What are Ambien withdrawal symptoms?

Ambien withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, stomach cramps, vomiting, and severe mood changes. Seizures are also possible as you withdraw from Ambien. More on what to expect during Ambien withdrawal here.

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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 sleeping pills withdrawal and detox is like and what you can expect, why do withdrawal symptoms occur. Then, we outline 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
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 on Ambien for 10 plus years at 30mg a night. I have had trouble sleeping since I was young. I hate it. I hate the drug I hate how it effects my body and mind. My doctor is useless. He is a pill pusher. I need help but I don’t know where to go

  2. I have used zoplicone at its lowest form I think 3.25mg for four nights then I got prescribed zolpidem 10mg by my doctor the first lot for five days then another lot of five for five days…then I got another 7 days worth supplied by prescription and at present I have used two of these and I know about addiction so I phoned my doctor to get me off these zolpidem…she recommended I miss a day then take half which is 5mg then miss a day or two then take the half does 5mg and keep doing that and keep adding an extra day on to miss so I did miss a day and took only 5mg and I couldn’t sleep the next day that I missed…is this ok to do it this way….every time I read about weaning off it’s about lowering the dose for a few weeks or so to prevent bad side affects…I felt ok not taking the zolpidem for the first 24 hrs infact it was when I was in bed and can’t sleep after about the 48 hrs mark then I thought about taking the smaller dose that the doctor recommended…I am scared of all the horrible side effects like seizures etc were to happen…I don’t have a history of anything like that and I have always been healthy…I did read in your online…about every other day etc did you mean take a lower dose each other day by missing a day then take the next and gradually extend missing with the lower dose…I hope this makes sense I have also spoken to a drug addiction center which I will be going to next week…I try to be prepared..I would be so happy and relieved if it was ok to miss a day and lower doses even if I am not sleeping..I don’t have anymore of these zolpidem once the last 4 and a half have finished I know the doctor Isn’t going to supply me anymore and if I can use what I have left to come off it I will be so happy….I tried to explain what’s going on in as best detail as I can…I am concerned I have only been using for a short time compared to lots I read about…but no one suggests in any posts that they miss a day here or there
    Kind regards

  3. This is an update to my post from August 8th. It has been exactly 2 weeks since I got off Ambien, after taking it for 10 years. Guys, if you can, TRASH THAT DRUG! I feel so much better this week. I can finally function well. I am still off work, but next Monday (in 5 days) I will be ready to go back!
    Here are a few tips for a successful recovery:
    1. Consult with your doctor if you have been on Ambien for more than 3 months.
    2. If your doc is as lousy as mine (me: ‘I’d like to talk about my sleeping issues’, doc: ‘Are we upping your dosage, or do you want to switch to a different medication?’), find a good one, that is actually interested to help you!
    3. Talk to your partner or your closest friend. Their support will help you get through the withdrawal.
    4. Don’t quit cold turkey. Your body will go into a panic mode if you do. Taper it off. Doctors say, that one year of being on Ambien equals one month of detox.
    5. If you have been on Ambien for a long time, you WILL get the withdrawal side effect. Your brain will be demanding it and your body will be fighting for it. But STICK TO YOUR PLAN.
    6. If you can, take time off from work. Make getting off Ambien your priority.
    7. Distract your body and mind; the time will pass by faster. Watch your favourite movies, read a book that you love and go outside lie down on a grass, have a picnic or go for a walk in a park. Treat yourself with little things that may help you feel a bit better.
    8. Follow as many tips on healthy sleeping habits as you can. They work, as long as you do not cheat. No phone an hour before going to bed means NO PHONE.
    9. Know, that the first 2-3 days you will be sleepy and exhausted. The 3-4 days after that will be a horrendous (scroll up and see my previous post for details)! Then it will slowly start getting BETTER. And remember that at the end of all this the reward is better than anything you have experienced so far!
    10. You are your body’s best friend and worst enemy. In order to succeed, you need to be willing to get through this. It is a painful journey, but it can be done!

    Stop poisoning your body and your mind. You only have one life to live, so don’t let Ambien live it for you!

  4. ‘Do stay strong’, as many say. I’m off Ambien now for nearly four years, after twelve years on it, and never went backwards, but it is a big fight. You also have to stay off the mobile phones and computers in the evening; don’t drink tea or coffee after 12 noon. Avoid trying to come off Ambien when the moon is close to full or waxing…yes it does affect us!
    It is a really horrendous drug, and I still have tinnitus and a few minor symptoms from Ambien. Good luck all!

  5. Debbie and Judith, did you get the help you were seeking? I’ve been on Ambien for about 10 years. Started tapering it off (from 20mg) last year. January-July I was taking 5mg and 6 days ago I stopped taking Ambien completely. It was a nightmare the first 5 nights/days. I was getting almost all the symptoms mentioned above, including insomnia, flu-like symptoms, sweatiness and lightheadiness. I took 2 weeks off from work to be able to focus on detoxication fully. Today I can finally somewhat function. My brain is not as foggy as the last few days, I don’t feel sleepy (I think I slept for about 7-8 hrs last night) and I feel better overall. There is hope, so please stay strong! It DOES get better! If you need to slow down the tapering off, do it. But never go backwards!

  6. My Rx prescription for Zoplidem Tartrate Er Tabs 6.25mg has been stopped due to a breakdown in communication between my doctor’s office and the mail order company that fills my Rx products. Have used said product for YEARS. Rx is filled (3 month supply with no refills) by a mail order company. Have noticed that my doctor’s office needs to supply mail order company of late with reason for refill. Doctor’s office has submitted response: for insomnia. Having called mail order company customer service on numerous occasions asking why there is always a delay in receiving my refill. Was advised that due to the nature of said prescription product they need to have some sort of viable reason from my doctor’s office for refill. I have NO pills left as of yesterday. Last night first night without med. Experienced inability to fall asleep, anxiousness, restlessness, inability to ‘talk myself’ out of ‘it’, enhanced ‘body’ pain, (am arthritic), Am 71 years old and now realize that I have become ADDICTED. CAN I continue daily Rx: (1) Fluoxetine 40mg + Lisinopril 20mg. Also have on-hand, in house, Rx: Alprazololam 0.25mg that I DO NOT use daily but on as a need basis, i.e., IF Zolpidem does not ‘settle’ me for falling asleep. (Wait an hour after Zolpidem to take. Take ONLY 1/2 tab). NOW recognize this product, Zolpidem, is intended for use over a period of 2 – 3 weeks! Did NOT realize the scope of dependency. PLEASE advise what I should do over the next several days, week, to get through this ‘cold turkey’ withdrawal! Thank you in advance for your anticipated quick response.

  7. I have been prescribed Ambien 10mg. This drug has been prescribed to me by a Clinical Nurse Practioner. Unfortunately I have been on Ambien for over 10 years. I want to stop taking this medication. I called asking how to taper off Ambien. I was told I could quit cold turkey. I told her I read the severity of stopping cold turkey. My question is can you please advise me the safe way to stop this medication. Should I take 5mg for so many days and taper from that dose? I want to stop taking Ambien safely. Are you able to help me?

  8. Micheal how are you doing I am still struggling after 32 nights trying to come off of Ambien it has been 5 nights on none falling asleep but only sleeping barely an hour then tossing and turning for a few hours where I may fall asleep for an hour is there any hope

  9. There is no exact time frame to predict how long your insomnia will endure. There is also no exact amount to taper down by. The advice is to go down slowly, about 10% each 14 days. If you taking 20mg that means reduce by 2mg first leaving you at 18mg. Two weeks later if you are accustomed to the 18mg then reduce it by 1.8mg to 16.2mg. Going from 20mg to 5mg is way too big a cut. You can always hold your taper a little longer if you have not adjusted to your new dose.This is not desirable but sometimes you might have to go back (reinstate) to your previous dose then hold for a week and make a smaller reduction. Just keep reducing slow but sure.

