, as well, and require a similar taper to Ambien. Long, slow, and cautious. What symptoms are you most concerned about? Are you looking to address cravings?

4:14 pm September 21st, 2013

After 8 years of addiction and trying everything from lunesta to AA I found medical cannabis to finally get me off off this beast. I am now three weeks off with only mild craving once in a while. I am tapering the cannabis and that doesn’t seem much of a problem.

9:28 am October 1st, 2013

I’ve been on Ambien for three weeks now at five MG. My doctor actually uped it to ten but I’m not comfortable going up on a higher dose. I see my doctor sometime this month but he does not want me off this medication. I would rather be on a different medication. I have been on Trazadone but eventually had to go up to 150MG on it. Are there any other medications good for insomnia and nightmares from PTSD that I can suggest to my doctor? Also I suffer from mild anxiety at night and I sometimes wake up in panic attacks.

Thank you for replying.

1:15 pm October 2nd, 2013

Hello Lucy. I’m sorry to hear about your history of trauma. I do sincerely hope that there may be resolution for you soon. Ambien is a powerful sleep hypnotic that was not meant for long term use of more than about 6 weeks, or so. I’d suggest that you speak with a pharmacist about both Rx and over-the-counter sleep aid alternatives. See what’s out there – from an expert point of view – and then present alternatives to your doctor. In addition, it can be helpful to work through trauma via psychotherapy as well as meditation. Heart rhythm meditation has proven to heal old wounds – more info via the Institute of Applied Meditation. I wish you all the best.

10:56 pm October 23rd, 2013

What teas are recommended. I am currently almost 2 days out of a 5 day detox clinic where I was treated for opiate and benzo addiction. The worst of my withdrawal happened last night with the restlessness and skin crawling feelings. Any help is much appreciated. Btw I walked 2 miles today and had a massage to push more toxins out quicker. Been drinking plenty of water.

8:03 pm October 25th, 2013

Hello Matt. Chamomile has known central nervous system calming properties. Valerian and melatonin are other natural sleep aids that you can ingest in tablet form which can help.

Juanita Holley
3:31 am October 28th, 2013

if I don’t take ambien I have horrible nightmares
and it is similar to my husbands nightmares when he skips his anti/depressant medications

my nightmares are very vivid and constant throughout the night. will Tylenol PM help me sleep if I drop Ambien?

1:35 pm October 28th, 2013

Hello Juanita. You’ll need to work with a doctor and not attempt to self-dose using an over the counter sedative. This is considered abuse of medications, which can lead to more serious complications. But your doctor can definitely offer suggestions and information about the nightmares and a gradual taper down off Ambien.

1:09 am October 30th, 2013

I was on ambien for a while, however I was having problems w/staying asleep & sleep walking! Sometimes I would even drive and not know it. It would scare me really bad! My general dr. Had me try ambien cr. which worked very well for me. He also had me take two Tylenol pm. So now I only sleepwalk or have nightmares of my rape if I talk about them before I go to bed.

12:38 am November 4th, 2013

I have been taking Ambien two 10 mg. nightly for about 8-10 years. I have recently contacted help to get me off of it, but now I am having problems of slurred speech and I doze off frequently no matter how much I try to stay awake it feels like my body just wants to sleep. Is this a side effect

11:02 am November 4th, 2013

Hello Brenda. It’s not clear. I’d suggest that you schedule an appointment with your prescribing doctor who’s supervising the withdrawal and then possibly a neurologist to follow up. It’s possible that these symptoms may be attributed to another cause.

diane cox
4:47 am November 12th, 2013

I have been taking ambien (generic) since 1995. I have severe arthritis and a husband with severe dementia who is at home, so have put of going off the drug. My physician does not have a problem wit me taking it as he states tat my stress level iso high that he would rather see me get rest at this point. I am 70years old, have had heart bypass in l993,Cardiologist says is in good shape and all of my lab work is excellent. Not sure what to do.

1:53 pm November 12th, 2013

Hello Diane. You’ll need to follow your gut, or opt for a second opinion. With so much stress, it might also help to speak with another physician or even a certified psychologist. There are other ways to manage sleeping other than with hypnotics.

10:12 am December 22nd, 2013

Hello, My doctor prescribed Ambien for me for almost 10 years and I still sleep well when I take it. However, I have been trying to get off the medication on my own this past week. I have not taken it for a week as of today. I’m still experiencing sleeplessness and heachaches. The vomitting stopped a few days ago. However, I am still experiencing mild nausea and now I am experiencing extreme constipation. How long will the constipation last? Thank you.

3:52 am December 23rd, 2013

Hi Kay. This is a great question for your prescribing doctor or pharmacist. Also, you’ll want to get checked immediately by a medical doctor or GI specialist, as compacted stool can cause a number of complications. What are you taking to ease the constipation?

6:59 pm January 2nd, 2014

I have a friend that is extremely addicted to Ambien and she has been for 17 years (she takes like 10-15 10 mg Ambien daily) but she is in denial about her addiction, is there any way I can help her?

8:27 pm January 2nd, 2014

Hello Rhonda. Perhaps the most helpful thing to do would be to help plan an intervention with her family. Are you in the position to do that?

2:14 am January 10th, 2014

I have been on Ambien for about a year however about 3 weeks ago I woke up w a mild dizzy feeling similar to the dizzy I would get when I tried to stay up past take the Ambien pill. After 2 days of the dizziness I decided maybe it was the Ambien so I went off it cold turkey …..needless to say the dizzy feeling was still there then about 3 days later I discovered the “withdrawal” effects so I went back on for about 3 nights ….still had the dizziness so I went off the Ambien again now it’s been 10 days w no Ambien and I still has a mild dizziness that effects me all day except when laying or sitting down or when using cardio equipment……This has me completely puzzled I went to my ENT and had testing done all came back fine and my blood work was all great too…..any help Do u think this is Ambien withdrawal? And if so how long will it last?

