How to withdraw from Ambien

Can you withdraw from Ambien at home? Perhaps. But never withdraw from Ambien cold turkey. More protocols for Ambien withdrawal here.

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Planning to withdraw from Ambien?

Be prepared first. Ambien (zolpidem) is classified as a sedative-hypnotic but has many benzodiazepine qualities that affect withdrawal symptoms. Because you can become dependent on Ambien very quickly, withdrawal from Ambien is likely when using Ambien for more than a couple of weeks. So what are symptoms of Ambien withdrawal and what does Ambien withdrawal feel like?

Withdrawal is an unpleasant experience and depending on the severity of use and symptoms, it can be potentially dangerous. That is why there are clinically recommended ways you can withdrawal from Ambien. Here we review how you can withdraw from sleeping pills safely and if you should attempt to detox from Ambien at home, or not. Then, we can answer you questions about Ambien in the comments section at the end.

When do you withdraw from Ambien?

For the most part, withdrawal is a purposeful process that occurs when you decide to stop taking Ambien after regular, daily use. Withdrawal is a normal way that the body seeks homeostasis to regulate normal body function without needing Ambien in the body. When does Ambien withdrawal occur? You trigger withdrawal from Ambien anytime you’ve been taking zolpidem for longer than two weeks (this is why Ambien should only be prescribed for short term use). You also withdraw from Ambien when you have been abusing the medication and have created a physical dependency to zolpidem in the body.

How long to withdraw from Ambien?

How long Ambien withdrawal lasts depends upon duration and amount of use.  Generally, Ambien withdrawal starts about 6 hours after your last dose and symptoms tend to peak about 48 to 72 hours later. Symptoms of withdrawal from Ambien can then last several weeks afterward. In fact, the length of time it takes to withdraw from Ambien can last between a week to several months. How and why?

Because doctors use Ambien to treat insomnia, cases of insomnia reappear and even be more intense. Insomnia may last for several weeks to months later until you are able to find other ways to resolve sleeping problems. Psychological symptoms may also be present long after the initial phase of withdrawal has passed. These symptoms such as craving Ambien or obsessive thinking about Ambien can continue to be an issue.

Withdraw from Ambien symptoms

As you withdraw from Ambien, there are several symptoms which may come up during the weeks after your last dose of zolpidem. Severe withdrawal symptoms can include memory loss, hallucinations, seizures, and confusion. These symptoms can be dangerous, and are associated with cold turkey withdrawal, dual diagnosis patients on multiple medications, or sudden withdrawal from high doses of Ambien. Other symptoms of withdrawal include but are not limited to the following:

  • abdominal cramps
  • abnormal or aggressive behavior
  • anxiety
  • apprehension
  • convulsions
  • dysphoria
  • exacerbated insomnia
  • fatigue
  • fear
  • flushing
  • hallucinations
  • insomnia
  • lightheadedness
  • loss of personal identity
  • mood changes
  • muscle cramps
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • nightmares
  • panic attacks
  • shaking
  • strange behavior
  • suicidal thoughts
  • sweating
  • tremors
  • vomiting
  • worsening depression

How to ease withdrawal symptoms from Ambien

The best way to ease withdrawal symptoms from Ambien is to commit to strict adherence to recommended doses and then to seek medical advice in the time-tested practice of gradual taper-off. Tapering Ambien doses is the safest way to ensure that Ambien withdrawal is not as severe or intense as simply stopping the sleeping aid. You can also ask your doctor for more information about treating severe Ambien withdrawal symptoms with pregabalin, a newer antiepileptic agent without strong potential for abuse and dependence.

Can I withdraw from Ambien at home?

Yes, it is possible to withdraw from Ambien at home. But it is not for everyone. You can typically withdraw from Ambien at home when you have been taking Ambien only as prescribed, and have your doctor’s OK. Because of the dangerous nature of Ambien, you should NEVER withdraw from Ambien cold turkey. Furthermore, do not discontinue the use of Ambien without first talking to your prescribing doctor. It is best that you follow specific instructions from a doctor on how to withdrawal and taper use of Ambien so that you are in the best possible comfort and safety possible.

