How to avoid rebound insomnia when giving up Ambien?
Ambien is a sedative-hypnotic and helps in treating insomnia. It impairs one’s thinking or reactions and patients tend to feel sleepy even in the morning after waking up. One of the serious side effects of this drug is that the patient tends to wake up half asleep and fails to remember his activities while not fully awake. Hence these patients refrain from driving a car and running a dangerous machine or any other work that requires full concentration and alertness. It is not known whether this drug is safe for children below 18 years of age and so it is usually not recommended for them.
Why Ambien causes rebound insomnia?
Ambien’s main purpose is to treat patients suffering from insomnia. When a person stops taking it after using it for a period of time, he/she might face sleeping problems again. They will be unable to sleep and this is called “rebound insomnia”. The inability to sleep returns back, worse than the previous condition. This period is said to have lasted for several weeks in patients after they decided to quit the drug.
Withdrawal symptoms of Ambien
Withdrawal of Ambien medication will affect within the first 72 hours after the last dose of Ambien. It is a difficult phase because the changes are taking place in the brain. Rebound insomnia will manifest within this period. The other symptoms of giving Ambien to the patient are restlessness, increased anxiety and apprehension feeling, agitation and irritability, sweating, high blood pressure, nervousness, convulsions, nausea and vomiting, panic attacks and tremors. Ambien affects each person differently and hence the withdrawal period and symptoms also vary from person to person. People with addiction and physical dependency to the drug will face severe withdrawal symptoms.
Ways to properly withdraw from Ambien
Quitting ambient “cold turkey” will end up in risks like seizures or lead to serious withdrawal symptoms which may be fatal. Detox process is the method where dosages are stepped down gradually before finally giving up the drug completely. This will prevent complications and make the patient feel comfortable.
This method is a tapering down approach, by gradually reducing a patient’s dose over time, to a point where the body will readjust to manage without Ambien. This process helps the body from becoming overactive. Overactive nature leads to convulsions, panic attacks, and high blood pressure. One more way to treat Ambien withdrawal is with valium, a long-acting benzodiazepine. This drug will ease the symptoms caused by Ambien withdrawal. But the necessity of giving Valium can be diagnosed by a physician (usually recommended for patients with severe Ambien addiction) and it is advised to consume it only with his prescription. This is because valium is also another powerful addictive substance.
There are various rehabilitation centers for both outpatients and inpatients which provide detox process as part of their program. Here the detox procedure is combined with cognitive behavioral therapy for a better result and successful recovery. With the addition to this, frequent counseling methods are also established to prevent rebound insomnia and other co-occurring disorders.