Joey Thompson
3:24 am January 30th, 2014

I was on Ambien(zolpiderm) for 4 years…. 10 mg a night….It helped me sleep but I was worried I was becoming addicted to it and could not go to sleep on my own. I phased off of the Ambien but had withdrawal symtoms of sleepless nights, aching shoulders, stinging sensation in my feet, and palpitations. I read other blogs where people were experiecing the same withdrawal symptoms. After I quit taking Ambien(zolpiderm), I could not go to sleep for a good night’s sleep for 6 weeks . . . I would only get 2 or 3 hours sleep. My son-in-law introduced me to melatonin stips as an alternative that melt under your tongue…. and I experienced a good night’s sleep when I took them. That was 3 months ago. Now, I get a good night’s sleep most nights. I do not take the melatonin strips except when i need them and they are not addictive.

Candis Gambino
4:06 am February 2nd, 2014

Wow!!!! I had NOOOO CLUE Ambien is addictive accompanied with withdrawls!!!?!?! I’ve been on it for sooo many years. Well actually I was on it a few different times, the first time when my daughter died, I was on it for 2 years then and I just quit taking it and didn’t sleep well but didn’t have any noticeable withdrawls other than lack of sleep. And then now I am on it again because I was raped when I was 7 months pregnant and had a premature baby boy that died a month after birth.. So I have PTSD and severe anxiety and stress and depression. I’ve been on it this time for about 3yrs. I’ve never ran out or quit this time.. My psychiatrist put me on it. Should I ask for lunesta or is it the same??? All I know is over the counter and herbal/natural remedies don’t help me at all.. I tried all that before going on Ambien. What should I do???

5:19 pm March 2nd, 2014

I had problems sleeping and the doctor put me on Ambien. 10mg was too large a dose and made me ill. I cut the pill to 5mg and was much better. Of late I cut the pill in half to 2.5mg and cut still some more but it still works for me. Wanting to get off dependence of the pill three days ago I decided to stop taking the pill. I did substitute Melatonin the second night. Although I seem to have slept it has been very erratic with probably less than 5 hours per night. No too bad but not enough for me as my eyes are very heavy when I wake up. This seems to be the only side effect I have as I had not taken Ambien for more than 3 months. I am wondering how long the erratic sleep will continue. Some say a week, some say more. Will my sleep go back to normal suc as 7 hrs per night?

3:03 pm March 5th, 2014

i have been on ambien for 17 years as well as clonopine. i came off of ambien on last fri. and have been having severe insomnia, stomack cramps, I.B.S, itching skin canker sores in mouth, as well as a panick attack.i have a lot of fear. i am in the prosess of lowering my clonopine wich i have been on for many years. i am down to 1 mg. on that. can i expect that if i continue to drop off this med. eventually my body will learn to sleep on it own? and will the widrawell symptoms go away? thank you for your reply.

6:25 am March 6th, 2014

Hello Sima. Yes, after your body goes through a period of rebound anxiety and insomnia, you can expect to be able to sleep on your own. The process of sleeping is really one of surrender. It is a skill that can take time to learn. Have you consulted with a sleep expert who uses breathing, meditation, or exercises to prepare the body for sleep?

cindy prill
11:03 am March 10th, 2014

i was on trazadone for quite a long time first 50mg then 75 then 100mg. i was doing strange things that were completely out of character of myself including shop lifting, which is totally out of character, they put me on 10mg of ambien now because of my behavior i am taking nothing, cold turkey. i feel like crap, besides being caught for shop lifting , which i am scared to death about going to court, i feel like crap. how long does this last? and now i am on xanax and 7mg of requip at night. can you give me some answers?

3:24 am March 11th, 2014

I’ve taken Ambien for several years now and seem to get off of it. i Have to up to 40 mg a night for it to work. The doctor will no longer prescribe it so I have to buy it on-line but honestly without it I have night terrors so bad i wake up screaming. I’ve been through several roommates and boyfriends before I found a husband that sleeps right through my screams. I would never sleep if it weren’t for Ambien.

11:35 pm March 17th, 2014

Firstly I would like to contradict the early statement that Ambience is not prescribed for long term insomnia. I have been on it for ten years with prescription. Now I have got off it entirely having studied all the likely dangers first. The only symptom left now after two weeks plus is tinnitus and early morning awakening. The forgotten phone calls and other common undesirable side effects have disappeared. I am falling asleep normally. May it continue!

8:58 pm March 21st, 2014

I took Ambien 10 mg for a year and now have stopped it cold turkey. I am facing problems such as confusion, depersonalization and anxiety. How long will these last ? And what should I do. I am feeling extremely lost

8:08 pm March 22nd, 2014

I used Ambien for 20 years. And I thank the Lord it came about when I needed it the most. With the CPAP and Ambien I got the sleep I needed to make it to retirement. After retirement, I kept on using it, but finally ran out I said let’s stop. Have been off three weeks. Funny, I feel loggy a lot of times, put my head on the pillow and fall asleep, and at night I have a cocktail and have to run to bed before I fall asleep. Still wondering what will happen next. I had anxiety and sleep at odd times, but I never got a high with it. My two cents.

5:43 pm March 24th, 2014

Ct ambien 48 days ago. I still take 2 mg klon. I am experiencing major wd. Trying to hold on.

Increased anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, nightmares, Fears of going mad, increased depression, breathless feeling, aggression, flu like, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, distorted vision, dizziness, shaking, tight chest, ringing in the ears, headaches, rubbery legs, extremely sore eyes, pain in the neck and shoulders, agoraphobia, hallucinations, creeping sensation in the skin, increased sensitivity to light, sound, touch, and smell, feelings of rage, tight throat, horrible skin rash especially on face, stomach, pain hyperactivity, confusion, profuse sweating, palpatations, chest pain, loss of taste, metallic taste, fishy taste in mouth, sinus problems, heavy, aching limbs, blurred vision, feelings of electricity all over, feelings of being *****ed with tiny needles, very severe tics, tingling around mouth, hands, and feet.

I’m surprised it is lasting this long. Only started feeling this way when I stopped the ambien.

