How Long Does Ambien Stay in One’s System?

how long ambien stays in one's blood, urine, hair, saliva

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Ambien is a medicine most commonly prescribed to people struggling with insomnia. This drug has a similar mechanism of action as benzodiazepines.

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Table of Contents

Factors That Influence the Duration of Ambien’s Presence in One’s System

  • Ageaccording to Olubodun and associates, people older than 65 tend to eliminate Ambien much slower than younger individuals due to reduced serum testosterone.
  • Body type—it is commonly known that the greater the dose of the drug compared to person’s body mass, the more time it takes to eliminate it from the body. Also, individuals with a higher percentage of body fat will remove Ambien quickly because it is soluble in water.
  • Metabolism—people with higher basal metabolic rate burn more energy at rest, which means they need less time to eliminate Ambien from their system.
  • Genetics—some people are genetically predisposed to produce smaller amounts of CYP3A4 enzyme, which is responsible for metabolizing Ambien.
  • Liver and kidney function—as previously said, Ambien is metabolized in the liver by a CYP3A4 enzyme. Therefore, people with liver problems will eliminate the drug at a lower rate than healthy individuals.
  • Gender—thanks to higher testosterone levels, men eliminate Ambien faster from their system than women.
  • Urinary pH—People with higher urinary pH eliminate Ambien slower than people with more acidic urinary pH. Acidic urinary pH prevents Ambien’s metabolites from reabsorbing.
  • Food and water intake—keeping in mind that most of the drug is excreted in the urine; it is clear that the more water consumed, the faster Ambien will leave the system.
  • Dosage and frequency of use—Needless to say, larger doses of Ambien will take more time to exit the system. Also, if the frequency of use is high, it will take more time to excrete the medicine. Also, a frequent Ambien use will result in accumulation of the drug in fat tissue.
  • Combining Ambien with other drugs—drugs such as Indinavir or Ritonavir, act as CYP3A4 inhibitors. Therefore, they can prolong the time needed for Ambien excretion.

Time Ambien Stays in One’s Blood, Urine, Saliva, Hair

A blood test is an invasive technique of detecting drugs in one’s system. For Ambien, it takes half an hour to become detectable in the blood. The downside is that this medicine is impossible to detect after a long time because it does not stay in the blood for as long as it does in the urine.
Saliva test—Ambien can be detected in one’s saliva only after 15 minutes after the last dose. The detection window lasts for 8 hours. After that, Ambien will no longer be present in the saliva.
Urine test – Ambien can be detected through a urine test even 72 hours post discontinuation, as it does not detect the presence of Ambien, but its metabolites.
The hair test is designed to determine whether a person used Ambien for almost five weeks after the last dose.

Ambien Metabolism Period

When taken orally, Ambien is absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract very fast. Most of the drug is metabolized in the liver by the CYP3A4 enzyme. The elimination half-life is 2.6 hours.
It takes almost 14 hours to excrete Ambien from a body completely after a single use.

The Duration of Ambien Effects

The first hypnotic effects of Ambient start only within 15 minutes of ingestion. The level of the drug reaches its peak 30 minutes after one takes the drug, and after that, they slowly start to fade away. After 3 hours, the effects of Ambien, in most cases, are completely gone.

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View Sources
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12919178
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18473749

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  • Josephine Maggio
    Ambien is a bad drug to be on. My doctor gave me a 12.5 dose and the next morning it caused me still to be groggy and receive a dui. The higher the dose the worse. It is. I also receiver a “long term interval” from using ambien. I now have to worry about fainting spells seizures and sudden death from a cardiac arrest. My sister has sleepwalked from it and it worsens dimentia. I am now tapering off of ambien and the only way to do this is to ween it and then go cold turkey from it which will cause you to not sleep from 2 nights to 2 weeks AT ALL!
  • Ann
    The thing that is scary about Ambien is the effects can seem so subtle though dramatic, you don’t realize it’s the medication. It got me to sleep just fine, then it affected my thinking and mood (negatively) during the day. While it put me to sleep and got me through the entire night, I wasn’t sleeping well at all. I woke up tired, my memory became increasingly horribleee. Things ramped up when I consistently took 10 mg. I went off it myself and felt better but still working on a good night’s sleep. After I was off it for various days, I took it one night to test the effects again, to be sure. No doubt, this drug is toxic for me. Just be careful.