  10. 23 nights off Ambien and last night slept one hour how long is this ging to last or will I never be able to sleep again without Ambien

  11. How are you doing now I have taken Ambien for 13 years was taking 2 and a half pills and needed to stop I am currently taking a half a pill with melatonin has been 21 days and I’m still not sleeping but an hour I am really discouraged judith

  12. Hi Judith, just a bit of encouragement to another long term ambien dependant. Try not to get to get too entangled by other people’s journey off ambien. Everybody has different withdrawals and some are so fortunate that even after long term high doses they do not struggle. I unfortunately am NOT one of the lucky ones. When first reading the horrors some people suffered I too had panic attacks, in fact I experienced every symptom every listed and worse in the rehab I felt as though I had been thrown straight into the depths of hell. Try tapering very slowly, allow your body to become accustomed to each lower dose before tapering down again. Good luck to everyone. We will do it.

  13. Hi it is now 4 am and not sleeping I have been on Ambien for 13 years started on 5 mg but now on close to 30 at night so after reading about the drug I want off I began to taper dose having anxiety attack’s nasua leg aches it is awful really helps reading others stories

  14. I have been taking zolpidem for 19 years. Initially it WAS considered safe to take for long term. After 15 years, and the awareness of google comments by other users as well as health warnings I booked into a rehab centre to attempt to cold turkey off them, with hopefully medical assistance on standbye. Absolute waste of time and money. Rehab knew how to treat street drug and alcohol addiction. They had no knowledge of ambien/zolpidem withdrawal. For 21 days I had zero sleep, became a total cognitive mess and permanently in pain. I eventually was referred to a psychiatric hospital, had a somnagram no apnea or any other factors contributing to my total insomnia. They eventually tried various alternative drugs but to no avail. I was discharged after 3 weeks and decided to do my own research. I started by taking 2 10mg tablets for 2 weeks. I then gradually reduced my dosage by 10% every 2 weeks. The way to do this is to use a pill crusher. I used a shot class with 10ml of plain yogurt and poured the crushed pill into the yogurt and mixed it well. Then using a syringe I would remove the amount I needed to reduce it by. Remember 10 mg of mixture reduced by 10% equals 1ml. So remove 1ml and drink the remaining 9ml. You keep doing this increasing the amount you syringe off until you are down to zero. Only cut your 10% every 2 or even 3 weeks. You control your taper so its not at a stressful time. Most doctors do NOT know how to taper a patient off medications. That is why I get furious when I read ask your doctor or pharmacist. They really have no clue of the dangers or just refusing to prescribe insisting oh you will have a few days of rebound insomnia. Try zero sleep for 3 weeks!! Ps many doctors also believe herbal medications like valarian or hobs or even melatonin is “mickey mouse” medication. And that is verbatim from a psychiatrist. Good luck. I am still slowly tapering again after relapsing during a protracted messy divorce after 30 years of marriage.

  15. My doc prescribed Ambien over 2 yrs ago.
    One day I decided to stop taking them not realizing how serious a drug this is to come off
    My withdrawals were HORRIFIC.
    The prescribing doc did not care.
    I fought through the withdrawals praying I would not have a stroke, heart attack or seizure
    I did it !!!
    Patting myself on the back!

  16. Was off ambien since 2013 but started back November 10 2017 off it again 8 days and I have become anxious depressed and having nightmares how long will it last,I was taking twice the recommended dose

  17. I am trying to quit taking Ambien 12.5. For the last 2 weeks I have been cutting my pills in half and have managed to sleep taking with zanax and neurotin which I have been taking due to restless leg sydrome. However, I have headache sand now back ache mist every day. My Dr. Won’t start me on 6.5 for 6 weeks and has said take a pill one day and skip the next night. I can’t function without sleep. Do u think it’s possible to continue what I’ve been doing and skip taking half apill the ,third day now that I’m starting the third week.

  18. I have been taking Zolpidem for 9 months now. I often overdose. Usually i take 2 or 3 pills of 12.5mg. Every time i try to stop i get severe migraine and chest pains, that i intend to go back to the pills. Now I’m trying to get off and i have the same symptoms of chest aches and headaches for the past three days. Is there a way to stop it?

  19. I have taken AMBIAN CR on and off for a quite a while…BUT for the last month or so every night……6.25, occasionally 2 (good nights sleep) some times bite one and a half.. ALergist treating me for cough said ‘time to get off the Ambian” …I didn’t take my pill last night and had a fitful night. How do you ease off…… Just felt jittery today not all the other symptoms I read about….
    Can you just stop and take an occasional one? I am 79, in fairly good health for my age.

  20. I have taken Ambien fairly religiously for over 15 years and decided to get off 36 days ago. I went cold turkey from a taper down to 5mg It was awful but it has been 36 days and I’m sleeping 6 hours a night right now with the help of 9mg of melotonin only. What symptoms should I be possibly experiences after 36 days and should I have a neurological exam? I am going to my physician tomorrow. What should I have him check and and what questions should I ask.

  21. I used prescribed zolpidem under doctors care. I followed under intructions. I have had 2 acciddents in a week. I show seizure systoms but no tests showed. I think I got screwed up by it not knowing it. I feel ashamed not knowing. I what to know if I can detox without out other drugs.

  22. I’ve been taking for 2 and a half years.I want to stop taking them.Its been 3 days I’ve only slep a few hours.How long will it take for me to clean my system out.Please Help.

  23. I have been taking ambien for about 4 years. I have Only taken 1 tablet of 10 mg. at night before bed. I am weaning myself off without Dr. Supervision. Just started a week ago. I am already not going to sleep as quickly as i had been. I am taking 3/4 of a tablet. How long should i stay at this dose before i go down to a half tablet.? How long till i go down to a 1/4 tablet? Wil withdrawals be less doing it this way?

  24. I have been taking Ambien 5 mg for 2 years. Found out that my depression and anxiety attacks could be from the Ambien. I have to take an Ativan for the rapid heart beats to help with the anxiety. Is that the same as taking an Ambien. I’m starting to wean off of Ambien every other day and fill in with Tylenol PM or Aleve PM. My main concern is how long will it take to get all of this out of my system and feel normal again and how big is the risk of it causing a SEIZURE? That really concerns me since I’m by myself? Thanks for your reply. Nancy

  25. i have been on it for roughly 5 days(this week)and have stopped cold turkey. Experiencing rebound insomnia (zero sleep) and heart palp,pain. will continue to try and sleep without it.

  26. I have increased the dose to 60 mg after few months. But still dont work. Only first month 10 mg worked. Many others have same situation. The manufacturer is liable for not stating all possible scenario. I am thinking to file a lawsuit.

  27. I have been perscribed Ambien for several years. My Dr. left the area, my new Dr. will not refill my perscription. The new Dr. perscribed Hydroxyzine hcl. 50mg. I tried these for a few days, they do not help me sleep. These pills dry my mouth and throat and give me weird tickling feelings in my face. I quit taking them.
    I have not slept for any length of time for about 4 weeks.
    What would you suggest I do?
    I use a CPAP machine and have rls.

  28. I’ve taken 5mg of Ambien for a few months. My doc recently upped my dosage to 7.5mg. I’m experiencing a number of side effects (e.g. Confusion, burning pins and needles in my fingers). I want to get off the stuff. Should I stop cold turkey or take just 5mg for a week or so and then maybe 2.5 for a week?