1:52 am March 25th, 2014

I used Ambien for 20 years. And I thank the Lord it came about when I needed it the most. With the CPAP and Ambien I got the sleep I needed to make it to retirement. After retirement, I kept on using it, but finally ran out I said lets stop. Have been off three weeks. Funny, I feel loggy a lot of times, put my head on the pillow and fall asleep, and at night I have a cocktail and have to run to bed before I fall asleep. Still wondering what will happen next. I never got a high with it. My two cents.

9:29 am April 13th, 2014

Have been taking ambient for about 8 years. When I mentioned to my doctors here in Italy that it was only supposed to be used for 2 weeks they told me not to worry. Same thing with psychiatrists here and in the States. I suffer from major depression and as I ‘ve gotten older it’s gotten worse. But lately I just decided I was tired of all the drugs and last week went off ambient cold turkey. Apart from alleged rebound insomnia (I was experiencing in sia anyway on 10 mg) i have felt none of these withdrawal symptoms and in fact have felt much better–more energy, more focus and–most important–less depressed. One night I decided to take it to see if I could get a whole night of sleep. Woke up the next morning feeling as I had for the previous 8 years: foggy, drugged and depressed. To my horror I realized that my depressive symptoms had all this time been exacerbated profoundly by ambien. I will never touch the stuff again.

7:32 pm April 21st, 2014

I have been on Ambien 5-10MG for about eight years and came off cold turkey five days ago. On the day of my six day, I had the worst panic attack and physical symptoms I have had in a long time (I am hyper vigilant and suffer from fight or flight panic attacks) and had pain in my forearms and all over my skull including my forehead which seemed to move about when it wanted to. The body pain eventually moved to my legs and feet. The question is can symptoms come about after stopping this med about a week ago?

linda smith
7:04 am April 26th, 2014

I have been taking ambien for several months at bedtime..10mg .I stopped 3 nights ago….instead i took 50 mg benadryl. it seems to i felt just a little nervous and moody. not bad just noticeable..should i just keep doing what im doing by staying off of it?.will i experience harsher effects as days go by?.this is a scary drug and you should be told you can easily come to rely on it. ty.

Craig Blake
8:01 pm June 2nd, 2014

I had been addicted to both alcohol and hydrocodone for several years but was able to get off them ten years ago and now take Suboxone for the later problem. When I couldn’t sleep for many weeks recently, I took Ambien (I had taken it years ago) and found that almost immediately I needed larger and larger doses, even to the point of some during the day. I took 900 mg. over 30 days (30 mg daily) and then stopped and may be going through a severe withdrawal at this time: motor skill problems, sweats, etc. I was hoping these would stop after a week but I still seem to have them. I was once told by a doctor that there is no prescription drug that a doctor could prescribe to handle Ambien addiction/withdrawal problems. Is that still the case? Or should I consult a doctor?

12:40 pm June 3rd, 2014

Hello Craig. No, there are no known medications used to address Ambien withdrawal at this time. Yes, consult a doctor and work to set up a very reasonable tapering schedule together….your goal will be to remove zolpidem from your system little by little over the course of many weeks. You might also benefit from seeking a consult with a pharmacist or psychiatrist to learn more about best practices in weaning off Ambien. Best to you!

10:26 pm June 3rd, 2014

I’ve been on Ambien & Klonopin for about 6 yrs & up until recently when I switched psychiatrist I found out Ambien should not be prescribed for so long so I’ve decided to stop taking Ambien & only take the Klonopin. I’m not really going through withdrawals but I’m wondering if it’s because I’m taking the Klonopin. Is there something else I can ask the doctor for long term insomnia (since 5yrs old)?

4:00 pm June 5th, 2014

Withdrawals I am experiencing after 8 years of taking Ambien… fever/chills, coupled ALWAYS with extreme sharp shooting pains in my temples, and an ongoing migraine, sleep 2 hours.night, night sweats, palpitations/pain in chest cavity when walking, all over weakness, nervous system problems (very shakey), inability to concentrate, very dizzy (standing, walking sitting and laying down), eyes burning, feeling like I am going to vomit, restless leg syndrome, ALL OVER body aches, skin crawling, muscle tremors, craving sugar, taste buds (everything tastes like it has poison in it) This medication is MESSED UP! Why are people STILL being given this and Xanax? It is KILLING people. I recently heard that these kinds of medications were upon FDA approval were ONLY prescribed to patients that had literally weeks to live due to having terminal cancer and/or were in bed dying with NO FEAR of them getting into a car and driving and the concern for addiction. It was merely to help them through the painful process of leaving this world. I am on day 6 of detoxing. Starting to feel hopeless. I am in so much pain and getting no sleep. Completely confused and unable to work or drive. Taking melatonin and Valerian root and tylenol and motrin. Drinking lots of water… no caffeine… and antioxidant tea.

3:42 pm June 7th, 2014

I have been taking ambien for 6 years. I went to a detox facility to get off the medication and they put me on Remeron and Vistaril, an antidepressant and antihistamine. I’m on day 10 off the ambien, have been sleeping but not deeply, feel I’m awake most of the night but resting. Will I ever be able to fall asleep naturally again? The medication I’m taking now helps with the side effects but still it’s just another med that can lead to dependence. Is there hope for Ambien addicts? Does anyone have a success story of sleeping naturally after years of Ambien?

7:46 pm June 17th, 2014

I have been on Ambien CR for about 20 years, but I want to go off. My doctor says to take it every other night, then every three nights, etc. but after reading about withdrawal, I am afraid to do this. I don’t want to take another drug to get off of this drug. I’m 65. I need help.

6:13 am July 5th, 2014

Been a Ambien user for years. Was having problems with dizziness during the day. After many different visits to several doctors none could figure what was causing problem. I decided to cut my Ambien dose in half and problem with daily dizziness went away. I have been on 5mg for quite some time now but was having problems lately with being very tired the next day. Decided to quit Ambien. No more tired feeling. No problem with sleeping. But I did get flu like symptoms, headache nausea and diarrhea. I do believe this is the result of stopping completely. This has been going on for about four days no. I plan on checking with my doctor to discuss this. I do not recommend quitting this or any medication cold turkey.