Nonetheless, if you plan to withdraw from Ambien at home, make sure that someone else is around. This is one of the safest things you can do. There have been accounts of people driving and walking around without any memory of getting into the car when adjusting doses of Ambien. This can be dangerous as you may be convicted of a DUI. This is why it’s in your best interests to have someone around that can monitor and regulate movement when and if these sorts of withdrawal symptoms arise.

How to withdraw from Ambien safely

To withdraw from Ambien safely, slowly reduce doses of Ambien over time to minimize possible withdrawal symptoms. It’s important to reduce your Ambien doses slowly because when the doses are being tapered, the risk of severe side effects decreases.

The best way to withdraw from Ambien

The best way to withdraw from Ambien is to have your doses of Ambien slowly deceased over time so that your doctor can monitor progress and prescribe other medications or address other medical issues that may occur during withdrawal. The proper ways to decrease dosing will depend on the individual and any other health issues impacting at the time of discontinuing use of Ambien. If use or abuse of Ambien has gotten out of control, monitored detox may be the next step. This way, you are being monitored while you go through acute withdrawal which can help with any safety issues that may arise while you stop trying to take Ambien.

How to deal with withdrawal from Ambien questions

Are you wondering how to deal with withdrawal from Ambien? Withdrawal can be frustrating and complicated. Do you still have questions about Ambien withdrawal? Please ask any questions or leave us your tips for Ambien withdrawal you may have below. We will get back to you personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: NHTSA: Zolpidem (And Zaleplon, Zopiclone)
PubMed: Pregabalin in zolpidem dependence and withdrawal.
PubMed: Zolpidem withdrawal delirium
Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection: Brochure on Zolpidem Tartrate
Toxnet: Zolpidem
Daily Med: Ambien 
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. I have been taking Zolpidem for a few years. Most nights I take 5mg but sometimes another 5mg an hour later if I do not fall asleep. I am extremely tired all day no matter how many hours I sleep and have a “thick headed” feeling most of the time. Every now and again I have like a 2 second “reset” feeling – it feels like my brain flickers. I am taking cilift at night and euthyrox in the morning and other than vitamins B12, D3 and iron, no other medication. I would like to taper off and stop. How do I go about it please. I cannot handle the tiredness all day at work. I could fall asleep on my feet sometimes. What is a safer alternative to help me sleep at night with no day time side effects?

    1. Hi Debbie. One way is to consult your prescribing doctor so s/he can plan an individualized tapering schedule. Another option you have is to go to a treatment where you will go through several stages, the first being a medically supervised detox. That is the safest option and the one that can have the biggest success. Talk to your doctor, or call us so we can discuss treatment options.

  2. It would be great if you published an actual tapering schedule. For most of us, our prescribing doctors are absolute morons – I was put on it long term with NO discussion whatsoever about the dangers of this drug. Over 8 1/2 years now I’ve been on this poison which has destroyed my sleep, my memory and caused severe depression. I do not abuse my medication and never have taken more than my prescribed dose, which is 10mg (unfortunately I’m a woman so it turns out I’m actually taking twice as much as what is recommended plus of course I’ve been on it waaaay longer than recommended – thanks doc!!). My prescribing doctor, the other doctors I’ve consulted as well as the pharmacist all recommended cutting it to 5mg for 2 nights, then 2.5mg for two nights and then stop. Um, no. Did I also mention that I’m already experiencing PAWS (10 months now) thanks to misprescribed antidepressants??? I can find no information about a tapering schedule for ambien or other z drugs. I’ve been doing a water titration taper and over the past month have reduced my dose by 25% and now am at 7/5mg. Is that too fast? Too slow? Who knows!!! No one can tell me. I am incredibly sick (and remember, I am already in a state of protracted withdrawal so this is on top of how bad I already feel). I would slow down but the drug (poison) is making me sick to begin with thanks to it’s short half life. Before I started the taper I was already dealing with severe interdose withdrawal. So what to do, what to do. Doesn’t seem like anyone has an answer. I am trying to avoid adding another protracted withdrawal to my already sick body. I’ve seen doctor after doctor and no one can help me – they sure are good at writing these prescriptions but can’t seem to figure out how to safely get people off of them. Wish so little was expected of me at my job. Again, thanks doc!