  29. I have been growing a very fast tolderance to zolpidem. Like I’m a the point that I can rage 30 mg and it makes me a little sleepy but I don’t fall asleep forever. My trazadone helps a bit. I have been Having horrid night sweats and anxiety and nausea over the last few days. When I take more zolpidem hat helps but then the night sweats start. Are these withdrawal symptoms?

  30. I have had severe insomnia for nearly 10 years. It took my doctor and I over 4 years to find the correct medication combination that finally put me to sleep and kept me sleeping for a minimum of 6 hours. The combination is Ambien (zolpidem) 10 mg, clonazepam 0.5 mg, and trazodone 50 mg.

    I also am on oxycodone 10 mg five per day due to chronic abdominal pain and severe joint pain. Having had a gastric sleeve (gastrectomy), I cannot take NSAIDs which would probably work. We switched from hydrocodone to oxycodone because of the acetaminophen (and potential liver damage) associated with the hydrocodone.

    I want to get off everything, if possible, but safely. This is hard to undertake as I do not have medical insurance and must find a way to do this safely on my own.

    I NEVER take more than what is prescribed; however, I feel that at age 63 I would be much better off to be off all of the above medications.

    The only other medications I am on are metformin 1000 mg b.i.d. and omeprazole 40 mg q daily.

    Can you help me with a safe plan for getting off these medications. Having no insurance has made it impossible for me to do anything. However, if I can get a recipe for getting off these meds, I feel I would be much better off.

    I am hoping you can help me.

    Thank you.

  31. I have been buying Ambien (Zolpidem) for a few years off the internet, I have suffered from insomnia for 40 years. When I try to not take them .. and usually take a couple if Nytol instead…. I have the most awful, terrifying dreams. I am afraid now to stop in case I have a seizure or a heart attack.

  32. Accidentally drank too much alcohol and then took my medication ambien. I have been very dizzy and nauseous for 2 days now. Unsteady on my feet. How long will this last?

  33. I drank too much ETOH, took my normal dose of Zolpedium. The next day ,anddayafter I felt dizzy and nauseous. How long will this go on?

  34. My doctor took me off of ambien after 3 years since it started now working as well and she did not want me to take more then 10ml a night. after 7 nights of NO sleep I started on Belsomra… I started on 10mg for 3 days then 15mg for 3 days and up to 20mg now and this med has not helped me AT ALL!!! I am now without sleep for over two weeks… I’m thinking of going back on ambien but worried that it will not work either and am desperate for sleep… is there a medicine that works like ambien that might not have same side effects but helps with falling asleep which is my biggest problem? Thank you

  35. Please help me on depressed so depressed t and have aniexty and disconnect I’m on different antidepressants to help me but feel if I don’t go off ambient nothing is going to work I’m on 5 mg every night how do I taper off and do you think that could be it

  36. If I can help one person here I will be very happy. 2 years ago I had cancer and since they gave me steroids I was up all night , I started taking Ambien, I was first taking 5 mg and when that didn’t work I went up to 10 mg. Soon I was addicted after awhile the 10 didn’t work so well so I would pop another one. I was a wreck, My husband hides them for me, and when he wasn’t around I would search for them. One night I don’t remember at all, he said I got up and fell and almost went down the stairs. I knew then I couldn’t go on like this, so I decided to quit cold turkey. He told me if I didn’t stop he would leave me.
    I wasn’t sleeping anyway so I knew I had to do something. Quitting was the awful , didn’t realize how much my body needed those pills. For about a week I didn’t sleep at all but hubby was supporting me. I was dead tired between having chemo not sleeping I was a walking zombie. Into the 2 weeks I actually feel asleep for a couple of hours, I was so happy. By the next month, the Ambien was out of my system and I was finally getting decent sleep. Ambien is horrible and now I know what a drug addict feels like. Its been a year and a half and I haven’t taken any sleeping pills. I feel fantastic .My doctor did put me on Mirtazapine which is a mild anti-depressant and that helps me at night. If you can get off it please try, If you want to email me maybe I can help. I don’t ever want to go back there again Good luck to all of you

  37. I am currently withdrawing from Ambien under a doctor’s care. Since about a year ago, I had trouble sleeping. My cancer doctor put me on 10mg Ambien daily, which elevated to 12.5mgs a few months ago. Suddenly, I could not sleep at all…about 3 nights straight. My husband took me to our primary doctor. She prescribed 50mg Trazodone and dose down on Ambien by taking it every other day. Last night, I did not take my Ambien for the first time in a year. This morning, I woke very light headed, disoriented, and nauseated…I nearly fell in the bathroom. I have contacted my cancer doctor. Are these symptoms typical with Ambien withdrawal?

  38. I am 62 and very sensitive to any medication that affects the brain. I was given ambien for insomnia around 10 days ago. 5mgs once at night. worked for around 3 nights then from that point only made Me anxious. I started feeling what I believe are interdose withdrawal symptoms after 5 days.
    Last two nights it did nothing and I started feeling severe anxiety and irritabilaty a couple of hours after taking it. This goes on through the next day getting worse around 6pm. I want to get off this drug as it is no longer making Me sleep and its side effects as mentioned above are so bad.
    I have depression so Im wondering if this pre existing condition is making the symptoms of withdrawal worse. Do I have to taper off this med or can I just stop taking it ? Seems each time I take it it makes My symptoms worse.
    In the meantime what can I take get some sleep , I am not on any other meds. Melatonin use to work but stopped working after 2 years. What about remeron etc trazadone did not work neither did antihistamine meds. Im desperate at this point and very scared , even for My life dont know how much I can take.

  39. I have been taking zolfresh 10 mg 5 tablets in afternoon and 5 tablets at night before food for last 2 years.I getting more hungry and eating more and getting sleep for 6 hours at night and 3 hours in afternoon. Now I want to withdraw. If u reduce the dose,I am getting many side effects like dizziness,chest pain,memory loss,stomach upset etc.my age is 35.please give me a good suggestion.please tell me will it have any effect on liver,kidney or impotency.

  40. i didn’t mean to leave the top of my ambien loose and when i went to take my next dose 5 of them ended up in my garbage disposal. i called my pain clinic , coastal spine in jax fla and asked them if i was going to suffer any side affects and Erika stated it was just a sleep medication and would not. go through any withdrawal. i dont know her job description but didnt give me accurate info. but she clearly had no right to tell me that. after days of no sleep i got so ill i could not make it to my appt. that’s when hell began. i then went through withdrawal , i had no pain meds, nothing, all i got was someone will talk to you about withdrawal. i have a medical degree i not paying for talk. so for those that suffer, call your insurance carrier for the complaint department

  41. Has anyone else had what I call “brain zaps” while coming off Ambien? I’ve been off it for about a year and the “brain zaps ” are better but not competely gone

  42. My mother is 83years old and has taken Ambien for 7 years now. Her doctor went on vacation when it was time for her to get the meds refille. So it’s been 5days without anything. She is now nausea and sick. What can and should she do. I think at her age she is having a hard time and I don’t know that to do? I really mad at the doctor for giving it to her for so long. I had no ideal the side effect were so bad.She is not sleeping much at all. Should she keep taken them or go get help.

  43. I’ve been taking 20 mg of ambien for years. I would like to get off of it. How would you suggest I taper off and over what period of time.

  44. Taking zolpidem since a year going to quit it all together days when I go home in ten days what are the expected symptoms and how long are they expected to last?

  45. my wife was in Rehab 3 times already for Adco Zolpidem use 4 Pills before bed at night and then stands up at about 2am in the morning and takes 4 again. 2 car accidents later and rehab after that for three weeks when she goy home just start using pills again. Weekends are the worst uses a packet of Zolpidem for the weekend, uses about 3-4 packets a week 90 – 120 pills i dont know what do do anymore? anyone have the some problem?

