Ambien Withdrawal & Detox

How a patient chooses to taper off Ambien can be important for how successful they are in treating an Ambien addiction. A patient attempting to do it on their own might experience serious withdrawal symptoms and hardships. For those patients who have developed a dependency on Ambien, finding a treatment center that can help with inpatient or outpatient care will assist with techniques to stop abusing Ambien as safely as possible. Am Ambien detox and withdrawal center can help design a treatment plan that makes the most sense for the patient in a safe environment where the patient can be monitored by professionals.
Ambien is a medication frequently given to those individuals who struggle with sleeping. Since Ambien has a risk of becoming extremely addictive, it is usually recommended to be taken for two weeks or less. Ambien is not recommended for long term use and many doctors have been advised that if their patients continue to need assistance with sleeping after a couple of weeks of use, that an alternative therapy be used for it.

Ambien is the brand name used for the sleep inducing medication Zolpidem. Unfortunately, in recent years this medication has become more and more abused. In fact, professionals such as physicians in the field have been advised that for those individuals who have a history of addictive behaviors, that a prescription of Ambien may not be helpful over the long run for patients who struggle with sleeping. When it is used properly, however, Ambien can assist people who have chronic insomnia to fall asleep but it is not recommended for long term use.

Individuals should only take the medication within one hour before going to bed. When Ambien is abused, unfortunately, individuals may take the medication in larger doses without the intention of ever falling asleep. Furthermore, some other patients may abuse Ambien by taking it with alcohol or other stimulants which can amplify the drug’s effect. There are physical and psychological symptoms associated with discontinued use of Ambien.

Physicians frequently start off a patient on the lowest possible recommended dose of Ambien. If a patient suddenly decides to stop taking Ambien without a doctor’s advice, this could lead to significant withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms of withdrawal from Ambien can be severe and may begin as soon as 48 hours after the final dose. They include:

  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Delirium
  • Mood swings
  • Seizures
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Cravings
  • Uncontrollable depression or crying
  • Abdominal discomfort or cramps
  • Rebound insomnia
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid heart rate

Seizures can also occur although they are relatively rare. Withdrawal symptoms will typically disappear or lessen within a two-week period. The most severe Ambien withdrawal symptoms will occur within the first 3–5 days after a patient stops taking the medication. However, it is not uncommon for withdrawal symptoms to last up to two weeks. In some situations, individuals may continue to experience serious Ambien side effects months after they have stopped taking the medication. There are numerous different factors that can determine how severe a person’s Ambien withdrawal symptoms will be. These will include:

  • How high the dose was?
  • How long the individual took Ambien?
  • Whether or not other drugs were taken in combination with Ambien?
  • Whether or not Ambien was the extended release version?

A detox and treatment center can assist a patient with designing a plan that will address the patient’s individual needs. Inpatient or outpatient care may help someone who is struggling with an addiction to Ambien, and the structured treatment plan can help someone taper off the medication safely without concerns over serious side effects.

ambien withdrawal
As a result of the serious withdrawal symptoms that can emerge in the event that someone stops taking Ambien suddenly without a doctor’s recommendation, it is strongly recommended that you instead gradually taper off of the drug. It can be a setback physically and psychologically to attempt cold turkey withdrawal on your own and the symptoms associated with stopping suddenly can be overwhelming without help from an outside professional.

Many people may not realize the significant way in which their body has become addicted to the Ambien and may therefore struggle with advanced withdrawal symptoms. This is why it is essential to identify a gradual tapering off plan advised by a doctor to assist with the minimization of any withdrawal symptoms.

It is dangerous to attempt to stop Ambien use on your own due to the serious psychological and physical symptoms for stopping cold turkey. In an outpatient or inpatient environment monitored by professionals and with a treatment plan, a person struggling with an Ambien addiction has a better chance of being able to address the issue effectively without all the dangerous side effects of sudden withdrawal. Medication and other treatment options may be used to help the patient curb his or her use.

Consulting directly with your physician about how long you should continue to take Ambien as well as a recommended Ambien withdrawal syndrome is strongly recommended. Withdrawal symptoms will typically disappear or significantly decrease within one to two weeks after a patient stops taking Ambien. The most severe symptoms will occur in the first five days. However, psychological symptoms associated with withdrawal from Ambien can persist for up to two weeks. In some situations, individuals may suffer with panic attacks, insomnia, cravings and other side effects for months after they’ve discontinued use of the drugs.

A typical period for suffering side effects after a withdrawal from Ambien is one to two weeks but there are other factors that can influence a person’s withdrawal symptoms such as how long they took the medication. Although a medical professional may recommend psychiatric treatments for anxiety or depression associated with Ambien withdrawal, there are also a few drugs that treat the actual withdrawal effects. For example, anti-seizure medications may be recommended for patients who are suffering with seizures during withdrawal process.