    1. Hi Laura. Every person is different and can have slightly different withdrawal symptoms and that is why and individualised tapering schedule is needed. to Maybe you should find another doctor and explain you situation in details. If this don’t work, call the helpline you see on our website to find out what are your possible treatment options.

  3. 10 mg daily of Ambien at bedtime for 5 years. Script ran out and I will be out in 3 days. Earliest I can meet with a new doctor (old one left) is 17 days from now, so about two weeks. 66 year old male diabetic. I am very anxious about withdrawal. I do have .5 mg of Lorzepam that I very seldom have used for anxiety. Can i use the lorazepam to relace the ambien for 14 days before I can get on a tapering off schedule? Or will that just make things worse?

  4. I have one 5mg Zolpidem tartrate pill left and my doctor is out Saturday and sunday. Will the affect of half of that pill be strong enough to help me sleep until I can get to a doctor on monday? or is there anything I can do to help me sleep on sunday if I decide to tak the whole 5mg pill on saturday?

  5. I’ve used Zolpidem, 5-10 mg. For 19 years, and am now tapering off by cutting my dosage in half, waiting for my body to stabilize on the reduced dosage before reducing further. I started 6 weeks ago, and I’m now on 2.5 mg. But before my taper, I had tried cold turkey from 5 mg. Dose as recommended by my sleep doctor. She had also prescribed Gabapentin in its place. The first three days were easy, but I had a headache, which I attributed to the Gabapentin. The Gabapentin, which is a medicine to treat seizures, made me drowsy and kept me asleep for 6 hours, but it was not a restful sleep and I did not like the feeling. The scary day was Day 4, which is when the withdrawal from Zolpidem really kicked in and to my horror, the Gabapentin lost its effectiveness. At that point, I decided I was not going to start taking a replacement drug to which I was building a tolerance so quickly, and I worried about how I would get off of that drug. That’s when I took matters into my own hands, and researched how to taper and began doing it on my own. But I want to share two things that have helped me quite a bit: 1) supplementing with GABBA, Tryptophan, melatonin, taurine. Sometimes insomnia is caused by neurotransmitter deficiency. If you taper off of the Zolpidem, its possible that any lingering insomnia is the result of the root cause of your initial insomnia that has not been addressed. There is some very good information on this if you Google “Eliminating the Top Causes of Insomnia The Mood Cure” you will find a PDF article that explains this and offers recommendations. There is even a link provided in the article to practitioners trained to help solve the deficiency you may have. Also, the author of the article, Julia Ross, has a great book called The Mood Cure, where she recommends supplements to help taper off sleeping pills. When you understand how Zolpidem works, it makes sense. Zolpidem acts on your GABBA receptors in the brain. Your body eventually stops making GABBA because its getting it artificially through the Zolpidem. 2) The other thing that has helped me is an Isomnia self-hypnosis program via MP3 files by Alan Densky at NeuroVision. Just Google it and you will find it. He is a certified hypnotist who treated his own insomnia this way. You can also get the hypnosis program in CD form. It’s about $50 with a money-back guarantee. I have not had 100% success with it only because I find it hard to fit it into my schedule, but I do the best that I can. When I can’t sleep, I also listen to Guided Imagery by Belleruth Naparstek, which can be bought on the HealthJourneys website. This gives my mind something to focus on and over time, your body becomes trained to sleep when you listen. It’s comforting white noise. She has many titles, I the Trauma one to the sleep one, but I own both. Some other good Audiobooks that I recommend are Breathing: The Master Key to Self Healing by Andrew Weil and Meditation for Optimum Health by Andrew Weil and Jon Kabat-Zinn. If you are Christian, I also like the book “I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak Over Your Life” by Joel Osteen. It’s very encouraging. Although I’m not sleeping 100% through the night yet, I am hopeful and I continue to work on it. I hope my suggestions help and wish you all good luck.

