Ambien is in a class of drugs known as sedative-hypnotics, which is prescribed for anxiety or sleep disorders. It has the same medical effect as something like Xanax, but without the same dangerous and habit-forming properties. It is typically only prescribed for 4 weeks at a time. One can become dependent on Ambien in only a couple of weeks, and develop a tolerance.

Developing Tolerance

When an individual takes Ambien as a sleeping aid in high doses or for long periods of time, it can lead to tolerance. Having built a tolerance means that the individual starts to need higher and more frequent doses of Ambien to attain the same therapeutic effect. Many individuals don’t realize that they have a problem until they stop taking the drug and find that they can’t sleep without it. The main symptoms of Ambien tolerance are:

  1. Feeling like the drug isn’t working as well as it used to.
  2. Needing to take higher and higher doses of the drug to fall asleep.

Neither of these symptoms mean that an individual is addicted to Ambien, but merely signs that the individual’s body is used to functioning with the drug in their system.

Since Ambien is so addictive, it is rarely prescribed for longer than 4 weeks. As a matter of fact, most prescriptions are only for a week. This is mainly because it is possible to develop a tolerance to the drug after only 4 weeks, however the exact time to do so depends on the individual.  The daily dose of Ambien recommended by doctors is 10 mg. Because the prescriptions are only for a short period of time, any dose that is higher is considered too high.

Ambien Addiction vs Dependence

Ambien contains a drug called zolpidem, which can cause a physical dependency. That is different from being addicted to Ambien. Both dependence and addiction are possible when an individual takes Ambien for long periods of time. A dependency means that the individual won’t be able to stop taking Ambien suddenly without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Addiction means that the individual also experiences psychological symptoms.

Lowering Ambien Tolerance

So what are the ways to lower one’s tolerance to Ambien? Usually, an individual would want to lower their tolerance to the drug because it’s stopped working for them. They are finding it hard to fall asleep. In this case, the individual is advised to speak to their doctor. It may be that the doctor recommends that the individual stops taking Ambien for a couple of months to give their body time to readjust. A doctor may also recommend alternative drugs to help the individual sleep while off Ambien. Apart from the above, there is no other way to lower one’s tolerance to Ambien.

Do you have questions about Ambien use and tolerance? We can help you with the answers. Call Hired Power on 1-800-910-9299.