7:33 pm July 13th, 2014

I have been taking 2 x 12.5mg of Ambien for about four years. My doctor says it would take only one sleepless night to get off of it.
Some of the side effects sound terrible as I already have a terrible problem with depression and panic attacks. I take medication for them and have for many years.

7:23 am July 19th, 2014

I was prescribed 10 mg Ambien about 11/2 mos. ago. I decided to cut the dosage down to 5 mg. I have been on this dose for about 31/2 weeks. I plan to slowly continue to taper down the dosage until Im completely off of this drug. Yes, Ive had insomnia for years. Several mos. ago, I didn’t sleep at all for 4 days. I am bipolar. I went into the hospital. My dr. gave me Ambien to sleep. I am taking meds for the bipolar depression. Ive noticed since I have tapered down to 5 mg. I am much more irritable. This is a withdrawal symptom from the Ambien, because Im not usually an irritable person. Also, I feel this drug has caused me to feel mild depressive symptoms. I think the best way to come off Ambien, is to withdraw from it slowly. Take your time! And if you feel that you can sleep, try other alternative remedies such as Benadryl, chamomile teas, take 125 mg. magnesium supplement which calms the nerves and will help you to sleep. Most people are deficient in this natural mineral. Men can take 300 mg.and women can take 250 mg. Cut the tablet in half. Take half in the morning and half before bedtime. Magnesium can also help with depression, anxiety and panic attacks! Wishing all of you a good night’s sleep…

4:44 pm July 20th, 2014

I have been on ambien 5 milligramfor 15 years. Doctor increased it to 10 milligrams when my husband died. Went back to 5 milligrams after 2 months. Decided recently to stop the ambien due to bad publicity about the dangers of taking it. I am 69 years old. started breaking the pill in half

2:02 am July 25th, 2014

My Dr. will not refill my script until I make an app. I did and then he called it off for some unknown reason. Left me high and dry no medication. Help What do I do?

Susan munch
2:15 pm July 29th, 2014

Going on 9 day going off zolpidern .5mg a day. Have been on meds for 6 years. This is my third attempt to quit. Suffering from severe insomnia and anxiety. How many more days can I expect to have these problems. I quit cold turkey and can say the first two times I quit much easier. This time I’m really freaking out about the insomnia and anxiety. Taking melatonin 4 pills-an hour before bedtime. Doing whatever it takes to relax before bedtime. Just need to have a better time frame of when I will start feeling better.

4:29 pm August 2nd, 2014

10 mg zolpidem no longer works. 10 mg melatonin did not work. However, last night I took 15 mg melatonin with 5 mg zolpidem tand got some sleep. Is this ok and will it lessen the chance of zolpidem withdrawal? Also is melatonin addictive?


6:25 am August 5th, 2014

Night 4 without ambien. Ive been on it for many years. Side affects are pretty bad. Getting some sleep. Actually remembered a dream i had! Not sure i will get through this without some sort of help from my doctor. Will see how tonight goes. My advice…dont even start taking it.

9:20 am August 6th, 2014

I have been taking Ambien cr for 5-6 yrs now. I moved to new city and new Dr. told me he won’t prescribe it to me and to c psychiatrist for it, so I decided need to get off it and Xanax. I have not taken Xanax for 7 wks and have been tapering off 10mg ambien, 3 wks 3/4 pill, 3 wks 1/2 pill, now I’m 14 days on a 1/4 pill and started back with insomnia, restless leg, sweet cravings??, night sweats, but clear mind(not foggy). I’m determined to get off completely!!! Hope insomnia will go away, will try tea & melatonin, I have been taking Valerian root and some ibuprofen. Also am taking amitriptiline 25mg, hope to get off this too! I’ll b posting again if I’m up all night. I agree…don’t start taking this drug.

K. Timmerman
7:37 pm August 12th, 2014

I started taking Ambien after a nearly fatal car wreck to help me sleep. I have been on it for almost a year. I recently ran out of refills. I called my doctor and the nurse kept telling me she will let him know and that they were real busy since moving to their new office. After hearing nothing for a week, I call back and they said I had to make an appt. before they would refill. Then they said I couldn’t be seen for another 2 weeks. I asked if I could have enough refill to last til my appt. The nurse said she would let doctor know. I told her I was unable to sleep and was worried about going without cold turkey. She said it wouldn’t hurt me if I suddenly stopped. Now four more days have passed and haven’t heard anything. I’ve been having headaches and stomach pains since and haven’t been able to sleep much. What kind of doctor makes his patient go thru this? I don’t know what to do

3:57 pm August 13th, 2014

I have been taking 5mgms of Stilnoct for the last 7 years. I have read the frightening articles about sleeping pills, I am 65 yrs. and healthy. My husband recently had a heart attack and cardiac arrest (for which I was present) on return home he found sleeping difficult so was taking my sleepers. I read up about the contra indic. and was appalled at the stuff on line re how bad sleepers are for you. I am now tapering my dose to 1/4 per nite. I am having some withdrawal (only been 3 nights) what can I expect. I do have diazepam if required but do not want to take. Please advise what to do. If I go cold turkey would it be dangerous as on small does anyway!

T. Conner
7:26 am August 16th, 2014

I have taken Zolpidem everyday for over 4 years due to insomnia stemming from PTSD. On 7/20/14, I decided I needed to stop taking it. The drug had become toxic due to prolong usage and it became apparent when I could not stay awake during the day. I felt like a zombie using every form of caffeine possible just to get through work. I would take (1) 40mg pill around 9:00pm waking around 5:00am to get ready for work. This was my pattern for the past 3 ½ years. The past 4 months I went down to half a table at night because suddenly I started feeling like it never wore off. I am in my 3rd week completely off of Zolpidem. I am having Brain Zaps; a feeling of electric shocks going through my head and face. My body is trying to figure out how to fall asleep on its own. It has been a challenge and I have spent a few nights awake trying to convince myself that I really need to go through this but it is so easy to reach for that bottle again just to get a good night sleep. I’m glad I decided to stop taking it, and in a few weeks I will be past it and hopefully natural sleep will find me again.