  6. I’m on Chantix to quit smoking. I’m on the 5th week. I have been having side effects including insomnia. I went to the doctor Friday to discuss the side effects. The doctor agreed to give me Ambien after nearly twisting his arm. He gave me 5mG for 30 days but said to take it sparingly, not every night. Last night I took it for the first time. I decided to cut it in half before taking so I took 2.5mG half tab. I got the best sleep I’ve had in over a month!

    After reading this about addiction, I’m worried. Is there a better alternative for a sleep aid without dependency? Since taking Chantix, I normally would take Melatonin 5Mg time release, Trazodone 100 mG, and Benadryl 25mG to help me sleep. This only works for the first 3 hours or so then I wake up and can’t get back to sleep. Would trying to cut Ambien down to 1mG be worth the effort and help with sleeping through he night without dependency?? Any other recommendations to help me sleep through the night while on Chantix?

  7. Shivaun, I truly hope your doing better. If your in NY the laws on refills have been tightened. I’ve gone through the same nightmare. That’s why I’m trying to give this crap up and deal with my chronic back pain. It’s bull$hit that people with pain issues have to deal with this. Now weed is ok to smoke in NY if you have the paperwork. Go figure????

  8. Unfortunately for some reason I cannot get my Ambien prescription refilled. They say it’s too soon. So I have about 5 days of not taking it. I’ve gone a day before and it’s horrible. I’m very worried about severe side effects. The doctor and pharmacy don’t seem to care. I’ve been on this for years.

  9. I have been taking 2.5 mg of ambien for 1 month. Have terrible bloating and want to stop taking it. Can I just stop or do I need to taper off? If so, how should I taper the dosage.?

    1. Hi Roz. Expert claim that gradually lowering the daily drug dose is a safer way to quit it. So, I suggest you to consult your doctor to help you plan an individualized tapering schedule.

  10. I have OCD thoughts particularly at bedtime. I’ve been taking Ambien every night for the last 16 years. Dosage was as high as 20mg per night. I’ve been withdrawing 1mg a week for the past 7 weeks. Currently I’m at 13 mg per night (8mg at bedtime and 5mg around 2:30 am.) Withdrawal feelings of malaise, vivid dreams and achy muscles. Doctor is out of town. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi George. I suggest you consult with a pharmacist to recommend some over-the-counter aids, home remedies and teas to ease withdrawals. Also, you may look into the Ashton Manual, a manual that can help you with dealing benzodiazepine dependence and withdrawal:

  11. I want to start a step down program. Will it affect me going to work? I’ve been taking 10mg daily for 4 years.

  12. I am going through severe withdrawals from abusing ambien. I won’t see my doctor until tomorrow at 10:30 AM. My last dose was about 17 hours ago. I’m worried about the kind of sickness I’m going through and how to make it through the night. I’m unable to fall asleep and got only about 3 hours last night with terrible dreams that prevented even trying to relax.

  13. I’ve been taking ambien (10mg) for years and never had a problem with it until a month ago.
    I wasn’t sleeping good so I upped the dosage by I/4. After about 1 week I upped it again to
    approx. 3/8 more. Now, I’m at 1 1/2 or slightly more (this has been for almost 3 weeks).I’m having lightheadedness and dizziness. I want to get back to normal. How can I safely taper
    off back to the normal dosage? The dizziness and lightheadedness and nervousness is tough.

    1. Hi George. I suggested you speak with your doctor to help you plan an individualized tapering schedule in order to wean the drug off safely.

    1. Hi, Phyllis. I suggest you speak with your doctor or a pharmacist to help you create an individualized tapering schedule. I’ve read that experts report that no matter how huge the prescription dosage is, the best way to quit the drug is by slowly lowering the intake.