  46. I have been taking 50-60 mg of generic ambien (bought in India). Should I reduce
    the amount over the period of a week or is it best to just stop?

  47. Can I withdraw from zolpidem and oxicontin at the same time. Will it double the withdral symtoms? What doseage of benzo should I take the first week?

  48. If you suffer from depression you can ask the doctor for Seroquel which will completely remove any withdrawal symptoms and also help with your depression.

  49. My mother had taken ambien for 25 years. They took her off Ambien and her brain shut down and she died 2 months later saying it was Creutzfeldt Jakobs Disease. Now waiting for the autopsy to come back. All neurological tests before being taken off the drug were normal…one month after being taken off the drug was when her brain showed first signs of deterioration . ..they sent her home called it CJD and said there was nothing they could do for her…she passed away one month later.. She had been taking it for 25 years..they didn’t wean her off they took 4 days and she was off of it…2 months later her brain shut down completely …

  50. I have been using Ambien p.m. for 3-4 years 12.5 mg dose. Its time to stop, the effect is getting less and less. I have always had difficulty sleeping, I’m 70 tears old. its been about two weeks since I quit Ambien. I have been using OTC sleep aides now, I don’t know how much they help. I usually stay up till 3-4 am since quitting Ambien. will things ever get back to normal? I’m retired so I don’t have to get up and go to work, I usually take a nap in the late morning. your response is appreciated. also, bought some melatonin yesterday, any comments o0n its effectiveness.

  51. CANNABIS, Marijuana, pot, Whatever you want to call it. I was on Ambien for 8 years and wanted to get off so I got a medical marijuana card. I stopped cold turkey and smoked,( before I went to bed) slept fine, not perfect but did me well. For the most part the withdrawal symptoms listed above have not effected me, I have ( and I don’t know if this is due to Ambien withdrawal ) had some headaches, a bit of nausea a bit of anxiety and have ringing in my ears, (Tinnitus). It’s been three months off and I’m sleeping pretty well. I also have been weening myself off of 1 1/2 mg of Klonapin (a benzo) so some of those symptoms might be from that also. I don’t want to have to smoke pot everyday but would rather do that then take these dangerous drugs. And for those who are brain washed into thinking pot is a gateway drug, IT’S NOT!. I have no interest in doing Heroin, cocaine or any other drug whatsoever, I don’t even want to rely on pot for sleep but it is what it is. I wish you all good luck.

  52. I’ve been on a 5 MG dosage of Zolpidem for several years. About 2 weeks ago I decided to quit cold turkey. About 3 days after I quit I ended up clipping a mailbox with my car on the way to work at 5:00 AM. I assumed I had dozed off because I had trouble sleeping the night before. One week later I had another accident in the same place at the same time but this time there was another vehicle involved. I was very disoriented and did not remember anything about the accident. I think I may have had a seizure rather than falling asleep. Can anyone who’s experienced seizures” describe how the seizures’ came on.
    Luckily no one was injured and I am not driving until I find out what is causing this.

  53. Hello, I had been taking a 5mg dosage of Zolpidem for several years. About 4 days ago, I realized that I had thrown away my refill of the prescription in error so I have not been taking any sleep aid for 4 nights. So far I have had no significant side effects except for a little irritability and tiredness. I have had no real significant changes in my sleeping pattern. I have tried to compensate the lack of not having Zolpidem by taking a half dosage of an anxiety med prior to going to bed of which I have but do not take very often. So what else, if anything, can I expect as far as side affects? Thanks so much for your help on this issue.

  54. My son takes 8/10 to get two hours sleep and sometimes that does not even work. I take 2/3 to get 4 hours sleep, and battling to find a way to get off them. Tapering does not work for us cause when you are like a zombie one can just walk around the corner and buy another box without script. Any ideas about what other medication one can try?

  55. I have been on Ambien for three years. I have never abused. Only took one every night as prescribed. I recently moved to another state and want to stop taking. My last refill was 1/3/16 and today is 3/29/16. I have cut in half and thirds this one prescription of 30 pills. I am having withdrawal symptoms. Extreme fatigue, can’t sleep and terrible restless legs. Don’t know what to do. Help. I am miserable.

  56. I took ambien 20mg for 6 years, xanax 3mg daily 6 years and still do, was a heavy drinker since adulthood (I’m 50) and smoked pot regularly as an adult also. I stopped drinking and smoking cold turkey for 2 weeks, no withdrawals. Now I’ve drank in moderation for the last weeks, no pot though. I quit ambien cold turkey 2 nights ago and feel better this morning tha I have since I started. WHAT’S UP? All I read about is how horrible and long last withdrawals are for both booze and ambien. Is there a lull before the storm?

  57. Don’t drink coffee or anything with caffeine whEn trying to quit ambien. It will make the withdrawal symptoms more severe. The withdrawal symptoms begin about 3 to 4 days after stopping your last dose. Lack of sleep is the easy part you’ll feel terrible but every day it will get better.

  58. I have been on 10mg of ambien and 100 mg of trazadone for about four months which my doctor said was safe to take together. I’m experiencing memory loss. How do I start the withdraw process of the ambien. What should I expect as far as the physical withdraw is concerned. I don’t plan stopping the trazadone at the same time.

    1. Hi, Michele. I’ve read that experts recommend that gradually lowering the drug dosage is a safer way to quit the drug. So, I’d suggest you speak with your doctor to help you plan an individualized tapering schedule. Also, you may consult with a pharmacist to give you home remedies, teas and over-the-counter aid to ease withdrawal symptoms.

  59. I don’t take ambien every day but I may take 5 mg for a few days n then I may not take it a few days but I started it about 3 weeks ago n now when I try to go without it I do have problems falling asleep and staying asleep I have been off of it completely for almost 2 days n I am feeling very anxious and weak n mild headaches just wondering if I need to continue taking or just tough this out???

  60. Been on ambian about 9 years… Couldn’t sleep after my husband passed away. Had a child in college and a 10 year old at home… My kids are now grown and with some relief was glad when I told them I was no longer going to take this sleeping pill! It’s been 4 days…. Not much sleep??? really tired… When I do sleep weird dreams…. Body and head just feel weird, I feel like I am having out of my body experience! Is this normal? Going away in a week and half, will I be feeling better and more at ease by then? I am taking 1 melatonin pill a nite… I don’t think it is doing much! How long does these symptoms normally last? I swear I will not pick that bottle up and take even a half of one!!! I want sleep!!!!!

  61. Been on ambien about 9 years…. Was going through the death of my husband…. Kids are grown now and I made the decision about 3 days ago to discontinue this very addictive drug! ( to the delight of my kids… Was very weird after I took it!) I have not been sick but can’t sleep and at times I feel like I have out of body experience! Weird feeling! Weird dreams when I do fall asleep! Moody and very sleepy but can’t sleep. Is this normal and how long does it last? I take one melatonin pill about an hour before I go to bed… Is this ok? I have had heartburn also… Is this part of it? I know I am doing the right thing but how long does it take to get this drug out of my system? Going on vacation in a week and half and I want to feel better and I don’t want to slip back taking this drug again! Any suggestions? I am sooo tired!

  62. I have been taking ambien 2-5 mg every night for 18 yrs. I also have used alcohol most nights for the past 8 yrs. I stopped my alcohol use several days ago and have had to use less ambien to sleep, 2mg over last 7 days.. I feel awful.. Having a hard time functioning is cutting to 2 mg causing all this anxiety and feeling like there is something seriously wrong.