9:02 am August 19th, 2014

Hello Aileen. Going cold turkey off Stilnoct means a rapid reduction of zolpidem in the body. When you do this, your body quickly reacts to the process and can be a potentially dangerous process. Why don’t you talk to a doctor or a pharmacist. They can provide quality guidelines and help you through the process.

8:33 am August 21st, 2014

If a person is sleeping at night taking ambien and not having problems during the day why should they stop taking the medication. I have been using nightly for 7 years 10 mg and don’t quite understand the fuss. At my daughters suggesting I have cut my pill in half but I sleep for only 4 hours a night which is not enough to work a full day and be energized. please advise

3:21 pm August 23rd, 2014

Hello. My name is Jeff. I’ve been taking 10 mg of Ambien every night for about 4 to 6 months. I just now am starting to get off of it because I feel it is effecting the quality of my life. My psychiatrist is having me do 5 mg for a week, then 2.5 mg for 2 weeks. Lately I feel very weak, unmotivated, tired, irritable, confused, changing emotions, dull/unexcited and depressed at night. I’ve completed the 5 mg dosage and tonight will be my 3rd night on the 2.5 mg dosage. How much longer will it be till I feel better? Also what can I do to treat my symptoms in the mean time?

1:57 pm August 25th, 2014

It’s been a month and I’m still not sleeping. Finally off zolpidern. but still have anxiety at bed time. Taking melatonin. And some natural herbs to help but not really getting any continuous sleep. Up and down every night for a month. I was on zolpidern. For 6 years. Will I ever get to a point where I WILL SLEEP AGAIN.

9:48 pm September 1st, 2014

I’ve been on ambien for years and didn’t take it one day and I have had two seizures in a week. I get the acid reflux too…. I have to have it to sleep or I don’t sleep for days.

6:43 am September 2nd, 2014

Hi Susan. First of all, congradulations on completely quitting zoplidem and I am sorry that you are having a tough time. I know not getting any sleep is a problem, but try to stay calm and not obsess about it. By counting the minutes and thinking “I have to sleep” or “I’ll be tired the next day” you are just creating pressure on yourself. You were taking the med for a long time, your brain needs time to re-adjust. There is nothing that can speed up the process, but sleep will return.

1:46 pm September 8th, 2014

Hi there, I have been taking Zolpidem (10 mg) for about two months now, and want to begin to wean myself off of it before I get heavily dependent on it. Every night, I take half of the dosage, 5 mg. A couple of times, I have tried to fall asleep without it, but I take my dosage anyways because I at least know I will fall asleep. I am also on anti-depressants, 10 mg of Escitalopram. How should I begin the process of no longer needing my medication?

4:15 am September 22nd, 2014

I have been on 10 mg of Ambien for over three years. My psychiatrist prescribed it for me for peri menopausal insomnia. He said I could not become addicted, but would develop a “habituation”, implying that getting off would be easier. I am out of town and forgot to bring them with me. I am using this as an opportunity to get off Ambien. I’m also on .05 mg of Klonopin 2x a day which I have with me. Same dr gave it to me for anxiety which I noticed with perimenopause as well. I want to withdraw from it as well, but will taper off after I finish the detox effects from Ambien. So far it’s just been headaches and rebound insomnia on day three. I had no idea long term use could result in a long withdrawal. At what point do you suggest I begin to taper from the Klonopin?

7:19 pm September 29th, 2014

I have been prescribed and taking 5 mg zolpidem for about 2 years. I have severe sleep apnea and also use a cpap machine.
Aug 6 I had back surgery and was advised by nurse not to take zolpidem while on pain meds.
The pain meds were hydrocodone and oxocodone. The Oxocodone was 5 mg 1 or 2 every 4 hours. I took up to 10 oxocodone every day for a week, then tapered off for 6 days to none.
Is it now safe for me to return to zolpidem? During the middle of tapering off I had withdrawal symptoms for a couple of days.
One pharmacist says the withdrawal was from oxocodone, another says it is/was from zolpidem and tells me get off that med. I have not slept at all the last 2 nights – what do so?

1:03 pm October 1st, 2014

I was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphoid Leukemia about six years ago. Because my doctor knew how important sleep is to any healing process, she prescribed Ambien 10 mg. It has worked great and I have had little side effects from it. However, over the last several months I have found the medication is not working as well as before and now I’m back to having trouble sleeping. I have done some research on using and quiting the medication and I know my only choices are to either ask to have my dosage increased or get off it altogether. I’m going to talk to my doctor about it the next time I visit. Wish me luck.

6:08 am October 12th, 2014

I have been taking ambien for only 10 days and was fine until until, when I became highly anxious, crying, falling apart. I don’t think I’m addicted, I suspect these are side effects. Should I shop completely or take a smaller dose tonight?

6:10 am October 12th, 2014

I have been taking ambien for only 10 day. I don’t think I am addicted, but today had terrible sife effects – anxiety, crying, coming apart. Should I stop it completely or take a smaller dose tonight?

wk yates
11:26 pm October 12th, 2014

I have had some major life changes in the past few months.. forgot to take my Paxil and after being off of it about 7 days .. I decided to stop taking it permanently.. then I stopped taking the zolpidem.. I have been off of it for 4 days now.. along with the mirror symptoms of the Paxil.. my back has begun to itch like crazy !! So is this a withdrawal symptom of the Paxil or the ambien or both.. I have turned the corner on the tears and the severe joint pain.. but the constant itching is driving me nuts !! Any thoughts or suggestions .. Thanks

9:36 am October 13th, 2014

Hi wk yates. Have you tried Benadryl or a hydrocortisone cream for the itching? I’ve also read that pouring a cup of epson salt in the bathwater is supposed to help the itching. Many people withdrawing from prescription drugs get the itches. You can talk to a GP or a pharmacist for more detailed advise.

9:57 am October 13th, 2014

Hello Ruth. I think it’s best to call your doctor for an oppinion. He/She can give you a proper advise based on your therapy and previous medical conditions.