  14. I have been taking Stilnox 10 mg per nightly for the last four to five years due to insomnia and I am regarded as addictive to the drug. At times, very occasionally though, I increased to 20 mg per night. However, I have been sticking to 10 mg a night consistently over the last three months or so. I have been also taking Cimbalta 60mg nightly for also about 5 years, stopped taking it for about 6 months and now back at it again on 120mg per night as recommended by my psychologist about a month ago as my general anxiety disorder-occurs again.

    Of late, I find that I have been sweating profusely during the day and I am experiencing cold feet and body after the sweating . I would like to know if the above experience has been the result of my having suddenly increased the Stilnox to 20mg nightly from 60mg, although over only a sport spell or is my unpleasant experience due to an increase to the Cimbalta from 60mg to 120mg?

    Lastly, please let me know the best and earliest way to get off Stilnox.

  15. Stilnox induces sleep and causes relaxation. It is used to treat sleep disorders such as trouble falling asleep, waking up many times during the night, or waking up too early in the morning.

  16. I have been taking 10 mg of ambien for 15 years and am trying to taper down but want to understand the best practice for tapering. I tapered with 1 mg melatonin from 10 to 6.25 mg without any issue over the last 3 months, but can’t seem to taper any lower without sleepless nights. Should I just I just taper down from 6.25 -> 5 mg and keep holding at the lower dose until my body adjusts? Meaning have sleepless nights until my body adjusts? I have not tried sticking with the 5 mg dose for more than 1 sleepless night. Thanks.

    1. Hello, Chris. You may consult a doctor to help you plan an individualized tapering schedule only for you. Also, s/he may suggest some medications for insomnia. Or you can ask a pharmacist to recommend home remedies or teas.

  17. I have been taking Ambien for years 15mg per night. I also want to stop. I was place on Klonipin due to problems with a neuromuscular illness I had. I take .1 mg of that daily under the direction of a psychiatrist. I was thinking of cutting down to 10 mg a night for two weeks and then to 5mg a night for 2 or three weeks, then 2.5 mg for a few weeks. What do you think?

    1. Hello, Paul. Since every patient is different, I’d suggest you take an advice from your doctor about your tapering schedule.

  18. I have been going through ambien withdrawal for 2 months. July 24th started a taper from 10 mg., down to a quarter (2.5) pill all over 7 weeks. I have been totally off now for 3 weeks and the insomnia is unbearable. Dr. had me on trazodone, did not work well, tried benedryl , not work great, and now dr. put me on Seroquel, which puts me out quick, but only for about 2 hrs. then awake, then have catnaps every 20 min. then awake. Any other advice on helping with the insomnia. I exercise and walk/run but some days have no stamina. I appreciate any help, as at end of my rope.

  19. I have taken zopidem tartare 6.25mg CR daily for the last 2 months. Since it cannot be cut, how do I taper off by taking less?? And over how long a time. Thank you

  20. I have used Ambien for many years, but have never had to go beyond 5 mg nightly. I want to get off of this because I simply don’t want to depend on anything this much. At this dose, is cold turkey dangerous? I think the danger is when Ambien being abused.

    1. Hi Sally. Cold turkey is not recommended for anyone who has been taking Ambien for a long period of time, regardless of whether they abuse it or not. I suggest you should see your doctor and ask for help to wean off according to a gradual tapering schedule. This way, your physical dependence and tolerance will get gradually lower, plus you can assist any withdrawal symptoms that do occur and treat them with over-the-counter medications and herbal remedies.

  21. I’ve been taking Ambien for several years non stopping and whe I changed my doctor she made me go cold turkey – she dropped me from 10mg to 5 mg and gave me for 20 days – it’s been over 1 month and 1/2 having a hard time sleeping – I’ve bee taking Benadryl and deequil and other stuff I take more medication now then ever before – I don’t fall sleep until 4 to 5am and I have to be up by 6am there is a major problem.

  22. Have been on Ambien (Zolpidem) for several years. Have tried withdrawal on my own but do need help doing this. What is best way to discontinue and be able to sleep on my own

    Thank you.

