How much sleep we get and how much is enough is different from person to person, but most adults need seven to eight hours a night. At some point, many adults experience short-term (acute) insomnia, which lasts for days or weeks. It’s usually the result of stress or a traumatic event. But some people have long-term (chronic) insomnia that lasts for a month or more. Insomnia may be the primary problem, or it may be associated with other medical conditions or medications.
One popular medication that is prescribed for those suffering from insomnia is Zolpidem or the brand name Ambien. Zolpidem comes as a tablet (Ambien) and an extended-release (long-acting) tablet (Ambien CR) to take by mouth. You should use zolpidem only as directed. Doctors consider “z-drugs” as Zolpidem less habit-forming than other sedatives such as benzodiazepines. Some people may take this as a sign that Zolpidem isn’t addictive. This faulty belief may lead to misuse, abuse, and potentially addiction.
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Building Up a Tolerance to Zolpidem
Even those who take Zolpidem as their doctor has prescribed can build up a tolerance to the drug in as little as two weeks. Zolpidem dependence is more likely in people with a history of drug or alcohol misuse. Dependence and withdrawal are rare in people taking Zolpidem exactly as directed, but it can still happen.
Withdrawal from Zolpidem is more common than you think. Insomnia impacts millions of U.S. adults. A lack of good, high-quality sleep can severely impair someone’s quality of life. Lack of sleep is also a risk of lowered immunity and increased infection rates. Unfortunately, Zolpidem comes with a risk of dependence, abuse, and addiction. The withdrawal symptoms for Zolpidem are incredibly painful and distressing. But relief and recovery from addiction are possible.
Withdrawal from Zolpidem is difficult partly because of the changes that are taking place in the brain; withdrawal symptoms are a result of the brain trying to reestablish normal activity. Withdrawal from Ambien has the opposite effect of taking the drug, and abruptly stopping doses of Zolpidem leads to more severe symptoms.
Does Zolpidem Have Withdrawal Symptoms?
Zolpidem withdrawal symptoms typically begin within 48 hours after your last dose and should resolve within a week or two.
Mild symptoms of withdrawal include insomnia and restlessness. Severe withdrawal symptoms, which would prevent you from engaging in normal activities, include flu-like symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, sweating, and muscle cramps.
There are reports of people experiencing severe anxiety and nervousness. It is also possible to experience tremors, become lightheaded, have a panic attack, or even potentially have a seizure.
Most Common Zolpidem Withdrawal Symptoms
Physical Zolpidem Detox Symptoms
- Aches and pains
- Hand tremors
- Nausea or vomiting
- Racing pulse
- Speech difficulties
Psychological Zolpidem Detox Symptoms
- Confusion or delirium
- Panic attacks
Talk to your doctor before making any changes to your medication. If you are worried about withdrawal, your doctor can help you safely taper down your dose.
Treatment for Zolpidem Addiction
Recovery from an Ambien use disorder can be difficult. If you are having trouble quitting or are trying to quit more than one substance, then it’s important to ask for help. At Allure Detox, we can help. When it comes to Allure Detox, we provide much more than the bare minimum. Of course, we help clients stop using safely – that’s just a given. Almost as important as that, though, is that we offer clients the foundation for a lifetime of relief and recovery.
That’s the Allure Detox promise: that patients leave our care with more than good health at their disposal. Our focus is on minimizing your withdrawal symptoms to a comfortable level while beginning the comprehensive treatment process that will keep you sober.