4:54 pm October 18th, 2014

I have been taking ambien for several years. I have ran out and dr will not refill. (I was wanting to get off of it, guess Iam now) last night was my first night off and it was horrible ie, little sleep, when I did sleep nightmares. Long story short, what can I do to get some sleep. I’m a nanny and I need to be rested up for the kids I watch.

4:05 pm October 22nd, 2014

Hello Janelle. Ambien should be taken only for a short amount of time, never for as long as years. Sleeping won’t be easy now. Your brain is accustomed to Ambien’s effects and it stops the production of the natural chemicals in our body that make us sleep. It will take a while before your organism goes back to homeostasis, so you can start sleeping normal again. Talk to a doctor or a pharmacist about what you can do in the meantime.

4:10 pm October 26th, 2014

Should I cut back on my dosage at first or should I just stop all together

7:44 pm November 1st, 2014

16 year user here and I stopped cold turkey about 5 years ago for 3 months. It took a week to get back to “normal”. But I love the fast release of the medication so I sent back on it (can you say addiction).

So again I went cold turkey and again in about a week, I’m sleeping like God intended. I really have not experienced withdrawal per say. Yes insomnia for a few nights but so what, you can push through that.

Here’s why I got off the drug WEIGHT GAIN! Taking Ambien and binging was okay pre-menapausal but post…not so much. I knew in my heart to drop the weight I had to drop the drug. 2 pounds down in a week and I’m not going to look back,.BTW 10 mg’s here.

Melanie Krantz
3:13 am November 5th, 2014

I have been on ambien 10mg since 2000. It quickly became a very addictive medication, to the point where I would almost panic if my script ran out and I had to go 1night without it. After 14 yrs I want off of it and decided 2wks ago that I was going cold turkey-no more ambien. I bought melatonin, valarian tea and had my mind made up that I could beat the curse of Ambien. I stopped on a Friday night- I had 2 hrs sleep that night, then I went clear to the next Wed without an ounce of sleep and I was not one bit sleepy-that was 5days wide awake. I realized that was not good for my body so I gave in and took 5mg on Wed. It blessed me with 4hrs sleep. I went Thurs., Fri and Sat cold turkey once again and no sleep. Sun. I gave in and took 5mg. Today is Tuesday


jay yates
7:46 am November 6th, 2014

I was first perscribed Ambien in October of 2006. Always 10mg. Im seiousely dependant. emotionaly if nothing else. I reduced my intake to one half table a night abouy a year ago & somtimes trick myself into a 1/4/tab. What memory & emotional changes are going to persist. What physical after effects will I experiance. I’m not interested in the short term detox things. I want to get a grip on permenant changes if there are any

10:11 pm November 23rd, 2014

I started on Ambien 8 months ago, 10 mg, after years of taking Benedryl and/or Tylenol PM. I still didn’t get more than 6 hours of sleep. I was unable too pick up my Ambien prescription five days ago due to a local emergency (Buffalo, snow), so was forced to go cold turkey. I feel tired before going to bed, but once I try to sleep my heart races (along with my mind) and I don’t think I’ve gotten more than an hour’s sleep each of the past four nights. Altho I was able to get to the pharmacy yesterday, I did not take the Ambien because I’d like to be able to sleep naturally. If I knew there was an end in sight to this insomnia I’d tough it out.. I’m over 60, in good health except for this insomnia thing. I just want to get some sleep.

1:02 am November 29th, 2014

Help? My boyfriend has been taking ambien for several months, due to side effects memory loss etc he decided to quit completely approx. 3 days ago. Today he is sleeping and seems awake but is not and his eyes are open with rapid movement and talking in his sleep for last 4-5 hours, heart racing, sweating, stomach pain and vomiting, In reading one should taper, im worried. I cant wake him out of this deep sleep. He looks at me and talks but makes no sense like he talking in his sleep. should I have him take an ambien or half of one again til he can consult his doc, hospital, sleep through it while I monitor him??

3:23 pm December 3rd, 2014

Hello Kelli. Take him to the doctor’s. He’s probably through the worst part, but he should have tapered doses down.

12:10 am December 9th, 2014

Serious help please. I’ve been taking Ambien for 11 years. It was the only thing that I found that worked for my chronic insomnia. It helped me have a life for many years. But the last 2 years it gradually changed. And in the past 3 months dramatically changed for the worse. I was up to 20-30mg every night for the past 3 months. I’m trying to taper down with the help of melatonin 10mg prolonged release every night as of a week ago. My doctor as put me on dilantin as of last week. I have a degree 2 year. And had been working up until 2 months ago. The stress of loosing 2 family members in a year, a divorce (in 2012). Right now it’s all I can do to get through the day. Severe anxiety, memory loss, stomach aches/cramp, severe brain fog. I have developed many coping tools over the years. But I’ve never suffered so much stress in such little time. I need to know if I can recover mentally from this. Is the memory loss permanent? How do I get off the ambien and stay off successfully . I suffered from insomina for years and don’t want to go back to that life.

12:31 am December 13th, 2014

Hi, I took about 4 mg ambien for 4-5 months. I had an allergic reaction to it and did not realize that it was giving me severe stomach problems, heartburn, weight loss, nausea etc. I thought I had stomach cancer or something like that and doc never diagnosed it. After I quit cold turkey 3 months ago and had really bad withdrawal effects and sleepless nights. My body healed, the appetite came back but the insomnia continues, and I sleep on average 2-3 /hours a night , sometimes more with help of sleep aid. Can you tell me how long this can last. I never had problem like this before I was prescribed this drug. Another doc also prescribed Xanax for 2 weeks because of my anxiety about my undiagnosed health condition. I stopped taking them both on 9/22/14.. I am really struggling with sleeplessness. The drugs totally changed my body chemistry and nervous system is shot. Will it repair eventually?

12:46 pm December 20th, 2014

Ihave been taking Zolpidem for more than three year . And have stopped taking them as in two days ago. Do I have to contact my doctor? Are the symptoms going to be worse for me sice I have been taking them so long?

