If you're taking Ambien, are you worried you might fail a drug test? Maybe you're worried you might miss out on a new job because of it? There's a lot of confusion about Ambien and drug tests. Is it tested for? If so, how long does Ambien stay in your system? We'll try and demystify everything, so you can make an informed decision.
What Is Ambien and Can It Be Detected?
Ambien is a brand name for the generic drug Zolpidem. Other brand names include Stillnox, Hypnogen and Zolfresh. As you no doubt know, it's basically a sedative used to treat insomnia.
While there are drug tests for Ambien, they're expensive and not part of a standard drug screening. It's not a commonly abused drug, so it's generally not tested for, at least not yet. This means you'll likely never test positive for Ambien.
However, it's not quite that simple. Ambien shares some chemical properties with benzos like valium and Xanax, so it can trigger a false positive for these. There's some dispute about this, but there are numerous reports of people failing for benzos after taking Ambien.
So, How Long Does Ambien Stay in Your System?
As with all drugs, the time Ambien needs to leave your body varies between people. Things like the dose and frequency, physiology, weight, and lifestyle can all affect the detox time you need.
That said, Ambien actually leaves your body quite quickly. Most people will pass a urine drug test about 8-14 hours after taking a pill. Seeing as it's a sleeping pill, you would take it the evening before in the worst case. This means there's a chance you will still pass a test, with your odds being better later in the day.
Of course, if you don't take one the night before, you're almost certainly going to pass. But what if you really need it to sleep? There are a few options to choose from.
Dealing with a Drug Test
Okay, let's say you took Ambien the night before and are worried about failing the drug test. Your first option is to report that you're taking Ambien. If you have a prescription, you should be fine, as long as they accept that Ambien does cause in fact false positives.
Another option is to delay your test for as long as possible, so you give a sample at the end of the day.
Your third option is take a detox drink an hour or so before your test. This will quickly flush the toxins out of your urine, meaning that you can give a urine sample as normal.
How Long Does Ambien Stay in Your System for Hair Tests?
Hair drug tests have a typical detection time of 90 days, so you're much more at risk of failing one of these. If you don't want to tell your employer about your medication, you'll need to clean your hair.
Normal shampoos can't remove toxins from inside the hair, so you need a detox shampoo that penetrates deep into the hair to wash away the telltale metabolites.