How Long Does Ambien Stay in Your System And Why?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on July 10th, 2022

Exact time: 6-14 hours

Do you want to use Ambien but are worried about how long it will last in your system?


What exactly is Ambien?

Ambien is a popular prescription sleep aid, but it has well-documented negative effects and history of individuals getting addicted to it.

This is why some individuals want to know how long it will take to leave their system, especially if they want to use it occasionally rather than as part of a regular habit.

What Is the Effect of Ambien?

Ambien depresses the central nervous system (CNS) by raising the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain.

This molecule reduces brain activity, allowing a person to fall asleep more quickly. Individuals who have insomnia are frequently unable to quiet the brain and body sufficiently to fall asleep; therefore, taking Ambien can assist a person in relaxing and boosting sensations of calm.

Drowsiness, lightheadedness, and dizziness are common zolpidem side effects. Ambien has also been linked to sleepwalking, and some people may engage in activities such as shopping or driving while in a sleep-like condition.

For these reasons, it is critical to take Ambien precisely as directed and not to exceed the appropriate dosage.

What is its purpose?

Ambien is a sleep aid that helps individuals fall and remain asleep. It is used to treat insomnia symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Malaise
  • Difficulties focusing 
  • Difficulties remembering 
  • Negative effects on one’s social life
  • Harming one’s career
  • Academic performance impairments
  • Irritability
  • Disturbances in mood
  • Excessive sleepiness during the day
  • Hyperactivity
  • Aggression
  • Problems with behavior
  • Accidents are more likely.

In most circumstances, Ambien is best utilized as a short-term medication (2 to 6 weeks). It should be used in conjunction with other approaches, such as counseling to assist a patient in developing appropriate sleeping habits and patterns.

Half-Life of Ambien

The half-life of a substance refers to how long it takes the body to metabolize half of it. Ambien’s half-life ranges from 1.5 to 4.5 hours, with most persons averaging 2.5 hours. Ambien’s half-life is the same in all formulations.

For example, if a person takes 10 mg of Ambien at 8:00 p.m., the quantity that remains in their blood throughout time is:

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

Ambien is mainly eliminated from the body after around five half-lives or 12.5 hours.

However, for certain people, the half-life might be significantly longer. For example, some people require more than 24 hours to thoroughly metabolize the medicine, which leads to reports of Ambien producing “hangovers” the next morning.

How Ambien Is Degraded in the Body

The liver converts Ambien into inactive metabolites, eliminated into the urine via the kidneys. So the only way to get Ambien out of your system is to give it time. No method or procedure can eliminate it from the body faster than normal.

What Is the Half-Life of Ambien in Your System?

Typically, the medicine stops acting and is out of your blood after 6 – 14 hours; however, this might vary depending on the unique characteristics of each individual. You should no longer feel the effects of Ambien once it has left your bloodstream.

Different types of drug tests, however, can identify that the substance was used for varying amounts of time.

How long will drug tests show if I used Ambien?

The Saliva Test

This is the one who leaves the earliest. A Saliva test would only detect Ambien if it were administered within 15 to 30 minutes of taking medicine.

Examination of the Blood

This is likewise a relatively brief existence. A blood test will only detect Ambien if you take it within the 6 – 14 hours it takes for the drug to exit your system. Most prescription drugs have left your bloodstream by waking up the next morning.

Urine Examination

Ambien can be found in a urine sample for up to 72 hours after the last dose. It is vital to remember that this is the most typical method of testing for Ambien usage.

A strand of hair

As with other medications, the hair sample is the drug test in which Ambien may be found for the greatest period. It can be detected in this drug test for 4 – 5 weeks following usage, but for as long as 90 days.

Factors Affecting How Long Ambien Stays in the System

  • Age is a typical element that influences how quickly the body can eliminate a drug. For example, Ambien has a longer half-life in elderly individuals than in younger adults. In addition, because younger individuals metabolize it more quickly, they will likely be free of the medication sooner than an older person.
  • Food and fluid intake: Although food does not influence the pace at which Ambien is removed from the body, it does affect how soon the medicine takes action. Ambien should be taken on an empty stomach since eating causes the medicine to take longer to take effect.
  • Organ function: Certain organs, particularly the liver, have a role in drug metabolism. Because the liver is in charge of breaking down compounds in the body, the procedure may take longer if the liver is not operating properly. Ambien has a half-life of over 10 hours for patients with liver difficulties.
  • Amount: A person who has taken greater dosages of Ambien for a longer period will take longer to remove the medicine than someone who has taken a typical dosage once. This is because greater dosages produce more metabolites, which take longer for the body to eliminate.
  • Frequency of use: Someone who uses Ambien often over a long period may have traces of the medication in their system for longer than someone who uses it once. This is because the more often a drug is used, the more probable it will accumulate in the body. In addition, the longer the procedure takes, the more the body has to metabolize.
  • Other medicines: Other drugs might affect how long the drug remains in your system. Over-the-counter mood supplement St. John’s Wort may help your body to remove Ambien more quickly. In contrast, ketoconazole’s antifungal medicine can boost Ambien’s half-life by 30%, making it stay longer in your system.

What Is the Science Behind the Time It Takes?

Ambien has a half-life of two hours. This indicates that the plasma concentration in the blood is lowered by half every 2 hours after taking medicine. Therefore, the blood test is scheduled between 6 and 14 hours, depending on the dose and other personal characteristics.

How Long Does Ambien Keep You Awake?

Zolpidem is a short-acting medication.

Ambien’s effects are normally seen within 15 minutes of intake. However, meal consumption, body mass, and dosage may impact this. Immediate-release pills disintegrate fast to assist individuals in falling asleep, but extended-release tablets include two layers.

The first layer dissolves swiftly to assist individuals in falling asleep, while the second layer dissolves slowly to help them stay asleep.

If you do not receive a complete 7 to 8 hours of sleep, the effects of Ambien may extend into the next day. Sleepiness, shakiness, and the incapacity to drive are among the side effects.


Editorial Staff

Our writers, editors, content managers, and SEO specialist. We all take part in crafting amazing articles. We spend hours ensuring that each article is based on facts, researched, and thorough. You'll never want to click the back button to look for more answers other than here!