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Detox from Ambien

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

Detox from Ambien symptoms

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

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

Detox from Ambien at home?

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

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

Detoxing from Ambien time

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

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

Ambien detox treatment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Detox Ambien questions

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

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

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

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


12:03 pm July 5th, 2013

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

3:07 pm August 3rd, 2013

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

7:48 am August 13th, 2013

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

Joan Compton
11:45 pm September 3rd, 2013

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

5:26 am September 5th, 2013

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

Gerri Eslary
3:01 pm October 5th, 2013

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

11:05 am October 9th, 2013

Hello Gerri. What does your prescribing doctor say?

Brady Cherry
11:39 pm June 13th, 2014

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

7:07 am June 15th, 2014

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

3:13 pm June 16th, 2014

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

Gerri Eslary
3:13 pm June 18th, 2014

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

10:58 pm November 28th, 2014

I am a recovering cocaine addict who got clean in a rehab center in 1986 Clean almost 28 years. I just now hit my bottom on Edluar. I’ve been taking it for over 4 years. It just stopped working. I can get 4-hours max then I’m up with anxiety. I recently went through some realization of unresolved childhood issues. I will be seeing a new mental health Doc. on Wed. I have decided to go cold turkey. It’s been 3 days and I’m Better, but it was brutal torture. slept 9 hours in 5. days. I was about ready to check i somewhere. Meditation before bed and soothing music and prayer has help. My question is: Now that I got thru the worst part, should I “stay the coarse” I read it stays in the system for 6-months Could this be an issue? I don’t want to take it anymore. It’s dangerous to an addict. TY

3:06 pm December 3rd, 2014

Hello Angel. Congratulations on the courage and strength to quit. Ambien is long gone from your system by now, but it will take some time for your brain and body to get accustomed to the absence of the medication and get back to normal. You should feel completely normal after 2-3 weeks.

9:13 pm February 2nd, 2015

This is an old post but I hope to get a response. I’ve been on Ambien off and on for 2 years. 10MG but I do split it in half, so 5MG…I want to wean off of it for good…I thought about 1/4 pill this week, 1/4 every other night the following week and third week, every 2 nights…is 3 weeks to short to wean off of 5MG and for 2 years of use?

3:46 pm February 3rd, 2015

Hello Brian. You’ll need an expert opinion from you prescribing doctor (who knows your medical history) or a pharmacist (who has experience with tapering guidelines for Ambien). The more conservative the taper, the longer the “withdrawal” period, but you may increase your chances for success. Also, be sure to have a back up plan for potential insomnia and/or anxiety in place.

5:39 pm March 16th, 2015

I’ve been taking ambien for 20 years. I have a real problem. I NEED HELP!

8:42 pm May 21st, 2015

I’m replying for my daughter. She has been on ambien for a number of months. We have just been told that she has been taking more than prescribed and encourages her dr to increase her dose. She wants to stop, she is out of ambien and her dr is out of the country. She is scared to tell any other dr of the issue for fear she will be jailed for taking the meds not as prescribed. She is going cold off it. How can I help her? I already see withdrawal symptoms.
Thank you

12:01 pm May 22nd, 2015

Hello Shelby. 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. Talk to a pharmacist at your local pharmacy for other medications or herbal remedies that may help soothe withdrawal effects.

1:12 pm September 30th, 2015

Hi everyone. I have not slept at all last night. I’m out of Zolpidem, desperate, crying non-stop, moody and angry. I’ve been diagnosed with borderline, including bipolar 2 and anxiety. Of course with borderline you know manipulation inside out. I am socially isolated, a single mom and have stress coming out my ears. I have been in rehab and still managed to get codeine in there. That was inhouse for 6 wks and I felt like a fraud at the end. I am too embarrassed to even mention how much I use now.I go GP or script shopping and have escalated to 40 mg at a time, day or night. It is so compulsive that I can get through 30 in 3-4 days. There is so much shame attached and these drs know you are there for dependency purposes but issue it anyway. I am really just wanting to sleep as if oblivious to the world, but I know this little pill is a demon to resist. What do I do? I’m 42.

Rob no
1:54 am January 10th, 2016

Will I hullucinate off of 40mg of snorted ambien ijust did it

11:26 pm August 14th, 2016

I have been addicted for years. I do not have health insurance due to recent job loss. I have never been without insurance I am praying to lord Jesus Christ to break this dreadful addiction. Don’t sant to use my first name.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
12:52 pm August 18th, 2016

Hi Louise. If you have questions about addiction treatment and your options, call our free hotline to speak with a trusted treatment consultant.

5:51 pm October 16th, 2016

I want to safely remove my depending on ambient for sleep. Getting conflicting answers but I desire inpatient help.what to so ? I’m scared.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
11:13 am October 18th, 2016

Hi Dave. If you are looking for a treatment program, call the number you see on the website to get in touch with a trusted treatment consultant.

3:23 pm November 1st, 2016

If it takes 10 or more zolpidems to get to sleep for a few hours, what does diazepam do to help?
Does one go onto anti-anxiety meds and what helps you fall asleep? I and another in my home are battling hard, and it you have any solid sollutions please advise. Some recommended medical marujana but not sure of that. Can kenisiology help?

6:55 pm June 29th, 2017

Dr. prescribed 10mg. Ambien after hysterectomy Nov. 2012 and have been on it continually for almost 5 years now. I took it as prescribed for a week and was hooked…couldn’t sleep when I tried to stop so, since I had 30 pills, I continued…and 6 mos. of refills, I continued. Dr. kept refilling, so I continued. Now, 4 yrs later, due to addiction publicity, doctors are rethinking this. I have to work a 40 hr week, and due to hypothyroidism, I know I cannot function and I’m miserable if I’m sleep deprived. Dr. started not refilling…so I cut back to 3/4 a pill and am now at a half a pill. 5mg. I’m hoping to start reducing it by shaving part of the half for a while until I can totally get off. Should I tell my OB/GYN what’s going on or try to do it myself?

9:40 am July 6th, 2017

You can simply stop Turkey cold

10:40 am November 2nd, 2017

Dear sir, it was my querry, i quitted ambien few months ago, but sometimes i fear relapse, so i want to inquire it from you that have you seen anyone who quitted ambien years ago and been ambien free since then say 5 years ago

12:10 am January 26th, 2018

What a friggin TRIP!!! 20 years on Ambien? They lied to me and told me why I had to be on it but I won’t get into that. I am on my 13th day of withdraw not quite sure of that I would have to go look at my diary ! I survived so far! How? God saved me… FACT lucky to be alive. Evil drugs,,,i came off several. Im a medical professional. Big Pharma wants u!!! Screw them

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