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Ambien Withdrawal – Symptoms, Timeline And Treatment

Ambien falls into a class of drugs known as sedative hypnotics, which is a non-benzodiazepine “Z drug”. It has the identical effectiveness like Xanax. If you have been addicted to Ambien for a considerable amount of time, then withdrawal symptoms will be caused by the diminished amount of the same in your blood tissues.

What is ambien?

Ambien falls into a class of drugs known as sedative hypnotics, which is a non-benzodiazepine “Z drug”. It has the identical effectiveness like Xanax. If you have been addicted to Ambien for a considerable amount of time, then withdrawal symptoms will be caused by the diminished amount of the same in your blood tissues.

The medicine is to be taken an hour prior to bedtime to enjoy a profound slumber for a good 8 hours. However, you must know that Ambien is never intended for long-term use.  The maximum time limit for safe medically-approved Ambien consumption is no more than 1-2 weeks. If the patient still shows no sign of improvement after the said time-limit, he should be advised for some alternative therapy. By no means, the doctor can extend the dosage timeline beyond 2 weeks. Moreover, doctors must also be careful about prescribing the minimal possible dose (10 mg) for the medicine.

Sadly, with around 70% of Americans suffering from sleepless nights, Ambien abuse is getting common with each passing day. The magical hypnotic high as assured by an overdose is another major reason behind heightened Ambien addiction today. The worst case scenario is when you take it with drugs or alcohol. According to medical professionals, individuals with alcohol or medication addiction issues are prone to Ambien addiction. However, a 2011 issue of Behavioral Pharmacology reported that Ambien addiction is also viable for those with no past history of addiction.

Patients taking Ambien must be under strict monitoring of the doctors. It will help the doctors to detect any psychological change in the patient or sense further need of the sleep medication after a period of 10 days. The monitoring will also help to understand whether or not the patient has got addicted to the sedative or might get into Ambien abuse.

Ambien withdrawal

We would like to state here again that Ambien abuse is dangerous. If you start taking Ambien even in smaller doses, you will end up getting addicted to it. The body grows tolerant to the drug, which will gradually lead you to require higher doses of it. But if you are heavily into the sedative don’t just go “cold turkey” all of a sudden as it will lead to severe withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms generally start within 2 days of your final dose.
These include:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Strong Ambien cravings
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal cram[s
  • Vomiting/nausea
  • Uncontrolled depression or sadness
  • Flushing
  • Delirium
  • Increasing heart rate
  • Rebound insomnia
  • Panic attacks
  • Seizures (very rare)

When you are into Ambien overdose for long, your brain receptors (benzodiazepine) get used to it. A sudden stoppage of the pill will cause serious disturbance in brain chemicals- leading to such dangerous effects.

Timeline of Ambien withdrawal

The Ambien withdrawal symptoms would mostly wane out within 15 days. Acute symptoms are observed within the initial 3-5 days of the final dose and they can continue up to around 2 weeks. However, the psychological symptoms may last for months. Some of the rare symptoms include insomnia, cravings, and panic attacks.

The withdrawal timeline usually varies from person to person and different factors play a decisive role here.

Timespan of Ambien consumption– If you have taken the sedative for a brief time, there will be no or less withdrawal symptoms after you stop taking the medicine.

Ambien dosage– Ambien tolerance is unavoidable if you are into Ambien overdose & it will result in dangerous psychological and physiological withdrawal symptoms once you stop out of the blue.

Was it extended-release version?-The extended-release medications are all about higher doses compared to the non-extended-release counterparts. Actually, when you take the medicine normally, it is gradually released in your system. So, the effect is low and you will also experience fewer and less intensive withdrawal symptoms after you quit. But with extended-release version, the medicine is able to avoid the chemicals which slower the release, making you consume a larger dose at once. Naturally, it will lead to more acute withdrawal symptoms.

Did you take any other drug along with ambien? –Alcohol, illegal drugs and other stimulants double up the influence of ambien. So, if you are into other drugs or alcohol while taking ambien, you will experience a more magnified level of withdrawal symptoms when you go cold turkey with the sedative.

Alcohol withdrawal treatment medications

As anxiety and depression are two most common symptoms of ambien withdrawal, doctors mostly suggest psychiatric treatment for the problem here. Additionally, there are some drugs to take care of the issue, such as anti-seizure medications or mood-stabilizing pills.

Recent medical studies also highlight the successful use of Quetiapine in treating the ambien withdrawal symptoms in some cases. It’s an antipsychotic drug prescribed for crucial psychological issues like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia & major depression.

When you are looking to quit ambien, it’s better to discuss the possible withdrawal symptoms with your doctor. He/She might lower the dose to help you quit safely. When you prefer to go slow and do not cease the pill at once, you can easily prevent or reduce seizures and other ambien withdrawal symptoms.

Motivation, detox & other therapies

Added to the prescribed medications and psychological treatments, people suffering from ambien withdrawal symptoms also need strong emotional support from near and dear ones. It takes immense mental strength to quit an addiction and constant motivation from friends and family members is crucial here. Since the medicine is a strong sedative, you have to start your recovery with a solid medical detox that would be further followed by comprehensive treatment. Experts also suggest cognitive behavioral therapy and talk therapy for a better take on the psychological issues.

Live stress-free and try to sleep without medications.

Ambien Withdrawal – Symptoms, Timeline And Treatment


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