  63. Hello, I have been taking ambien for years 10mg. I believe I’m experiencing side effects, and it’s time to try other options. I have cut back to 5mg a wk ago. How long should I do this? My plan was a few weeks, then 5mg every other day for 2 wks. Then every 383rd day and so forth. Do you recommend. a different approach? Want the least side effects!

  64. Having got off zolpidem tartrate (Ambien) now for 1.5 years after twelve years of use I can say it is worth it, but hard going for at least the first six months. I tapered and then stopped, had a friend take it away and never went back. I now use nothing at all to sleep, buit am definitely affected by the moon phases, approaching and the night of full moon it seems natural to sleep less. So, if you feel sensitive to lunar phases try stopping when the moon is waning, not approaching a full moon.
    In the recent posts and answers looked at I do not see any alternatives other than similar drugs like Lunesta for chronic insomnia. Are there any new, less damaging drugs for this debilitating disease?
    The only side-effects I still have is tinnitus, a high pitched ringing in the ears, which is listed more rarely as a side effect of zolpidem tartrate. Perhaps, as with all nerve damage, it will take much longer to disappear.
    Good luck all.

  65. What is a safe procedure for stopping my practice of taking 5 mg of zolpidem nightly? I’ve had this pattern for about three years. Gradual decline? Please be as specific as possible.

  66. I’ve been taking a small dose (2.5 -5 mg) almost every night for 3.5 months and now want to stop. Will I have withdrawn symptoms with such a small dose?

  67. I have been on ambein for 5 years. I was up to 20 mgs a night . It was no longer very effective and I began to wake up out of the blue with a sense of terror. I decided to Erin off the drug the first week I cut back to 15 mgs , then 10 mgs for a week , now 5 mgs this week . Then I will cut back to 2 grams a week , then I plan to take 2 mgs every other night for a week . Then I plan to take 1 gm for a week. Then stop. I have also been taking 5 mg melatonin under the tongue , drinking chamomile tea and a hot bath at night. Questions with all this being done will I still have severe withdrawals or have the things I’ve done and am doing help lessen the horrible process? What else can I do ?

  68. I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I have been on genetic ambien for 5 years . I am on 20 mugs of zolpidem and it is not a very effective sleep aid for me any longer. I am very afraid of getting off of it as I have read the withdrawal symtoms. I tried to commit suicide almost 6 years ago. I don’t want to relapse as I function well during the day and am living a fulfilling life. Please give me suggestions of how to get off this dangerous drug. Thank you for your help. I will be seeing my psychiatrist in 1 1/2 weeks. She wants to give me another sleep medication . I am afraid to take it , and afraid not to .

  69. I was put on Ambien for hydrocodone withdrawal insomnia. I was on Ambien for a week, and then my doctor put me back on hydrocodone until I see the detox specialist on 2/9. Since I am back on hydrocodone, I thought I would get off the Ambien. After one week with Ambien 10mm, I decided to split the pill and take half the dose. I have been on half the dose for a week. I do get sleep,but during the day I struggle with horrific headaches. Am I withdrawing right by tapering, and if so what can I do for the headaches?

  70. I have had to go cold turkey, on my ambien because no refills been on them for 8 years last night had bad nightmare sick, at my stomach bad headaches is there’s anything I can do to help me now I really want to guit so bad all help would be appreciated

  71. I took Ambien for 10 years. I loved Ambien . During the recent three years I took 100 mg each day, 20 in the morning 20 at lunch maybe one before the meeting and for 40 milligrams to go to sleep. Over the years I repeatedly tried to titrate My ambien consumption down. But because of me being an addict I woild always resume eating large quantities of Ambien every day. I ended up just quitting cold turkey and admitted myself into a hospital detox center because of hearing about All the stories on the Internet about withdrawal from AMbien. I was worried about seizures and all the things that you read on the Internet. After stopping cold turkey I was essentially fine I did not sleep for five days and the hospital gave me small doses of Ativan each day. The doctors at the detox center saying to me that they really had no idea on how to detox someone off of Ambien.
    Of course I felt terrible for about 10 days but it went away. I also had some uncontrollable shaking on day four and five and six. Although the half-life of Ambien is very short it takes many days three or four days before the metabolites begin to leave your body. So there really is no acute withdrawal from going cold turkey the real withdrawal begins three or four days after your last dose. I have been Ambien free since Halloween night. Although I still have a lot and I mean a lot of trouble trying to sleep at night I’m no longer confused and my memory is returning.. Your experience may differ but I wanted to share this with everyone since I was taking such a large dose 10 times the normal dose and was able to quit cold turkey without any severe side effects. your experience may vary.

  72. I’ve been taking zolpidem 10mg Qhs for approx. 4 years, if I cut dose in half & take every other hs, will withdrawal symptoms be less.? I would like to stop taking, as retirement has lessened work stress

  73. I have been on ambien for about a year. I have been having issues with depression and anxiety. My anxiety worsens when I think about not sleeping as I have a challenging job and home life (raising a child) and just life in general. I saw my doctor the other day and she told me to take gabapentin for anxiety and insomnia. I asked her if I would have withdrawal symptoms with the ambien and she said no. Well, that was not the case I had a horrible night. I don’t understand why she would tell me I’d be fine.

  74. I just finished my withrawal from ambien. All good now. Sharing my story:
    Last october I had some panick attacks. instead of using xanax, I used ambien to calm me down. It worked wonderfull at 5mg.
    I started to use 5mg at night for sleep almost every night since then.
    On the second week of december I once woke up at night, feeling weak and and then a panick attack, took my ambien and then to sleep.
    After a couple of days it started to happen every night. I woke up at night weak, panic attack came, ambien and then to sleep. At first I did not notice the connection, but it was the nights I did not took ambien before bed when I would wake up at the middle of the night with the panic attack. As soon as I made the connection I knew I was dependent and needed to withdraw. I used a very good pill cutter and started cutting down to 4.5mg for 2 nights, then 4mg, then 3.5mg, etc
    Intense withrawal effects lasted for 5 days. After that I forgot about it.
    A lot of people just post when they are in withdrawal and not when they are out. I just wanted to let others know that it is possible, just hang in there. 🙂

  75. I’ve been taking zolpidem for years in 10 mg pills. I’ve slid down now to 5 mg per night. I’m healthy 78yr old; can you kindly suggest a withdrawal schedule however approximate ? My body weight is 190 lb. Thanks in advance

  76. I started zolpidem 5mg almost 2 and a half months ago. I started cutting to it in half 2 or so weeks ago. I have been taking 2.5 mg a night. I do not want to take it anymore. I do fall asleep on my own sometimes but I wake up in the middle of the night with anxiety which leads to tacacardia which I suffer from. I start thinking I won’t go back to sleep without the medication as low a dose as it is. I took 1 aleve pm and did fall asleep after a while. If I stop taking it at this dose is it safe? I was always a great sleeper. I started on zolpidem last because last May I had a stomach virus that lasted for over a month. I started with anxiety because of the stomach virus. I need advise can you help?

  77. I was diagnosed with panic disorder years ago and put on Ativan and Zoloft
    At the time I was a heavy Ambien user and a Heavy drinker
    After doing a little research on both heavy Alcohol use and Ambien
    Is it possible that these were the real causes for my constant panics all along?!

  78. I have been taking zolpidem for over a year. The pills are 10 mg, and I take them every evening. Typically, I take 1/2 pill during the week and full pill on the weekends. Lately I feel that I am not as sharp as I should be, and I have some short-term memory loss. (As an example, name recollection has become an issue.) The list of “common” possible side effects are quite applicable in my case. I am a 59 year old male in otherwise good physical condition (6’0″, 190 lbs.). I would like to stop taking this on a daily basis; how can I do so in a way that will reduce the symptoms of withdrawal?