  23. I feel for everyone on here, and can attest to the scary decision to stop taking ambien because of its obvious detrimental effects it can have, immediately and over the long term. I developed a chronic use because of travel to many different time zones every month. I simply ran out while I was away from home and have been waiting to see the Dr for a refill. It has been 2.5 days and the nightmares are very detailed, anxiety because of selling and buying a house , and changing jobs. I want to get some sleep, but I do NOT want to be dependent on this stuff anymore. I think I will ask the Dr about a taper program. Thanks to everyone for the responses and support.

  24. I have been taking abmien for 10 years and because my doctor left, I had to switch doctors. She has taken me off my ambien cold turkey saying there are no addiction or side effects. I have been off for a week and I can’t sleep at all. Laying awake in be for hours. Today I broke down crying all day and feeling like I have suicidal thoughts. I have depression and was being successfully treated for it but it feels like it is back very suddenly now because of this withdrawal. My doctor is very young, I am thinking the only answer is to switch doctors immediately.

  25. Hi Lorri. Your doctor should know better and never make you go cold turkey off ambien. Especially if you’ve already been taking it for such a long time. Stopping Ambien cold turkey is about the worst thing to do, in my opinion. The withdrawal can be horrible and very scary. See if you can talk to your psychiatrist again and ask him to prescribe enough to get you through tapering.

  26. My psychiatrist told me 2 days ago he was not going to refill my RX for 10mg Ambien. He didn’t give me a reason, and he didn’t give me a refill, even though he knew I was out of it. I have had no sleep in 2 days and am experiencing cramping, nausea, being light headed and diarrhea. I have been on it over 5 years. Can you suggest what I should do? Thank you.

  27. Hi G. Simpson. Due to the very real risk of seizures, you should never stop using Ambien very suddenly, the same goes for reducing your daily dosage too quickly. In most cases, doctors will advise you to gradually and slowly taper down your dose, or switch to an equivalent dosage of a longer acting benzodiazepine (such as diazepam) and then taper down from that.

    I’d suggest telling your doctor it’s too sudden for you. There is no one-size-fits-all when tapering down from a medication, it should be fit to your individual situation and needs. But, a conservative starting point is a 10% reduction every 2 weeks.

  28. I have taken ambien 10 mgm ever since it came on the market. My new doctor now wants me to stop taking it. He has advised taking 10 mgm every other night. This seems a too severe and sudden reduction. I live alone. How would you suggest tapering off from long term use?

  29. I Recently (5-6 weeks ago) Quit COLD TURKEY a Many Years Long Daily/NIGHT Dose of 5 MG Ambien. IT HAS BEEN HORRIBLE! Horrible Anxiety & Mental Confusion, Making Mistakes Writing Checks, Following Through on Important Tasks, Profuse Sweating Occurring Unexpectedly, Intolerance to Heat, and I Should Have KNOWN BETTER! I’m Just Now Beginning to Start Feeling Somewhat BETTER, and Did a Google search for Cold Turkey SYMPTOMS of Discontinuation! I’m 65, USMC Ret. Vietnam Combat Veteran, ptsd, use & rely on Xanax, but haven’t used Any anti-depressant type meds for Years, as I Cannot Tolerate How they Make Me Feel! Also have long term chronic pain, and using very low doses of pain patch. VA says I cannot take Xanax & Pain meds together, due to THEIR DR.s Over Prescribing & Now they are Trying to Over Correct their MISTAKES by With Holding the Only Med that Allows Me to Deal with Daily Stress & Anxiety! These Quacks at VA should All Be Prosecuted or at Very Least DISMISSED for Malpractice!! But POINT IS – DON’T STOP AMBIEN COLD TURKEY! Thank Heavens I was on a Small Dose or I SERIOUSLY DOUBT I WOULD HAVE SURVIVED, Without EMERGENCY INTERVENTION!!

  30. Doctors in UK have no idea that zolpidem has such terrific withdrawal symptoms. They think you can just stop in 4 weeks after halving, halving again, etc…….they do not recognize the dependency and anxiety they cause when at tolerance and during withdrawal.

