how to quit ambien detox

What is Ambien?

Ambien is also known as zolpidem. Zolpidem is a sedative drug also known as a hypnotic. It affects the chemicals of the brain in a way that allows those who struggle with sleep problems to overcome those issues and get over insomnia.

Ambien is an immediate-release form of zolpidem. The first layer dissolves quickly, allowing the patient to fall asleep quickly. The second layer takes longer to dissolve, giving the body more of the drug to keep the patient asleep longer.

It can cause feelings of sleepiness, and those who take it may still feel tired in the morning after it’s been taken. After a patient wakes up from taking the prescription, that patient should wait at least four hours before doing anything that requires them to be alert or awake. Drowsiness should wear off after that amount of time.

The problem with Ambien is that some people participate in activities and later have no recollection of them. For example, the patient may eat, take a walk, make phone calls, or even go out with someone and have no memory of the event later in the day. If the drug is abused, these effects can be more pronounced and may result in other side effects.

Ambien is only meant to be used in the short term. Long-term use can result in addiction, which has been well-documented by medical professionals. Even taking the drug as prescribed over a long period of time can result in addiction, which then may require a long detoxification program to eliminate.

What Are the Side Effects of Ambien?

There are many serious side effects as well as many normal and common side effects. These include:

  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Feeling tired
  • A stuffy nose
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Muscle pain
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Throat irritation


To avoid these common side effects, take the lowest dose of Ambien possible. Some more serious side effects include:

  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Trouble breathing
  • Nausea or feeling sluggish

What Are Signs of the Withdrawal?

There are several signs of Ambien withdrawal. They include:

  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Skin flushing
  • Crying/mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety

Each of these reactions is caused by the lack of sedation that Ambien usually provides. When it’s used over time, the brain learns to need these chemicals to feel balanced. The brain becomes accustomed to working at a slower rate, being calmer and less active. When the body no longer has access to Ambien, these symptoms may manifest and affect you.

Usually, the withdrawal effects last only a few days. However, that’s likely only the case if you’ve taken the drug for only a short time and at the recommended dosage. If you have taken it for a long period of time or strayed from the dosage you were told to take, then you may suffer from much more severe withdrawal and for a longer period of time.

How Long Does It Take to Detox From?

To detox from Ambien, you’ll need to speak with your detoxification facility or medical professional about your dosage and how long you’ve taken the drug. Your timeline may vary from the average, but since Ambien can cause life-threatening side effects if you stop it without a tapering program, it’s likely that you will cut back on the drug for several days or weeks before you’re completely free of it.

When you’re in a formal detoxification program, your withdrawal can be managed and monitored. You’ll potentially be moved from Ambien to a similar medication over the course of several weeks. You’ll start taking lower dosages slowly, and over time, you’ll get to the point where the drug is no longer needed for your body to function normally.

While you may not feel that taking additional drugs to get off a drug is a productive approach, it can help you balance the potentially dangerous side effects of withdrawal. Taking longer to get off the drug causes fewer side effects to your body, so you can focus more clearly and struggle with fewer long-term side effects. Stopping cold turkey can be life-threatening for some people, so it’s never advised.

How Can I Get Help With Ambien Withdrawal?

If you’ve been taking Ambien and are struggling to quit, you may need to work through a detoxification program. Call us today by dialing 1-877-978-3125 to speak with someone about the kind of program you want to get involved with now, or visit us online at to learn more about the programs available in your area. We can work with you to find a program to help you with prescription drug addiction, so you can quickly get back on track to the life you enjoy. You don’t have to struggle with addiction alone, and you can recover.