    1. Hello, Jerry. I suggest you consult your doctor to help you make an individualized tapering schedule just for you. In this way, you might reduce withdrawal symptoms. Also, consider taking some over-the-counter medications and home remedies to ease withdrawal when it comes. Good luck!

  79. I was on ambien for a little over 3 weeks, 10 mg most nights. I’ve tried to get off, taking 5 mg for a couple nights and now just 1/4 tablet for 3. Seems like my sleep, or lack of sleep is getting worse each night. Did I try to wean off correctly? Any idea how long this will go on?

  80. Hi, I have been taking Zolpidem for a period of 9 years daily since my last relapse in 2006. I suffer from Bi-Polar 1 disorder since correctly diagnosed approximately 20 years ago. I have suffered from mental illness since the age of 19 years and I am now 66 years of age. I initially was prescribed 5 mg. of Zolpidem daily which was eventually increased by my doctor to 10 mg. when 5mg. proved ineffective. I am now being taken off Zolpidem 10 mg.with the advice of my G.P. and most nights I take 5 mg. I am gradually being able to get some kind of sleep but I am experiencing various symptoms such as bad dreams during sleep and strange thoughts during my waking hours which last most of the day. I have been taking 5mg. daily for approximately 6 weeks now and I am considering stopping taking Zolpidem altogether and just sitting it out. My question is, do you think this is a good Idea and if so how long can it take to get Zolpidem out of my system? I no longer work and therefore it does not really matter what time I get to sleep as long as I do so. I am determined to completely withdraw from Zolpidem. I am just looking for the best way out, as far as I am concerned I have been prescribed this medication for too long.

  81. I’ve been on Ambion for 2 years and just completed an 18 week tapering off program to safely get off the drug. A few weeks ago I began experiencing mental tremors only when my eyes are closed trying to go back to sleep after waking up during the night. The tremors last microseconds and occur approximately every ten seconds. I also experience whole body tremors in bed just before falling asleep. Could these tremors be an Ambion withdrawal symptom?

    1. Hello Ralph. Congratulations! You’ve done it! And, yes, tremors can be an Ambien withdrawal symptom. If they continue, I suggest you talk with your doctor. Once again, I’m really glad that you are off the drug, and I hope that our readers can safely follow your example.

  82. Dr. prescribed halcyon for my sister 25 yrs.ago. Switched to ambien after hallucinations started, so she has been on ambien for TWENTY YEARS. She has recently been diagnosed with mild comprehensive impairment, which is getting worse.
    Frankly, I’d like to bring charges against her doctor. I mean. 20 years! Her chances of getting off this drug, which doesn’t even work very well, are nil.

  83. I have stopped taking ambien. My withdrawal symptoms are dizziness, nausea, burping just overall discomfort. What can I do? Am I able to take stress j and gaba?

    1. Hi Tammy. Some people recommend trying natural herbal methods to treat sleeping disturbance such as CALMS Forte, melatonin, valerian and magnesium, which can naturally relax the body. For other symptoms you can try cold packs for sweating, exercise – to help with endorphins and decreases stress, chamomile teas, relaxing baths.

  84. I have been on ambien and zolpidem for 17 years. My insurance complany now refuses to pay for it as a result of FDA studies.
    Given the symptoms of withdrawal I am very concerned and apprehensive bordering on fear as I realize I am addicted to the drug and will soon not be available to me.

  85. I took Ambien for 2 weeks, I stop but now I’m having terrible anxiate and panic attacks, what can I do to stop this anxiate it is killing me, my Dr is treating me with Ativan to help with anxiety.

  86. I have been on Ambien every night since 2002
    Then In 2005 I started having severe panic attacks to the point where I was Hospitalized for 2 weeks
    I was then Diagnosed with Panic Disorder and prescribed Zoloft and Ativan for it and still Ambien for my insomnia.I was doing fine from 2006-2015 current time
    My panic attacks have returned they weened me off of the Ativan and now they are even worse
    Now I wounder with the side effects of Ambien I have learned could the Ambien had been the cause of my panics this whole time??

  87. Would love help to taper off stilnoct. been on it for 2 years and not able to sleep presently off them. What would you advise?

  88. I have been on 5 mg of ambien for years. I also take .5 mg of alprazolam at night. recently had outpatient surgery and have been on pain medicine, high dose of ibuprofen and anti nausea medication. I stopped the ambien during this time but do still take the alprazolam. I am now tapering off and stopping the pain and anti nausea medicine but will continue with ibuprofen for several more weeks. Seems like this would be a good time to stop (not go back on) the ambien as I have now gone without it for 2 weeks with no serious side effects (maybe because of other meds from surgery?). But find I still need the alprazolam to fall asleep. Do you agree stay off ambien at this point and just allrazolam? At least I am off one of them and then can deal with the other down the road awhile. Appreciate your opinion. Thx

    1. Hi, Eltrip. Well done with the tapering schedule. Also, I’d suggest you to ask your doctor about staying off ambien.

  89. I have taken Ambien for almost 9 years. My prescription, for 10 mg, ran out last Saturday and the pharmacist told me “nothing would happen.” I have experienced headaches, insomnia, anxiety, moodiness and teeth grinding, when I do fall asleep. Because of the length of time I have taken ambien, will the withdrawl be longer or should I start to improve now that it’s been a week? Should I start again to wean off? I want to get off this medication for good and my doctor had recently advised that I would need to go to 5mg, because of the new recommendations.

    Thank you.

  90. I have been slowly weaning myself off Ambion and am experiencing episodes of whole body twitching while resting and waves of electrical discharge-like mental tremors lasting microseconds after waking up from a deep sleep in the middle of the night. Are these withdrawal symptom?

  91. I been taking abein for sleep for 3 years been 2 nights without I found taking promethszine 25 mg helps not to feel bad from withdrawal

  92. My husband has tapered his long use of ambien. Is having severe moos swings part of withdrawal symptoms. He also won’t leave the house. The past few days he says he he wan s to die the last few days. Has stopped at r elated very own title and is loosing.ibdont know what to do. Bye is verbally attacking me and said s he’s disaoppointed with my being slow gutless over weight and having a physical symptom of difficulty. I have had this for several years. All the medical testing found no reason. With all of the stress my walking has become much much worse. He has tapered sleep sly and has stopped retaking ambien after weeks of taking one half. We’ve been married over 40 years. I am miserable. My husband is very very depressed and just sits in a chair. Help. How can I help. I am so unhappy..

  93. I have been on ambien many years. It started as a treatment for fibromyalgia. Is it justifiable to just keep taking it for that reason? Is there a medical risk after this many years? I have never had a problem with it.

  94. After 5 years on 6.25 ambien I now struggle with ibs and dispepsia. I have been off ambien for 4 days and still have alot of abdominal cramps and dispepsia (gas,pain, acid etc.).How long is the average withdrawal phase?This is rough! Is there always light at the end of this tunnel?

  95. I took ambient for almost 3 years and I stopped taking it 3 days ago I feel confused and have a very bad headache I feel very irritable and nervous I don’t know what to do next Tylenol and ibuprofen are not helping and I just move from state and I don’t have insurance or dr to talk about this and I need help thanks!

  96. i quit opoids after 15 years. 2 years ago today. valium and ambien 2 weeks ago. much harder to manage my taper. but i did it all on my own. i have some major stomach issues and pretty dizzy but it is a withdrawal and it should go away some day. i figure if i cant sleep stay up and watch tv and play with the dogs. the reason for all the meds is medical. survived a fire 50 percent 3rd degree and many back surgeries. reason for quitting. i felt just as crappy with all the meds as with out. with no meds i am in complete control. best feeling ever fuck the r.x. game its a game i cant win.

