Chances are you have heard and seen the television commercials for Ambien. By taking this prescription drug, individuals who have difficulty sleeping can good night’s sleep. It’s meant to be a short-term prescription, but some individuals become addicted to it and have trouble getting off the drug.
Addiction to Ambien can be dangerous; thus, going cold turkey off it is not recommended. Ambien has a high addiction rate and high potential for abuse, even after a short period of time. Going cold turkey results in a rapid reduction of zolpidem, the active ingredient in the drug, in the body. When this occurs, the human body quickly reacts and depending on the severity, the process can be potentially dangerous. In fact, studies have shown that women in-particular have a hard time breaking down zolpidem in their bodies and can build up dangerous levels of the drug quickly — leading to higher addiction rates in females.
When a user goes cold turkey after taking Ambien, the central nervous systems works overtime in an attempt to figure out how it should operate. Simultaneously, the body becomes flooded with information.
Cold turkey Ambien withdrawal symptoms usually start about four hours after the last dose has worn off. Acute symptoms of withdrawal usually last several days. Withdrawal severity begins to even out without a week, with individuals finally feeling normal. Mood swings and nightmares can occur after a few weeks, while insomnia can last longer. Other possible withdrawal symptoms can include:
- abdominal cramps
- exacerbated insomnia
- panic attacks
- mood changes
- muscle cramps
Rebound insomnia is one of the most difficult side effects. Extreme nightmare and panic attacks can also occur, both of which can be severe and compromise health. Other severe symptoms incude Convulsions, fatigue, panic attacks, lightheadedness and nervousness. Withdrawal can be so uncomfortable that patients begin taking Ambien again to avoid symptoms. If this occurs, plan withdrawal carefully and learn strategies that can help you through the process.
If you intend to stop Ambien cold turkey, make sure you are in optimal health with no compromising health conditions. Take care of insomnia before quitting. Coming off Ambien can bring up a lot of things you’re not prepared for and having all available information to make the process easy is also important. Consult with your prescribing doctor for medical advice before quitting.