Ambien Withdrawal Symptoms (11 Factors to Watch Out For)

Ambien tablets pouring out of a jar

Ambien is a sedative-hypnotic drug that is commonly prescribed to treat insomnia. However, taking it in high doses or for extended periods can lead to addiction, making abruptly stopping its use dangerous. 

As experts in addiction treatment, we have conducted extensive research on Ambien withdrawal symptoms and treatment options.

This article will provide comprehensive information on everything you need to know about safely getting off the drug. We’ll cover the common withdrawal symptoms, the withdrawal duration, and the available treatment options.

Quick Summary

  • Shorter periods of use may be associated with less likelihood of severe withdrawal. 
  • Dependent individuals who stop taking Ambien may experience withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety, irritability, agitation, tremors, nausea, vomiting, sweating, increased heart rate, and seizures in severe cases.
  • Alcohol addiction or other drugs can increase your risks of Ambien addiction. 

What is Ambien (Zolpidem) Withdrawal?

A top view of Zolpidem tablets pouring out of a jarAmbien (Zolpidem) withdrawal is a condition that arises when an individual stops taking the drug after having become dependent on it.

Physical and psychological symptoms, such as panic attacks, irritability, insomnia, and headaches, usually accompany this. 

According to medical professionals, sedatives known as “z-drugs,” like Ambien, are considered less habit-forming when compared to benzodiazepines and other sedatives [1].

Taking Ambien as prescribed can build a tolerance to the drug in at least two weeks. Tolerance is the body’s decreased response to Ambien as it becomes accustomed to the same drug over time. 

This may require larger doses to achieve the desired effect, which can then lead to drug abuse. Also, if someone is suffering from alcohol addiction or any other drug addiction, they are more prone to suffer from Ambien addiction.

How Does Ambien Withdrawal Work?

Ambien withdrawal works by allowing the body to readjust to life without the drug after an individual dependent on the drug suddenly stop taking it. 

After taking large doses of Ambien over a few weeks, you may experience sedative-hypnotic withdrawal symptoms upon stopping. These symptoms can range from feeling generally unwell to tremors, panic attacks, and vomiting [2]. 

Regular use of Ambien can have effects similar to alcohol intoxication, such as impaired judgment, slurred speech, and behavioral changes. People with a history of drug or alcohol misuse are more likely to become dependent on Ambien.

Although dependence and withdrawal are rare in people who take Ambien as directed, they can still occur [3].

What Is The Ambien Withdrawal Timeline?

A person holding Ambien drugs with a time clock on the sideThe Ambien withdrawal timeline begins within 6-8 hours of the last dose. 

These symptoms typically peak within 1-5 days and gradually reduce over 1-2 weeks [4].

The duration of withdrawal side effects depends on the detox process’s length. While there is no officially established timeline for withdrawal symptoms, most only last a few weeks after detox.

Various factors can increase the chances of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms when stopping sedatives.

Some of these factors may be:

  • Chronicity or length of sedative use
  • The dosage
  • Age
  • The presence of additional medical or psychiatric conditions

11 Common Ambien Withdrawal Symptoms

A person experiencing anxiety as Ambien withdrawal symptoms

When someone abruptly stops using Ambien or reduces their dose quickly, they may experience different signs and symptoms of withdrawal.

These symptoms can include Ambien withdrawal symptoms such as those listed below:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Hand tremor
  • Rapid heart rate and breathing
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Uncontrolled crying
  • Stomach cramps
  • Cravings
  • Mood swings
  • Rebound insomnia

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Rebound Insomnia

Ambien is primarily used to treat short-term sleeping disorders, particularly insomnia. If someone develops a dependence on Ambien and quits taking it, they may suffer from “rebound insomnia,” which is when the inability to sleep returns, often worse than before. 

When users suddenly stop Ambien use, the risk of rebound insomnia and complications like seizures or delirium can increase.

Ambien can cause rebound insomnia when it reduces nerve activity in the brain, leading to difficulty sleeping and increased anxiety when the drug is suddenly stopped.

It’s better to consult a physician before quitting abruptly. Tapering down the dosages gradually in a detox setting can help avoid potentially complicated side effects during the withdrawal process. 

How is Ambien Misused?

A concept image of Ambien drug abuseAmbien is misused recreationally by crushing, snorting, and injecting it. Using the drug in this way can increase its effects and lead to physical dependence. Young adults are most likely to misuse Ambien. Sometimes, infrequent social use can lead to consistent use.

The drug is occasionally utilized as a replacement for other substances or to counteract the effects of stimulants. Some people snort or inject it for this purpose. 

Those in drug treatment programs may begin taking it to alleviate withdrawal symptoms or experience a short-lived high that won’t be detected on standard drug tests since it is quickly metabolized within 24 to 72 hours.

“While Ambien is generally considered safer than certain other sedatives, it can still be misused. Long-term use may lead to tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal.”
Steven Gans, MD, Attending Psychiatrist at McLean Hospital

Ambien Detox Treatment

A person gradually tapering the dosage of AmbienThe common approach used to detox from Ambien is gradually tapering the doses. This way, the body can slowly adapt to functioning without the drug. 

The length of time needed for Ambien detoxification differs from person to person. Some people only need two weeks to reduce their dosage, while others require several months gradually. 

Doctors may sometimes recommend replacing Ambien with long-acting benzodiazepines such as Valium to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms as part of your detox treatment.

Both inpatient and outpatient rehab programs provide medically-managed detox for Ambien addiction. However, successful recovery requires more than just getting through the withdrawal period.

Tapering off the drug and combining it with cognitive-behavioral therapy can increase the chances of recovery. Best detox drinks made from natural ingredients are also available to aid in better sleep and ease withdrawal symptoms during quitting.


How Addictive Can Ambien Be?

Ambien can be very addictive, especially when taken for longer periods or in higher doses than prescribed. It affects the brain’s neurotransmitters, making the body crave more of the drug.

Is It Safe To Take Ambien For 2 Weeks?

Yes, Ambien is generally safe to take for 2 weeks or less as a healthcare provider prescribes. However, individuals who take it longer than 6 weeks may develop a tolerance, increasing the risk of addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

Who Is More Prone To Experiencing Addiction And Withdrawal Symptoms From Ambien?

Individuals who take Ambien for more extended periods or in higher doses than prescribed are more prone to experiencing addiction and withdrawal symptoms from Ambien. Those with a history of substance abuse or addiction may also be at higher risk.

Ease Your Ambien Withdrawal Symptoms

Quitting Ambien isn’t easy, but it is possible. This may involve gradually decreasing medication intake under medical supervision and using detoxifying drinks. 

Detox drinks can provide relief and support during the detoxification process. After conducting thorough research on available options, we recommend considering the Clear Choice Rescue Cleanse review drink for its formulated benefits.

This particular drink aids the body in the Ambien detox process by eliminating toxins, simplifying and easing the detox journey.



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