  97. I take 2.5mg zolpidem and have been taking it for a year having been on a higher dose originally. If I stop now will I have withdrawal symptoms. I am 68 years of age.

  98. I have taken Zolpidem for about 8 years but over the past almost 2 years mostly used half a doze by cutting the pill in half. Last night I fell asleep without any medication. Can I still expect withdrawal symptoms or should I rather start using a quarter of the tablet and then taper off?

  99. I weened off generic Ambien when I heard about the side effects and concerns from my roommate. I have had a foggy head, memory problems. It took me probably four or five weeks to get off of generic Ambien. I slowly decreased the amount of medicine I was taking. I would use a pill cutter and gradually decrease the amount. I noticed when I forgot or missed my doses I would get terrible panic attacks which included anxiety and problems breathing. The panic attacks continued as I was weening off the medication, so I would taylor the amount I was taking.

  100. I read in this article, that Ambian is ONLY supposed to be prescribed for short periods of time. I’m also prescribed Klonopin, but I’ll get back to that. Both of these medications seem to have some pretty SEVERE withdrawal symptoms! I have been taking Ambian, for about 3yrs now. I have been taking Klonopin off & on, for almost 13yrs. Just for reference, I’m 33yrs old. My question is this… Why in the HELL would a Dr who knows the risks & withdrawals from these meds, have me on them for such an extended period of time?! Are there long term side effects, from taking these medications? I also don’t even remember, how I slept/felt BEFORE taking Ambian! Since I’ve been on it for so long, should I just go to the ER before things COULD get REALLY NASTY?! Thank you in advance! Hannah

    1. Hello Hannah. I completely understand you! The point is that many doctors don’t know or are turning a blind eye to the problem. Many of them just cut people from their prescription cold turkey after many years of treatment, and they should also be aware that going cold turkey off a benzodiazepine is hell. Healing takes a long time (months and years). I believe you’ll find many answers in these following articles:

  101. I have been a long time user of ambien and when I ran out of my medicine I experienced the very high volume of insomnia was that due to the ambien last for a couple of days.

  102. I have stopped taking ambien and I’m experiencing sluggishness and headaches on back of my head also. Ibuprofen is working for me.

  103. I am a 51 year old female. I have been taking a very large dose ( two 12.5 mg ) of Ambien CR for well over 10 years now. At first my insurance refused to fill this prescription saying it was too large a dose. I am very tolerant to a lot of drugs, and have to often take larger doses than most adults do. My doctors convinced the insurance that I did indeed need this large amount. Now 10 plus years later I am coming down off of this. I tell you it is not easy. My doctor had me take one 12.5, and one 6.25 for one week. We have now taken me down to two 6.25 for one week. I have just finished week two. I will now take one 6.5 for the next week. For the forth week I will take one 6.5 every other day. After that I will take none. I am having some bad withdrawal. I am experiencing increased insomnia, increased body pain, nausea, mild seizures ( I have seizures any way, but haven’t experienced any since 2012 ) I have increased panic attacks, unusually moody. One thing that is not on the list but my doctor say due to the amount I was taking could be a symptom is small hallusinations. I see things move out of the corner of my eye, or see things there that aren’t there. My doctor says this will stop as the Ambien gets out of my system. I dream where I normally don’t. They are not nightmares, but I didn’t usually dream before coming off the Ambien. Like I said earlier I have a great support system with my family. I just wanted to share my story and let people know what I am going through. I read all of the stories and questions, and didn’t see anyone taking any where near as much as I am. I have heard so many times you can’t get addicted, but I am here to tell you, you not only can but you will and it is extremely hard to stop taking it.

  104. Thirty years ago a PA prescribed halcion for my sister. Ten years later doctor changed it to zolpidem,which she has been using for TWENTY YEARS. Not two or three weeks.
    She now has Mild Cognitive Impairment, a precurser to dementia. We are seriously considering a lawsuit for incompetency and indifferent medical help. It is unconciousable treatment. In the meantime she has entered a Functional Medical holistic clinc in hopes to reverse the memory loss problems. Any doctor who willy- nilly prescrbes years of this medication should be examined by ethical committee.

  105. Hi. My wife has been on ambien for over 15 years. 2.5 weeks ago she just decided she was no longer going to take it. Her withdrawal started and then seemed to ease but now she seems real confused and in a daze. She had 2 siezures during the withdrawal first week but none since. Please help me. I’m scared to death. Thanks John

  106. I quit Ambien cold turkey about 5 days ago. I think I had taken it every night for about three months. I am experiencing lower back pain and a burning sensation in my left thigh. Are these symptoms the result of Ambien withdrawal

  107. Hey there!

    I’m writing this question in a bit of a desperate measure to try and figure out how i can best help my girlfriend cope with the effects of withdrawal symptoms of Ambien. Just so you can understand the situation better, she’s been on Ambien over the past 5 years, and been an addict of it over the last 3 of those years. Back in April, she completely got off of it after having tapered off them since January. Although, she wasn’t able to deal with the withdrawal symptoms, anxiety being the worst of them, and found that the only thing that actually calmed her down was Ambien, which was a cause for her relapse into taking it again. She asked to be taken to a rehab so she could have professional treatment to get off of it completely, although she was hospitalized for a fear of having a seizure, of which she’s had 2 in the last year. The hospital sent her to a rehab but was ineffective and an uncomfortable place to be since it was not a drug rehab in particular. She’s out and at home now although does have these symptoms every couple of days. She hasn’t been taking any Ambien since she thinks if she’s off it now, she wants to stay off of it. I know the best way is to taper her off these but what do you suggest i do if she doesn’t want to take them any more but still is affected by the symptoms of withdrawal, anxiety and panic attacks in particular.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated!

  108. I am 10 mos. into withdrawal from prescribed ambien and xanax. I took them for 5 months and they totally altered by brain chemistry and nearly destroyed by body. ) see previous posts)I knew nothing about these drugs nor was ever advised about the hellish side effects. I blame myself for trusting my doctors., that is the biggest mistake I ever made in my life. They have no business prescribing psychiatric drugs when they know very little about them. I continue to suffer, mostly from chronic severe insomnia, and vision impairment. The docs prescribe it, but have no answers except more pharma drug, or they accuse of you of having mental illness now..
    Benzos (including ambien, a z drug) should be banned off the market. If anyone knows of a class action lawsuit against these pharma companies’ drugs , please advise. Their “pharmakeia” (Greek word for witchcraft) is destroying our lives.

  109. Ambien was the worst medication I’ve ever come off of!!!! Not oxy’s or xanax compared to the Ambien withdrawls. After years of being prescribed Ambien I decided to quit cold turkey…. Had no choice! I was oversubscribed meds by a pain Dr ….one day fed up, I weened myself off everything. Since withdrawals cause insomnia, I stayed on the Ambien so I could sleep a little. My Dr never gave any precautions about starting or stopping Ambien. …..as he’s sitting in a FL jail for running a pill mill today.
    Anyway, three yrs ago I quit taking Ambien (after 2yrs of using it) and felt like I was dying a slow horrible death. Always feeling anxious before , I became a basket case , overwhelmed by everything. Sleep was non existent, eating became very difficult and dehydration was horrible. After weeks of this, my glucose level was extremely low, causing me to enter a mind altering state. After months of these withdrawls, everything seemed to get a lil better.
    The lingering , long term effects were: shaking hands, sweating, insomnia and horrible anxiety. After 10 months of waiting it out, I reached out to a GP Dr and was prescribed Citroplam for the symptoms.
    Here I am, 2 yrs later….no insomnia, no anxiety, no shakiness, and minimal sweating. I have zero anxiety but feel zombie like. I sleep great but would rather sleep my life away. I have absolutely no drive for life but want badly to change it. I don’t shake anymore……extremly thankful for that. I miss my enthusiasm for life, I’m boared and truly wanna change but I don’t know who I am anymore. I wish I could go back in time and never take Ambien or any other medication I was prescribed.
    Does anyone else have a story like mine? I just want to be myself again and it doesn’t seem easy.