  31. I use stilnox 6 mg and 0.2 mg xanax for one half year only before going to bed . Last months feel weak and drowinses . Decided to interrupt the xanax and I am 5 month clear . I go with stilnox 6 mg before going bed and suddenly I had a Punic attack . I have a month that I used 10-15 mg stilnox when I see the signs of Punic . The Punic sometimes I have and two times per day .so I have out of control the quantity and the time of using stilnox . I need to tell smb what I can do because I have out of control using of stilnox .thanks

  32. i havef been on ambien for aprox 2wks. cnt sleep without it. also on pain meds for chronic pain, which is why i started the ambien in the first place. even though i cant sleep, i am scared to take the ambien anymore. should i stop now while i can or is it too late:

  33. Hi Ben. You’ll need to consult with your prescribing doctor to set up a tapering regime for Ambien over the course of several weeks. Don’t try to guess on doses by yourself. Generally, from what I’ve read, zolpidem is tapered in a similar way to benzodiazepines. Check out page 10 of this manual for very precise guidelines:

    To get back to sleep at night, you might look into treating underlying anxiety. I’ve personally found psychotherapy and meditation practices help quite a bit. Setting the SAME TIME to go to bed every night does wonders for sleep.

  34. I’ve been taking Ambien for a while now, probably a year? 5mg a night. The past few months it’s puts me to sleep for about 3-4 hours, then I wake up, and generally can’t get back to sleep. I’d like to switch medicine, (or find a better way to sleep!) how should I stop taking the Ambien to avoid withdrawal symptoms? (also, I have sleep apnea, and sleep with a CPAP every night.)

  35. Please talk about Lyrica. It is a non narcotic but if you take enough of them you can get very high. How long does it stay in your system? What are the dangers of Lyrica (pregabalin).

  36. Greetings. My wife took Ambien on and off for about 8 weeks to treat menopause/hormone/anxiety-driven insomnia. She never took more than 5mg and, often, i cut them in half to 2.5mg. The first 4 weeks, about 3x a week. Weeks 5-6, 3x to 4x a week. Weeks 7-8, 5x to 6x a week. Some of these nights included 2-3 beers between 6-8pm.

    As I primarily see people taking 10-40mg every night for weeks, months or years…I can only consider my wife being a mild or low-dose user. However, about 12 days ago she went off it cold turkey (assuming that being low-dose was a low-risk cold turkey).

    She has had very bad anxiety and sleeplessness ever since. I’m talking 0-3 hours of sleep per night. Because we are self-employed, she HAS been able to stay in bed or recline and rest many extra hours a day…as opposed to getting uo for a 9-5 job. This has helped, but she is still getting worn down. We thought this would have ended by now.

    Bottom line….should she STILL be trying a tapering schedule even at these low dosages and frequencies? Or…is the fact that she went cold turkey a reason to NOT begin a tapering schedule? Would it just throw her back into the fire again?

    We were thinking a schedule of 2mg at 3x for a week….then 1.5mg 3x for a week….1mg….0.5mg…etc….done. That is, IF she should even go to tapering at all.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks you so much….TG

  37. Sadly I have been on ambien for years also, 5mg every night (I cut the 10mg tabs in half)…does it come in 2.5mg? My sleep problems are related to fibromyalgia pain so I am worried about the process of withdrawl and not sleeping again (not that it is so great right now). Any recommendations for how to go about this?

  38. Hello Julie. Decreasing your dose by 50% is probably too much to handle at once and can provoke withdrawal symptoms. Seek advice from your prescribing doctor first to ask for a tapering calendar. It’s better to slowly reduce Ambien doses over the course of several weeks than try to figure it out on your own.

  39. I want to go off my ambein. I have been on10 mgs for almost 3 years. I need to know if i cut back to 5mgs how long to wait until I cut backagain? Should I go to a sleep center beforeI go all the way off?Im really concerned about how I will deal with insomnia after i go off.

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