1:11 pm December 23rd, 2014

Hi Alexis. Yes, if you were taking Ambien for three years and quit cold turkey, the withdrawal symptoms can be severe if left untreated. You should have gradually tapered off Ambien and minimized the discomfort. And, Yes, see a doctor or a pharmacist for medical help during the detox period.

1:33 am December 27th, 2014

Hello. I have been taking Ambien for several years since I have several issues with my health and lack of sleep was only making them worse. Let’s just say that I have successful have taken myself off of all my meds that I have taken for years for bipolar. However, I am a severe migraine sufferer that has been more debilitating than the bipolar. This last migraine I have just had was a month long and during this time I realized how terrible my body feels from the needs I do have to take for the migraines- hydrocodone,xanax and very very low doses of methadone and Ambien. Well I have decided to get off the Ambien because I am tired of the effect I feel now in taking it. Do listen here is the question, I have only taken one 5mg. Ambien in 5 days. Now here is where I get mixed up, I am having nightmares and vivid dreams that I am remembering the next day and my sleep is sporadic such as one night I don’t fall asleep until 3 in the morning and sleeping for 3-4 hours but my thinking is clearer and not foggy. I also have noticed I am more aggressive in my talking with really strong moods. But after reading all the side effects that people are having are my side effects only getting started and only get worse or after 5 days with only 5 mg on 1 day, am I getting past the worse of it or am I just getting started with the withdrawal?

12:29 pm December 29th, 2014

Hi Karen. Withdrawal gets worse before it gets better. Have you seen a doctor before starting to reduce your dose? The withdrawal symptoms can be less severe by proper tapering and medical help.

6:48 am January 3rd, 2015

I took ambien for 2 years.mostly10mg once in a while 15mg.last week I reduced the doseage to 5mg.but this might be to drastic I felt warm and had headache and felt lousy.maybe 10mg and skip a day,need advice

3:50 am January 12th, 2015

I have been on 10mg per night for more than 3 years. If I start taking half a pill for a week and then stop abruptly, Any danger? I just want to stop my dependence on it.

2:56 pm January 12th, 2015

How long can withdrawal last from ambien/xanax? I continue to suffer from sleeplessness after 3-1/2 months into withdrawal.

5:18 pm January 13th, 2015

Hello Patty. Thank you for posting your question. Unfortunately, insomnia is a side effect from the withdrawal that can persist for a longer time. But, three and a half months is a lot of time…you may need to consider getting some sleep aid. I wouldn’t recommend using sleeping pills every night, since they can also cause dependence and addiction, but you can use them when you really need to get rested. Otherwise, as your brain repairs and it’s chemicals return to homeostasis, you should be able to sleep normally.

7:00 pm January 13th, 2015

I need some help. I have been 12.5 mg for about 5 years. I have not taken any for about 5 days.I don’t know what to do. Please get ahold of me.

11:32 pm January 13th, 2015

I have been on zolpidem for seven years, 10 mg. a night. 8 weeks ago my Dr. asked me to cut it in half to 5 mg. She didn’t warn me about the withdrawal symptoms…I so wish I had done my own research. At 5 mg I started the horrific nightmares, night sweats, constipation, muscle aches, anxiety, depression and only sleeping 3 or 4 interrupted hours a night. When the 5 mg prescription ran out I called for a refill and my Dr. denied a refill until I could make another appointment a week later. Hence I have been cold turkey the last week…a nightmare. It’s ironic that everyone says go to your physician or pharmacist for help. My pharmacist says he can do nothing without a Dr.’s order and she refuses to give one until a visit. I’ve nodded off while driving, found it difficult to concentrate at work, feel such despair. I meditate, drink tea, take long walks….but need to know this will end at some point. Will I ever sleep normally again?

12:53 pm January 16th, 2015

@ Barb. Did you gradually reduce doses before you stopped 5 days ago or you went cold turkey? Anyway, you need to see a doctor and tell him/her about your current state. I’m sure you’ll get some other prescription pills or a list of OTCs to help you treat the withdrawal symptoms.

Hi Kate. Yes, you will be able to sleep normally again, maybe not as soon as you’d want to, but your sleeping patterns will stabilize. Your brain needs time to heal and go back to homeostasis, it may take a few months…it’s not a fast process. If you are willing to stop depending on medications, you’ll have to find a way to function until everything goes back to normal.

8:36 pm January 16th, 2015

I’ve been taking 1 10mg Ambien for the last 4 years, 1 pill at night to put me to sleep, and keep me asleep, unfortunately I have extreme insomnia, because of the work I do, there’s a lot of stress and by the end of the day, my body is hurting so bad, it’s hard to even stand, so the Ambien is a GOD send. Now I’ve gotten to the point where I’m wanting to get away from it completely, and I quit taking it 2 weeks ago, and the insomnia is back for a vengeance. I’ve gotten maybe 15 hours of sleep in the last 2 weeks, and I know that its not healthy, and over the counter sleep aids don’t even come close to helping me sleep, but I’m willing to tough it out, what’s a better alternative than Ambien to do to try and get a good nights rest ? And one last question. How long does the chemical zolpidem stay in the body ? How long does it take, and what can be taken or used ( water, Gatorade , teas , fruit juices ) to get completely clear, and free of this NIGHTMARE.

3:11 pm January 20th, 2015

Hi Samuel. Even though you took this medicine for 4 years, it’s out of your system by now. But, it’s a double-edged sword, and here is why: as you take Ambien, your brain realizes it no longer needs to produce the chemicals it once used to create for sleep, since the organism gets them from an external source (the pills). But, you cannot be taking sleeping pills your entire life, so you decide to quit. When you stop taking Amben, your brain needs time to go back to normal functioning and start producing it’s chemicals again. This is why one of the withdrawal symptoms of Ambien is insomnia-the very condition you needed treatment for in the first place. You can try using natural and alternative medicines to help you sleep, but a long time needs to pass before your brain heals and returns to homeostasis.