  110. I have been on Ambien (5 mg) for 2 years, and I’m trying to taper off, via 2.5 mg for 7 days, then completely off the stuff. Insomnia is pretty bad; maybe 7 days wasn’t long enough? I will start taking magnesium now, as some of your commenters suggested, and melatonin. How long until normal sleep patterns return?

  111. been off ambien for 4 months after taking it for 15 years and have experienced severe depression, is this normal

  112. I have been taking Ambien for many years. Recently I have started to use trazodone for one month instead to help me sleep. But Trazodone does not seem to work very well as I still cannot sleep much. How long will the withdrawal last so I can sleep on my own without any medication?

  113. I have been taking Ambien for sleep for several years. I have also been on Valium most of my life. I have Hyperptrophic Cardiomyopathy and persistent AFib. I’ve been off the Ambien for about a week and am experiencing terrible problems with my heart. My rate is higher than normal and elevates severely when I move around. I’m leaving for a 2 week trip tomorrow. This could be travel anxiety but I’m beginning to suspect it’s from stopping the Ambien suddenly and not tapering off. Can you tell me if Ambien withdrawal can aggravate a heart condition such as mine and is it dangerous. Thank you very much.

    1. Hello Julia. Yes, blood pressure and heart rates can increase during withdrawal as a side-effect from the medication leaving your system. Please consult a doctor if you have fears or experiencing other side effects.

  114. I have been on Ambien for 12years. I take 15mg a night and want to titrate off. What is the recommended titration?

  115. I’ve been off ambien for 10 days and am still having anxiety/panic attacks and shaking. I did take Xanax at least 2 times this week tho 🙁 that prob didn’t help me any tho, did it?

  116. I’ve been on Ambien for approx 11 months and although I was prescribed 10 mg I only took 1.25-2.50 mg for the last 6-8 months then I took it every other day then every three days then off for the last week and I’m having terrible anxiety, cramping in my right side, burning sensations, burning stomach and acid reflux. Does this sound familiar to anyone? It’s about to drive me nuts

  117. I have the worse symptoms. Please help me. I am going to speak to my dr but I am seriously depressed and have thoughts of imminent demise which is scary. Thank u

  118. I want to add what Sam said also. I have also been seeing things and have even had my mother and sister pray for me. I also began to sleep with my lights on I have had to correct many of my words as I type because I don’t remember how they are spelled. I also am having double vision and hear footsteps that are scaring the bajeezers out of me.

  119. I have been on Ambien for several years and have begun to suffer from memory loss and , I don’t know if it is related, but severe Vertigo. My memory loss has scared me quite badly as I have 3 grown children and 2 grandsons. I simply hate the thought of I not being to remember them or feeling indifferent toward them as I begin to lose my memory of them.I am crying as I write this to you. I love them so much. I sill love their father and would not want to forget the memories we have made together. I know that this forum may not be a medical solution. I just wanted to have someone to hear me.

    1. Hi Shannon. Thank you for sharing your feelings and worries with us. Have you seen a doctor yet? Memory loss is a condition that needs to be brought to the attention of a medical professional and examined carefully before a diagnosis is made. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

  120. I’ve been using Zolpidem for years. I was a swing shifter at work. Now I’m a dayshifter. My doctor says I can cut the 12.5 CR half then go down to the 6.25 and so on. Everything I’ve read says you can’t cut these in half.
    I want OFF of this stuff. What do YOU suggest?

  121. I have used 10mg of Ambiem for over 10yrs then to the 5mg for 5yrs. When my memory started with loss of words it affected my work and finally retired but kept taking it. I took myself off of half one but the Dr. said stop completly and use overcounter sleep aide. This is when after three weeks I started seeing shadows or even a person. I am awake when this starts. I’ve had inner ear problems and hear foot feet sounds. This has got me with no sleep now and alot of confusion. What can I do as it scares me at times? Thank you!

    1. Hi Sam. Have you reported these strange experiences to your doctor? You may need to be put on another medication that will help treat the effects and help you sleep again. The things you are seeing and hearing are most likely due to the long term use of Ambien.

  122. On Ambiem over 10 yrs for problem of no sleep. It worked good but noticed loss of memory so I wanted to quit so I half a 5mg for months but started having problems with seeing shadows and feeling like someone was around me. Which there isn’t! So Dr. took me off completely! I have RLS and it added tomy health problems but it is better but coming off Zolpidem is really rough. I’m nervous, edgy, having seeing shadows still but not assevere. I do take Equate Sleep Aid plus 2 melatonin 4mgs ea. I feel light headed at times and made mistake just now of falling into table…hurt left arm with green spot under arm. How long before i’m back to normal. I just want to be able to sleep at nite. I’m 67 but have had sleep problems for along time. What can I do to get over withdrawals?

  123. i have be taking zolpidem for years and I thought I had problems so I went to a psychiatrist
    Who changed my sleeping pills to a different brand that caused a lot of the feelings that i got from the zolpidem withdrawal that were very bad crying sleeplessness and all over uncomfortable situation including nightmares The doctor never told me I was going threw withdrawals the problem was that I was depression caused because the zolpidem only worked 4 hours. I am cutting down on the drugs he gave me to take with the zolpidem
    And I’m trying to find a doctor in Brooklyn NY to help me. Do you know of a doctor that can help me.

  124. 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?

    1. 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!

  125. 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.

  126. 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

  127. 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 !

  128. 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.

  129. 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?

    1. 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.

  130. 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.

  131. 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.

    1. 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.

  132. 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..

  133. 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.

  134. 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.

  135. 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.

  136. @ 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.

  137. 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?

  138. 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.

  139. 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.

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

  141. 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.

  142. 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

  143. 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.

  144. 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?

  145. 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.

  146. 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?

  147. 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?

  148. 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.

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

  150. 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??

  151. 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.

  152. 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

  153. 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


  154. 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.

  155. 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.

  156. 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.

  157. 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.

  158. 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.

  159. 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

  160. 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?

  161. 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?

  162. 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.

  163. 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?

  164. 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?

  165. 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?

  166. 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.

  167. 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.

  168. 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.

  169. 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?

  170. 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

  171. 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.

  172. 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.

  173. 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!

  174. 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

  175. 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.

  176. 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.

  177. 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?


  178. 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.

  179. 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?

  180. 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

  181. 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…

  182. 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.

  183. 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.

  184. 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.

  185. 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?

  186. 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.

  187. 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)?

  188. 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!

  189. 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?

  190. 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 work..today 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.

  191. 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?

  192. 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.

  193. 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.

  194. 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.

  195. 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.

  196. 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

  197. 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!

  198. 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.

  199. 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?

  200. 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?

  201. 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.

  202. 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?

  203. 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???

  204. 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.

  205. 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?

  206. 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?

  207. 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?

  208. 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?

  209. 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.

  210. 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.

  211. 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.

  212. 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.

  213. 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

  214. 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.

  215. 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.

  216. 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?

  217. 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.

  218. 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.

  219. 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.

  220. 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.

  221. 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.

  222. 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?

  223. 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.

  224. 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!,

  225. 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.?

  226. 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!

  227. 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

  228. 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.

  229. 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

  230. 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 ?

  231. 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.

  232. 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?

I am ready to call
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