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How to safely wean off of prolonged Ambien use?
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How to safely wean off of prolonged Ambien use?

My mother has been taking 5mg of Ambien nightly for over a year, often taking 10mg on the weekends for insomnia.  This was prescribed by her doctor who said," it is addictive, however, your 66 years old and if you need it to sleep, it doesn't matter."  Well, she has been having severe anxiety, heart palpatations and unusual rage and aggression which seem to be side effects.  She wants to get off of it and refuses to call the doctor after he got her into this situation.  My question is what would be the weaning schedule and what can she expect to experience.  Also, besides, herbal teas, melatonin, over the counter "pm" meds, can you suggest anything else to help her sleep?  Without Ambien she may sleep 1-2 hours a night.  Thank you so much.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

Actually long term use of zolpidem is associated with rebound insomnia. However, abrupt withdrawal of zolpidem may cause delirium, seizures, or other severe effects, especially if used for prolonged periods. So, please consult your doctor and under his guidance, plan for a gradual withdrawal.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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