How Long Does Ambien Stay in the System?

Ambien is a popular medication that is prescribed for insomnia. It is quick acting, and is absorbed into the body completely through the gastrointestinal tract within a matter of hours.

Main Uses of Ambien

The main reason Ambien is prescribed is to help people who struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep. The way Ambien works is by slowing brain activity to cause drowsiness and allowing sleep. The drug causes extreme sleepiness and is only good for sleep disorders and not for any other conditions.

On the downside, those users who can’t get a full 7 or 8 hours of sleep after taking Ambien can experience drowsiness and memory problems.

Ambien Peak Levels and Half Life

Ambien peak levels are reached approximately 30 minutes after taking a normal dose. Generally speaking, Ambien has a half life of about 2 hours. In patients who are older or those who have cirrhosis of the liver, Ambien half life can be as long as 4 hours.

Testing for Ambien

Ambien doesn’t stay in the blood for a long time due to its rapid absorption into the body and short half life. There are different ways to detect Ambien in the body, such as urine testing and hair testing.

Hair Testing

Ambien can be detected in hair for up to 5 weeks after taking a single dose. Hair testing is often used in criminal cases where Ambien may have been used to facilitate an assault.

Urine Testing

A standard urine screen will not detect the presence of Ambien. This requires a specialized test. Ambien can be detected up to 60 hours after ingestion, although peak concentrations are detected about 12 hours after.

Variables Affecting Ambien Detection

Notwithstanding the above, not everyone can clear the drug from their system at average speed. The variables that affect clearance times include:

  • Individual attributes such as age, body mass, metabolic rate and gender. Older people tend to keep Ambien in their system for longer. Taller and larger individuals who take a smaller dose such as 5 mg, would usually expel it faster. Individuals with fast metabolism may metabolize and excrete Ambien faster. Due to testosterone levels in men being higher, they tend to expel the drug substantially faster than women.
  • Of course dosage is a factor. The greater the dosage of Ambien taken before discontinuing, the longer it takes to leave the body.
  • Taking other drugs or medications along with Ambien will affect how long it stays in the system.

Should you want more information on the effects of Ambien, call The Villa. We have the resources to help you.