DESCRIPTION / DEFINITIONS: Ambien® (zolpidem tartrate) is an Anxiolytic, Sedative & Hypnotic drug prescribed for the short-term management of insomnia associated with difficulties with sleep initiation. Because of its indicated use being short-term, According to its label, “The clinical trials performed in support of efficacy were 4–5 weeks in duration with the final formal assessments of sleep latency performed at the end of treatment.”
ABUSE: According to its label, “Sedative/hypnotics have produced withdrawal signs and symptoms following abrupt discontinuation.” Ambien is a Schedule IV Controlled Subtance.
ADDICTION / DEPENDENCE: Half Life and Metabolism.
SIDE EFFECTS: Nausea, vomiting, abnormal thinking , behavior changes, decreased inhibition (see list below).
WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS: Headache, nausea, vomiting, amnesia, falls (see list below).
TREATMENT: Medical detoxification.
Ambien® (zolpidem tartrate) is an Anxiolytic, Sedative & Hypnotic drug prescribed for the short-term management of insomnia associated with difficulties with sleep initiation. According to its label, “Because sleep disturbances may be the presenting manifestation of a physical and/or psychiatric disorder, symptomatic treatment of insomnia should be initiated only after a careful evaluation of the patient. The failure of insomnia to remit after 7 to 10 days of treatment may indicate the presence of a primary psychiatric and/or medical illness that should be evaluated.”
The label also states, “Subunit modulation of the GABAA receptor chloride channel macromolecular complex is hypothesized to be responsible for sedative, anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, and myorelaxant drug properties.”
According to its label, “Sedative/hypnotics have produced withdrawal signs and symptoms following abrupt discontinuation.” Ambien is a Schedule IV Controlled Subtance.
HALF LIFE AND METABOLISM
The biological half life of a substance is the time it takes for a drug to lose half of its pharmacologic activity. This is significant because it affects how soon withdrawal symptoms may appear.
The half life of Ambien is between 1.4-4.5 hours.
Ambien is mainly metabolized through the P450 pathway in the liver and the enzyme primarily handling the metabolism is CYP3A but it is not clear how much of the metabolism is done by other enzymes.
The CYP enzymes are the major enzymes involved in drug metabolism, and since many drugs may increase or decrease the activity of various CYP isozymes, this is a major source of adverse drug interactions, since changes in CYP enzyme activity may affect the metabolism and clearance of various drugs. For example, if one drug inhibits the CYP-mediated metabolism of another drug, the second drug may accumulate within the body to toxic levels, possibly causing an overdose.
The following information is taken from the Ambien label:
Ambien can be a very difficult drug to stop taking.
Withdrawal from Ambien should only be done under the care of a health practitioner. The safest way is to withdraw at an inpatient medical detox facility with a protocol that includes hydration, vitamins and supplements for biological balancing. Call us to talk to a Detox Advisor.