8:00 pm January 27th, 2015

I have been taking 10mg stilnoct since last September and decided last night would be the start of my withdrawal from it. Thought I didn’t sleep at all but I had what I can only describe as a “hallucination”. Was absolutely convinced I heard one of our guests screaming during the night and also thought I had woken my husband to tell him. He assures me that didn’t happen!! So now obviously I am worried that I came off it too quickly – but obviously I now definitely do not want to commence taking it again. I have had very bad sleeping patterns for the past 20 years (commenced after I had a lot of pain with degenerative disc disease) and although I had taken sleeping tablets on and off during this time I never before felt I “depended” on them.

1:47 pm January 28th, 2015

Just wondering if ambien can cause permanent brain damage …. particularly for older people? I am 63 yrs. and suffer many sleepless nights after being 4 months off of it . The drug almost killed me with severe GI problems. Docs did not diagnose that as a side effect of the drug and prescribed a “benzo” (xanax) to counter my anxiety being caused by my sickness from ambien. I got addicted to xanax in less than two weeks and went thru severe withdrawal symptoms at the same time I quit ambien. The 2 month period of difficulty sleeping before doc prescribed ambien is nothing compared to the hell I have been through since being on the drug. I sense my body and brain chemistry has completely changed and this journey has become a nightmare for me. I think the drug should be banned..

7:20 pm February 13th, 2015

Can trasodone help with withdrawal?

3:10 am February 14th, 2015

I’ve been taking ambien for 2 yrs. but only a half a pill 2 times a week. Am I going through a withdrawal eventhough i’ve taken so little a dose. I am unable tosleep, I have anxiety, anger, depression and cannot remember anything, it’s really hard.

3:14 pm February 17th, 2015

Hello Cheryl. It doesn’t help other Ambien withdrawal symptoms, it’s an antidepressant which in theory should help you sleep, thus replacing the use of Ambien. But, at least you’ll be able to rest while quitting Ambien. Note that higher doses of Trazodone are related to a long list of nasty side-effects.

5:49 am February 25th, 2015

talked to a doc who said while decreasing, substitute some of the Ambien that you are not taking with a good antidepressant that also makes you sleep. I’m thinking Remeron, and stay aware of the weight gain. Ambien is going away from my list after 7 years. I feel weak and muscle-wasted. It helped me a lot more than it hurt me, but any “hurt” at all is not acceptable.

7:35 pm March 3rd, 2015

I have been on ambien first 5 mg for 2 weeks then Dr upped it to 10. I have been takin it for about 5 to 6 weeks total. I don’t want to be dependent on it. Is it safe to stop taking it?

6:14 pm March 4th, 2015

Hello Maryann. It is highly likely that your organism has already become dependent to Ambien by now. If you do want to quit I’d recommend doing so by gradually tapering the doses. Since you haven’t used it for a long time, it shouldn’t produce too harsh withdrawal symptoms. Still, Ambien withdrawal effects will occur and you can get simple over-the-counter medications that treat these symptoms to relieve the discomfort.

10:42 am March 7th, 2015

I am past 5 months into withdrawal, see my previous posts. I still have insomnia. The medical doctors in my area are oblivious, denial to any side effects or withdrawal symptoms of the drugs and will not discuss it. I found a naturopath in Scottsdale, the only one has helped me, and I have had more sleep finally in the past 2-3 weeks. After testing, he prescribed some amino acid supplements to help repair the damage to the neurotransmitters in the brain done by the prescribed drugs of ambien and xanax. I have never suffered so much in my life from the damage done by prescribed meds and each day is a challenge. I am 63 years old, and 5 months of being on these meds nearly shut my body down .. I have suffered vision loss and kidney damage from the drugs. Prior to my medical drug prescriptions, I was very healthy and could easily hike 10 miles and was very high energy without a real sleeping problem. For older people, these drugs are very, very dangerous.

9:05 pm March 8th, 2015

I have been taking the 12.5 mg ambien CR’s now for over 3 years and they seem to work as I usually get 6 – 7 hours of sleep a night without any weird effects. However, every now and then I decide to try a withdrawal scheme. I just last night completed a 30 night desperate attempt to quit taking the pills cold-turkey. It was a disaster, best I could do in all that time was a total of 5 nights with 4 – 6 hours of sleep. Most times I wEnt for 4 to 5 nights with less than 1 hours sleep. Not sure how I got thru all that, but now have finally given up before I have a stroke or worse. Have just turned 77 yrs old, so for better or worse, I will be taking the ambiens from now on. A horrible ordeal, Lord knows what stress I put on my body. But gave it a good try. Am 77 yrs old, not 27 ! Just my 2 cents !

2:58 pm March 9th, 2015

I just quit taking ambien because I didn’t like how I felt when using it. I was on 10 mg Can you please tell me how long it will be before I can sleep again. Its been 3 days and I haven’t been able to sleep at all. I have no other side effects right now

3:22 pm March 9th, 2015

Mother who is 83 stopped taking ambien and it’s been about 4 weeks. I am surprised at her memory lost. Will the memory lost be permanent or does it return to normal? Could some of the memory lost be age related or dementia related. She’s forgetting to eat. Forgetting her wallet and checkbook when I take her to the dr apt which she’s never done, forgetting to eat, take her meds, feed her birds, date. She’ll call me at work thinking it’s Saturday. The way I know is she will say “are you up out of bed yet”. This memory thing is really bothering me.

7:03 am March 15th, 2015

I’ve been on Ambien CR for about 5 months. I told my doctor I wanted to wean off, and he put me on 10mg of regular Ambien to start, which I did for about two nights. I then went down to about 3/4 of a 10mg pill. How soon should I cut it down again?

I’m also adding in daily doses of magnesium/calcium to calm my muscles (I do suffer from RLS and muscle spasms), plus an essential oil blend for anxiety.

Also, I am worried about panic attacks. I have a prescription for xanax, that I have tried once to help me sleep (no luck). Should I keep that handy?

11:38 am March 16th, 2015

Hi Kierstin. You can also ask your doctor about the proper tapering schedule for you. You can also ask for advise on which over-the-counter meds, herbal supplements and other alternative remedies that will help you deal with withdrawal symptoms as they occur. By the way, the general tapering dosages is 10% off your current dose for a week, then another 10% dose reduction the next week, and so on. Hope this helps!

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