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Withdrawal From Zolpidem

Zolpidem Tartrate, a Z drug is a widely used prescription medication for insomnia, but it all to often leads to addiction and withdrawal problems and other side effects from long term use. It is easy to become addicted to Zolpidem and physical and mental withdrawal symptoms are the result as the medication wears off. On this page you will learn how to withdraw from Zolpidem after long term use. We recommend before deciding on how to withdraw from zolpidem that you read our page on Z drugs. Using Zolpidem regularly for more than a few weeks often causes addiction with day time withdrawal symptoms and problems discontinuing the drug. The mechanism of action of Zolpidem is similar to that of the benzodiazepines. Zolpidem binds to benzodiazepine receptors but with higher affinity for the receptors responsible for sedation and anticonvulsant effects. Withdrawing too quickly from Zolpidem can be dangerous, as there can be a risk of seizures, psychosis and hallucinations. The withdrawal symptoms that can be experienced are similar to those seen in benzodiazepine withdrawal. Visit the following link for a full list of possible WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS.

Often Zolpidem users find that their medication over time turns against them with frequent awakenings during the night. This is often caused by rebound or withdrawal effects of the zolpidem. Zolpidem undergoes rapid metabolism in the body and the half life of Zolpidem is about 2 hours which is very short. People can experience withdrawal symptoms within as little as 1 or 2 hours of taking the drug. This often leads to a very disrupted sleep pattern with long term use of this drug (beyond 2 - 4 weeks).

Brand Names

Zolpidem Tartrate is the generic name or chemical name of the drug, but it is marketed under various brand names around the world. The following is a list of the brand names that you may know Zolpidem as:

Adormix, Ambien, Ambiz, Atrimon, Balidorm, Bikalm, Cymerion, Dalparan, Damixan, Dormilam, Dormosol, Durnit, Hypnogen, Ivadal, Ivedal, Lioram, Mondeal, Myslee, Nimadorm, Niotal, Nitrest (Нитрест), Nocte, Nottem, Nytamel, Sanval (Санвал), Sedovalin, Somit, Somnil, Somnipron, Somno, Somnor, Sove, Stella, Stilnoct, Stilnox, Sucedal, Sumenan, Zleep, Zodorm, Zodormdura, Zoldem, Zoldorm, Zolnod, Zolodorm, Zolpidohexal, Zolpidol, Zolpihexal, Zolpi-Lich, Zolpi-Med, Zolpi-Q, Zolpinox, Zonoct

How to Withdraw From Zolpidem

As Zolpidem binds more selectively to certain benzodiazepine receptors, compared to benzodiazepines, it is usually recommended to first attempt to withdraw slowly directly from the drug. See The Z Drugs for some further information on withdrawing from Z drugs. An example of how to withdraw directly would be to reduce by about a quarter of a tablet at a time and hold the reduction for a few weeks until the body gets used to the lowered dose level before making another reduction. People abusing high doses of the drug may need to make larger reductions than a quarter of a tablet. If withdrawing directly from the zolpidem fails or if day time withdrawal effects are prominant diazepam is recommended for the withdrawal as a second-line option. Read the following page to see the reasons for using diazepam to withdraw from Zolpidem.

Utilising diazepam significantly reduces the severity of withdrawal symptoms of zolpidem as diazepam has a very long half life. Furthermore, diazepam comes in low potency 2 mg tablets which can easily be quartered for small dosage reductions. Readers should be aware that zolpidem is a member of the so called "nonbenzodiazepines" family of drugs. The nonbenzodiazepines drug family name was chosen for the so called Z drugs zaleplon, zolpidem, eszopiclone and zopiclone for marketing aims and also because they are molecularly distinct from the classical benzodiazepine molecule but they still act on benzodiazepine receptors.

Below is a suggested withdrawal schedule in a table format. The table gives the example of how to withdraw from 40 mg daily of zolpidem. The approximate equivalent dose of Zolpidem to Diazepam is 20 mg of Zolpidem equals 10 mg of diazepam. See EQUIVALENCE TABLE here by Professor Heather Ashton. People on different doses shouldn't have any trouble adapting the table to their current dose level.

If you have any questions or would like to meet others who are battling prescription sedative addiction feel free to join our WITHDRAWAL SUPPORT FORUM.

Withdrawing from Zolpidem

Withdrawing from 40 mg of Zolpidem using 10 mg Zolpidem tablets and 2 mg sized diazepam tablets.
Follow or Adapt Table From Your Starting or Current dose
Morning Lunch Time Evening Before Bed Total Daily Dose
      Zolpidem 40 mg Zolpidem 40 mg
Stabalise for 1 - 3 weeks

 

    Zolpidem 20 mg + Diazepam 10 mg Zolpidem 20 mg + Diazepam 10 mg
Stabalise for 1 - 3 weeks

 

    Diazepam 20 mg Diazepam 20 mg
Stabalise for 1 - 3 weeks
At this stage you should be stabalising on the diazepam and ready to start making some small reductions in dosage.
      Diazepam 18 mg Diazepam 18 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
   

 

Diazepam 16 mg Diazepam 16 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
      Diazepam 14.5 mg Diazepam 14.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
      Diazepam 13 mg Diazepam 13 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
      Diazepam 11.5 mg Diazepam 11.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
      Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 10 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
      Diazepam 9 mg Diazepam 9 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
      Diazepam 8 mg Diazepam 8 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
      Diazepam 7 mg Diazepam 7 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
      Diazepam 6 mg 6 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
See also NOTE below for additional information on withdrawing from 5 mg of diazepam
      Diazepam 5 mg Diazepam 5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 2 mg     Diazepam 2.5 mg Diazepam 4.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
      Diazepam 4 mg Diazepam 4 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
      Diazepam 3.5 mg Diazepam 3.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
      Diazepam 3 mg Diazepam 3 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
      Diazepam 2.5 mg Diazepam 2.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
      Diazepam 2 mg Diazepam 2 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
      Diazepam 1.5 mg Diazepam 1.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
      Diazepam 1 mg Diazepam 1 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
      Diazepam 0.5 mg Diazepam 0.5 mg
Drop Last 0.5 mg dose of diazepam and Never Take Another Benzodiazepine Again
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gradual Diazepam Detox Complete

NOTE: Some people find it difficult in the final stages of withdrawal from 5 mg of diazepam to zero. If you are one of these people it may be of value asking your doctor to provide you with the 2 mg per 5 ml diazepam liquid suspension, and obtaining a 1 ml syringe from your local pharmacy/drug store/chemist. Users can then obtain smaller dose reductions than the 0.5 mg sized cuts using tablets.

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