How long does Ambien stay in your system?

Ambien is the brand name of Zolpidem. It’s a sleep aid that can be prescribed to treat insomnia. It is available in sublingual, immediate-release, or extended-release formulations.

How long does Ambien stay in your system? Ambien usually stays in the body for less than 24 hours. Some drug tests may detect it for up to 72 hours. Blood, urine, hair, or saliva tests do not regularly test for Ambien. Ambien, though it isn’t usually tested for by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), is a Schedule 4 medication. This classification indicates that Ambien has both a medical and a potential misuse or addiction.

Ambien Effects Last a Long Time

Ambien immediate-release or extended-release formulations begin to work 30-60 minutes following a dosage. The drug works for up to 8 hours.

Sublingual formulations are designed for use if you wake up mid-night. This formulation is effective for approximately 5 hours.

Ambien Half-Life

Half-life is the time taken by the body to metabolize a drug. Ambien’s average half-life is 2.5 hours, ranging from 1.5 to 4.5 hours. Ambien is available in many different formulations, all with the same half-life.

If someone takes Ambien 10 mg at 8 p.m., the amount of Ambien left in their blood is:

  • 10 p.m. – 5 m
  • 1:00 a.m. – 2.5 mg
  • 3:30 a.m. – 1.25 mg
  • 6:00 a.m. – 0.75 mg
  • 8:38 a.m. – 0.38 mg

The body has metabolized Ambien in approximately five half-lives or 12,5 hours. The half-life of Ambien can vary for different people. Ambien can take up to 24 hours for some people to metabolize completely. This is why there are stories of Ambien’s “hangovers” in the morning.

How long will Ambien show up in a drug test?

Ambien is not included in routine drug tests despite the potential misuse of this medication. Certain tests, however, may be able to detect the drug or its metabolites.


Ambien is unlikely to be detected in standard urine drug testing, but its metabolites could be. In a study conducted in 2007, the duration of Ambien’s detection in urine was tested. A metabolite could be detected 72 hours after its last use. Since then, no commercially-available tests have been developed.


Ambien can be detected in the blood from 8-24 hours. It is also present for approximately five half-lives. Each half-life is different and depends on factors such as personal characteristics. Despite being in the blood, Ambien can still be detected on standard drug testing.


Ambien can be detected in hair for up to 90 days. Hair tests differ from other drug tests in that drugs are “locked” within the hair. Hair grows at the rate of 0.5cm per month. Most tests read 90 days of history by measuring 1.5cm of hair. Ambien, however, is not included in the standard panel of drugs tested on hair.

Factors Affecting How long does Ambien stay in your system?

Ambien’s longevity in the system is affected by many factors:

  • Age: Ambien will stay in your blood for 30% longer for older adults. The metabolism of Ambien slows with age.
  • Ambien is more effective when taken in higher doses.
  • Ambien is usually taken only once a day, so the frequency of use will not significantly impact how long it remains in your body. Ambien can be detected in the body for several hours longer if used chronically.
  • Ambien can be a problem for people with liver or kidney problems. Both organs are required to metabolize Ambien.
  • Sex: For females, the maximum dose is 5mg. For males, it is 10mg. Ambien is metabolized about 45% slower by women.

How Ambien is broken down in the body

The liver breaks down Ambien into inactive metabolites, which are then excreted into the urine by the kidneys. Only time can remove Ambien. No trick or technique can help remove Ambien from your body faster than normal.

The key points are: How long does Ambien stay in your system?

Ambien drug test information includes:

  • The presence of Ambien in blood, urine, hair, or saliva is not routinely detected.
  • Ambien is addictive and can be misused.
  • Age, dosage, and gender are the three most important factors that affect metabolism.
  • The liver and kidneys remove Ambien from the body.

Ambien does not show up in drug tests but can still be abused. Ambien addiction can be a serious problem for you or a loved one.

Ambien Withdrawal

It is only seen in about 1% of patients taking Ambien. Researchers believe it is only seen in those who have taken more than 10mg daily over a long period.

Ambien withdrawal symptoms are very similar to benzodiazepine withdrawal. Symptoms may include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Concentration problems
  • Irritability
  • Muscle pain
  • Restlessness
  • Sleeping disorders

If withdrawal symptoms do occur, they are likely to appear within 48 hours after stopping Ambien.

Ambien Addiction

Although Ambien addiction may be rare, some people can still become addicted. As a Schedule IV drug, Ambien has the potential to be abused and cause addiction. Ambien is more likely than not to be abused.

Ambien is used to help people sleep, which is one of the reasons it has low addiction potential. A drug that induces sleep is more difficult to abuse. Ambien can be addictive if you need it to sleep every night and are unable to go without it.

Ambien addiction is similar to an addiction to benzodiazepines. It is similar because it acts on GABA receptors.

Ambien Addiction Treatment

Ambien addiction can be deadly. The Apotheco Online has multiple levels of treatment for those addicted to Ambien, including outpatient, intensive outpatient, and inpatient/residential. Outpatient treatment is more suitable for those who have mild addiction. A person with severe addiction may need residential treatment to remove all temptations for Ambien abuse. Medical detox is also part of rehab treatment and can make withdrawal more comfortable.

Apotheco Online is here to help you or someone close to you if you struggle with Ambien addiction. Our licensed treatment facility offers patients professional and safe detox support before beginning addiction therapy. We provide aftercare services to help people continue their lifelong recovery. Call us to talk with a representative today about the treatment programs that will work best for you.

Medical Disclaimer: Recovery Village is committed to improving the quality of living for those struggling with substance abuse or mental disorders by providing factual content on the nature of behavioral conditions, treatment options, and the outcomes they can have. Our material is edited, reviewed, and cited by licensed medical professionals. Our information is not meant to replace professional medical advice or diagnosis. This information should be different from the advice from your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider.

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