Ambien is a sedative-hypnotic which reduces brain activity to allow for sleep. Addiction to Ambien can be both physical and psychological in nature with a difficult withdrawal process. Learn more about Ambien, withdrawal and where to go for help.
After the last dose of Ambien, withdrawal symptoms may begin within a few hours to a few days. Rebound insomnia is a common symptom a person may experience during withdrawal. Apprehension and restlessness may also occur. Other possible symptoms of withdrawal from Ambien may include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Memory loss
- Panic attacks
Ambien addiction or dependency varies person to person. Overall symptoms typically last anywhere from a few hours to a few days from the last dose. Symptoms may persist for several weeks after peak symptoms have resolved. The following timeline notes what to expect during withdrawal from Ambien.
24-72 hours after last Ambien dose: a person may experience bouts of confusion and memory loss. Mood changes and increased feelings of fearfulness and anxiety may begin. Hallucinations and psychosis are possible but typically in more severe cases. Shakes, vomiting and difficulty sleeping may occur.
Week 1: Sleep disturbance, nightmares, anxiety and drug craving will be a challenge in this part of the withdrawal period.
Week 2: A person may begin to feel normal again but drug cravings, depression and mood swings may still persist. Possible panic attacks may continue.
Week 3-4: Symptoms should have abated by now. People who have grown psychologically dependent on Zolpidem or Ambien may experience psychological symptoms or have continued trouble sleeping.
Symptoms of Ambien withdrawal will affect most people within the first 72 hours after the last dose. Rebound insomnia will start up with overall symptoms lasting anywhere from a few days to several weeks from last dose. Post-acute withdrawal symptoms may hang around for several months. The length and severity of withdrawal symptoms varies for each individual but can be quite severe which is why a treating physician is recommended to oversee the process and ensure the safety of the individual experiencing symptoms.
Ambien should only be taken as prescribed by a doctor. The medicine is not a cure for chronic insomnia and should not be used in this way. The likelihood of major withdrawal symptoms is lessened when a person follows the prescribed amount. Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) has been noted by some people which refers to a persistent set of symptoms which occur after a person stops taking Ambien. Insomnia, nightmares, depression and anxiety are typical with psychological effects lingering long after cessation of Ambien.
If you or a loved one is struggling to quit Ambien, there is help. Contact Treatment Now for resources and information about possible treatment options tailored to suit your needs. 844-438-8689.