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Ambien Withdrawal Symptoms & the Ambien Withdrawal Timeline

Ambien, known under the generic name zolpidem, is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, also known as a sedative-hypnotic, that is typically prescribed to help people sleep.1 By inducing drowsiness and calmness, medicines like Ambien can help people with sleep disorders have less interrupted sleep, fall asleep faster, and stay asleep longer, resulting in better sleep quality.1

Originally designed to act similarly to benzodiazepines minus the addiction potential, Ambien targets receptor cells in the brain that respond to gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, a neurotransmitter that affects emotional responses, sleep cycles, and levels of consciousness. However, research has proved that Ambien does in fact have a moderate addiction potential and many people who use Ambien, even as prescribed, have a high risk for physical dependency resulting in withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking this medication.2

This page will explore Ambien withdrawal symptoms and the Ambien withdrawal timeline, as well as how a person can locate a detox program to get help.

Why Does Ambien Withdrawal Occur?

Dependence is a physiological adaptation of the body to a substance like Ambien wherein the body becomes so used to the drug being present in the system that when the individual cuts back on their use or quits, withdrawal symptoms from Ambien emerge. In other words, a person feels like they need Ambien to feel and function normally. With significant levels of physiological dependence, a person may continue to compulsively use the drug to avoid unwanted Ambien dependence withdrawal symptoms. A common sign of dependence is the inability to fall asleep when cutting back on this medication.1

What Are Ambien Withdrawal Symptoms?

No two people will experience Ambien or zolpidem withdrawal symptoms in the same way. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and be both physical and psychological. Overall, the intensity of Ambien withdrawal symptoms is influenced by various factors, including the length of time it has been taken, how much a person has been taking, and the presence of any underlying medical or emotional disorders.5

Some of the more common physical and psychological Ambien withdrawal symptoms include:5-7

  • Tremors.
  • Autonomic hyperactivity (high blood pressure, increased heart rate).
  • Hyperphagia (an extreme increase in appetite).
  • Fatigue.
  • Anxiety and restlessness.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Intense crying.
  • Irritability.
  • Sleeplessness.
  • Grand mal seizures.

There are some dangers associated with Ambien withdrawal, primarily delirium or seizures.6 It is hard to know if you will experience serious Ambien detox symptoms, so it is not a good idea to detox at home by yourself.6,7

Find Out If Your Insurance Plan Covers Ambien/Zolpidem Treatment

American Addiction Centers can improve treatment outcomes for those in recovery for Ambien dependence or addiction. To find out if your insurance covers treatment at an American Addiction Centers facility, verify your insurance online, or fill out the form below. Your information is kept 100% confidential. You can also find a rehab near you.

How Long Does Ambien Withdrawal Last?

There is not a great deal of information available on the timeline for Ambien withdrawal, but it is estimated that most people have symptoms of withdrawal from sedative hypnotics like Ambien around 48 hours after last taking it and these withdrawal symptoms can last up to a couple of weeks. Protracted withdrawal symptoms from Ambien, also known as long-term withdrawal symptoms, can be present in individuals who are dependent on the drug and these symptoms can last from weeks to months.6,8

There are treatment options available for Ambien withdrawal and seeking treatment in a supportive and supervised environment can help you prevent or minimize uncomfortable or potentially dangerous side effects.7

Ambien Withdrawal Treatment

If you are worried about your use of Ambien, your next question might be how to get help for dependence, especially if you are at risk of withdrawal or are already experiencing withdrawal side effects from Ambien. You need to have a thorough medical assessment to determine your needs for Ambien withdrawal management.

It is possible in some cases that a doctor can assist you with tapering off the medication, also called deprescribing. Tapering is a process in which your doctor gradually reduces the dose and/or frequency to give your body time to adjust to a lower dose without going into withdrawal.10

Not everyone, however, can undergo an outpatient care for Ambien withdrawal. A complete assessment of your needs and situation can help a treatment program determine whether you can detox in an outpatient or inpatient setting.5

Ambien Detox Programs

Ambien addiction treatment often starts with detox, a process in which the body rids itself of a substance. Overall, it is not a good idea to go “cold turkey” or try to quit using Ambien on your own. As noted earlier, withdrawal from Ambien can sometimes result in serious side effects, including seizures, when you stop taking it abruptly.

Instead, a drug detox center offers supervision and support for someone going through withdrawal symptoms of zolpidem or Ambien. This way if serious side effects do occur during Ambien detox, a medical team is nearby to help.

It is important to note that detox alone is typically not enough to lead to long-term recovery from addiction.5 Detox is often the first stage of the recovery process, but it only involves getting a substance out of your body, managing your withdrawal, and making sure you are stable.5

Ongoing treatment is needed after an Ambien detox to ensure your addiction is addressed.5 In an ongoing substance use treatment program, you can get help in learning new ways to cope with triggers for addiction and develop coping skills to use in the place of using substances when under stress. Ongoing treatment can help support your long-term recovery.

If you are unsure about where to start when it comes to choosing a local or out-of-state rehab, contact one of our admission navigators at and they can help you figure out which program will be the right fit for you. You can also look at some of the facilities listed below to see if they provide the program you are looking for:

Find Out If Your Insurance Plan Covers Ambien Rehab

American Addiction Centers rehabs can help people recover from substance misuse and substance use disorders (SUDs). To find out if your insurance covers treatment and rehab, for you or your loved one at an American Addiction Centers facility, click here, or fill out the form below. Your information is kept 100% confidential. You can also learn more about alternative payment options for treatment, and you can click here to find a local rehab treatment center near me.

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