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Ambien Withdrawal

Ambien is a popular drug developed to treat insomnia. Millions of Americans have a hard time with getting to sleep or staying asleep. Therefore, they resort to various forms of sleeping aids.

Ambien withdrawal stems from a series of adverse side effects during its use, such as memory loss. The medication is one of the most used prescription sleeping aids in the market.

The chemical used in the Ambien brand is zolpidem, which is meant to be used only in short-term instances. Much of the trouble arises when users become addicted and start abusing the drug, which creates withdrawal symptoms. In some instances ,however, users will develop a dependency on the pill during short-term use as well. 

What Are the Ambien Withdrawal Symptoms? 

As in all cases with various forms of drugs, symptoms and symptom intensity will vary from person to person. One thing to keep in mind is the amount of time and the quantities the person has taken. These factors come into play when talking about withdrawal symptoms, and Ambien is no different. 

However, there are recurring manifestations that many people share in different scenarios.

Common withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Severe depression
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Body tremors
  • Memory loss
  • Strong cravings
  • Delirium
  • Sweating

The cause of Ambien withdrawal has to do with the fact that many people can develop tolerance in just two weeks. This occurs when the brain tries to neutralize the sedative effects. In turn, the user begins to take larger and larger doses. Because the brain has now become accustomed to working to neutralize the effect of the drug, when users quit cold turkey, the brain becomes overactive. 

These strong changes in the brain are the cause of such severe Ambien withdrawal symptoms in the body. The brain, trying to reestablish itself into a normal state, has these alterations that affect the mind and body. Those who have used the drug in high doses may experience seizures, agitation, and anxiety.

One of the most common symptoms of Ambien withdrawal is rebound insomnia. Ambien is used to treat insomnia, and when intake ceases, the user will may be unable to sleep. In this stage, the state of rebound is often worse than before the drug was used. 

Pre-Psychological Effects

Many times, Ambien withdrawal can cause many psychological complications. Because the user starts to develop an imbalanced awareness in the brain, it can lead to serious issues. If the user normally experiences grief, depression, or any relationship problems, these conflicts may resurface or become more prevalent. 

Many times people become addicted to sleeping aids such as Ambien to evade certain chronicle issues in their emotional lives. Withdrawal, in turn, may only worsen these recurring complications.

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What Are the Stages of Ambien Withdrawal?

Although the withdrawal period is different for all users, a certain common timeline can be noticeable among different users. Ambien withdrawal symptoms are among the least powerful in the market for sleeping aid, just behind benzodiazepines.

General Timeline

First 24-48 hours: Quitting cold turkey has its own set of consequences. Because the drug takes little time to leave the body, many people may spot their first signs of withdrawal within a 24-48 hour time span. However, for users who take smaller doses, it can take a few days for withdrawal symptoms to start. 

Day 5: At this stage, people may begin to manifest symptoms of confusion, problems with sleeping, memory loss, and mood swings. Many times at this stage, people may begin to have suicidal thoughts. 

Day 8: During this time, symptoms will persist in the body. However, they have now become less intense. At this point, many recovering users may be battling with going back to the pill to find relief from withdrawal symptoms.

Day 15: If the user has only been taking small doses of Ambien, most of the symptoms may have ceased at this point. In two weeks to a month, users may finally return to a balanced state of mind. 

Keep in mind that this timeline is mostly attributed to those who have only taken the drug in moderate instances. Others who have abused the prescription drug may find themselves with a prolonged withdrawal period. If you have been depending on large doses of Ambien for a while, it is advised that you avoid quitting the medication abruptly. In fact, reducing the amount is a better alternative than simply stopping. 

This, however, will not be a permanent solution to the problem as the effects of the medication will still persist. This is why many recovering users enter a medical detox program.

Ambien Detox

Detox is one of the best ways to rid yourself of addiction and a painful withdrawal process. Many people aspire to find treatment when their addiction is severe, but many don’t think about the withdrawal process. Withdrawal is inevitable when considering quitting a drug, but with proper medical care, it can be easier. 

Ambien detox consists of reduced doses administered over time while being monitored by medical professionals who help the client adjust to a balanced life. This process is not always the easiest, but it keeps the body from becoming overactive. Overactive reactions can lead to troublesome panic attacks, convulsions, and high blood pressure. 

This process may take some time. While some will only require two weeks of treatment, others can take months. The goal for Ambien detox is to help ease out the painful process that is withdrawal. 

Ambien pills spilling out of a pill bottle

Physicians will often switch Ambien users to Valium, a medication that helps many recovering users with the withdrawal process after quitting Ambien. This, however, is mainly used for people who have had severe addictions. 

Professionals such as physicians and nursing staff will usually attack the withdrawal process with ridding the patient’s body of any toxins from the medication. 

Medical facilities with trained professionals on staff usually offer options to their clients. Some facilities offer programs that require residential treatment while others will adhere to weekly visits to the selected facility to check treatment progression. Whatever the option may be, choosing professional addiction treatment is the best way to ensure a healthy future. 

What Is the Next Treatment Step?

As mentioned earlier, entering a qualified program and a rehab facility is the best way to treat addictions and withdrawal. Pathway to Hope offers a wide variety of treatments that can be adjusted for every individual. There are different treatments such as relapse prevention, addiction therapy, 12 step programs, and, of course, medical detoxification.

Many people suffer from addiction never fully recover because they choose to battle their problems alone. This mostly never works, as many times people relapse and continue becoming avid users of the drug.


“Ambien (Zolpidem Tartrate): User Reviews, Side Effects, Interactions & Dosage.” RxList from

“Ambien Detox Symptoms, Timeline, Medications And Treatment.” Mental Help Early Childhood Cognitive Development Language Development Comments from

“Ambien Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline, Causes And Treatment.” Mental Help Early Childhood Cognitive Development Language Development Comments from

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