Although this happens in less than 1% of cases, the seizures can be severe. Those individuals suffering from suicidal thoughts or severe anxiety may even receive short term prescriptions for mood stabilizing drugs. Some medical research in recent years may indicate that an antipsychotic can be helpful. Any person who is considering stopping the use of Ambien is strongly recommended to consult directly with a medical professional about the best way to avoid potential withdrawal symptoms. Any person who is struggling with abusing the drug may benefit from medical detox as well.

A typical timeline for withdrawing from Ambien is outlined here:

  • For up to 72 hours after the last dose of the medication, memory loss and confusion are common as well as Ambien hallucinations. It may be difficult to fall asleep and a patient might also experience vomiting or a shaking sensation.
  • One week after stopping Ambien, sleep disturbance is often reported by patients in the withdrawal process. Continued anxiety and nightmares are also common, and drug craving typically gets worse during this period.
  • Two weeks after stopping Ambien, withdrawal symptoms should be less severe and a patient may even feel normal again. However, many patients still report mood swings, depression, and drug cravings. Some patients will begin to see a reduction in their insomnia during this phase.
  • Three-four weeks after stopping Ambien may cause a patient to continue suffering from withdrawal symptoms if the patient was previously dependent on the drug. Other patients may struggle to fall asleep still during this period, although they are more likely to have fewer symptoms.
Since the side effects of withdrawal from Ambien can be severe, a detox center may be important for identifying the appropriate medical guidance for discontinuing use of Ambien in a safe and effective manner. Ambien withdrawal medication may be extremely helpful for allowing an individual to adjust to life without Ambien. Once an individual has taken higher doses over a long period of time, it is easier to become physically dependent as well as addicted which is why it is recommended to identify a detox center that can assist you with:

  • Minimizing the withdrawal symptoms by tapering down slowly.
  • Getting addiction treatment in order to avoid relapse and manage the cravings.

There are very serious risks of seizures that you can develop once dependent on Ambien and suddenly stopping. You should never minimize your daily dose too quickly or stop taking Ambien altogether.

In order to quit Ambien after becoming dependent, you will need to identify one of the three following options to assist you:

  • Detoxing off of Ambien in an inpatient facility while getting an infusion of continuous flumazenil.
  • Using a longer acting benzodiazepine and then tapering down from that.
  • Tapering down slowly off Ambien.

The simplest method is tapering directly off of Ambien. You should identify a tapering plan directly with your physician and never attempt to rapidly reduce your reliance on this medication. In certain cases, such as when an individual cannot taper or refuses to, hospitalization and rapid detoxification may be strongly recommended. Controlling withdrawal symptoms with medication can assist a patient who finds themselves in this situation. A doctor may recommend drugs during the tapering process to alleviate withdrawal symptoms like:

  • Reducing palpitations
  • Minimizing seizure risk
  • Assisting with rebound insomnia
  • Reducing psychiatric withdrawal symptoms like anxiety and depression
For those family members trying to help a loved one struggling with Ambien dependency, many of them are looking for ways to safely detox. How the detox is handled can have a big impact on how successful a patient is with moving on from a dependence on the drug. Due diligence is an excellent way to determine whether or not the facility in question is the right fit. For those interested in a medical detox for Ambien dependency, inpatient or outpatient care may be recommended. A facility in which professionals have experience handling this kind of dependency may be important for a person needing assistance.

An inpatient Ambien medical detox gives the patient the ability to focus entirely on getting on top of the situation with close monitoring in a safe environment. For those individuals who need to continue going to their job or dealing with family obligations, however, the outpatient care offered by a medical detox facility can be helpful by giving the patient the tools necessary with in-person meetings.

A medical detox under the guidance of a professional is strongly recommended for anyone who has developed a dependence on the medication. This kind of dependence can be problematic for a patient who attempts to stop cold turkey as he or she may have severe withdrawal symptoms.

If you have become dependent on or addicted to Ambien, it is important to identify a support system that can help you effectively transition away from your reliance on this drug. It is not necessarily easy to do this and identifying a detox center to help you with the medication as well as the other processes involved is strongly recommended. Discontinuing use of Ambien is connected to life-threatening symptoms and a cold turkey Ambien detox approach does not often work. Most experts recommend that addicts enter into a formal detox program that uses various medications to manage the symptoms. Individuals are transitioned from their reliance on Ambien to another medication that is similar. Then, over the course of a few weeks, they begin tapering their doses down until they are taking nothing at all. This is strongly recommended for any patient who has become dependent on Ambien because attempting the cold turkey approach could have catastrophic results.

A patient may struggle with their own psychological cravings for the medication but they might also have other physical symptoms that can make it difficult or impossible for them to discontinue their Ambien addiction. A patient may even begin to feel hopeless as though they will never be able to cure their addiction if they attempt to do it on their own. Entering a detox program under the guidance of a professional can be essential for allowing the patient to adjust to sobriety over a period of time. This can help to preserve a person’s life and help avoid their chances of relapsing with an addiction to Ambien in the future. Identifying the right Centre is strongly recommended if you or a loved one is suffering from Ambien addiction.

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Ambien Withdrawal & Detox
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Ambien Withdrawal & Detox was last modified: July 7th, 2017 by The Recovery Village