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Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer. No Ambien does not do any permanent damage to the GABA receptors, most likely what is going on here is that now that you are without the Ambien your original issue of insomnia has come back. Remember Ambien does not treat the core causes of insomnia, it just provides sedation to help you sleep at night. You may want to ask your doctor to consider trying on the non-addictive sleep aids like Trazodone, Doxepin, Gabapentin, or Seroquel as this can provide relief of your insomnia without having to worry about being physically addicted to it like the Ambien. Also these medications do not affect GABA like the Ambien either.
Lyrica is not as sedating, that is one of the benefits of Lyrica compared to the older Gabapentin. But you can also try the Trazodone, Seroquel, or Doxepin as all of these have an off-label use for treating insomnia
First off Ambien is considered a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic and also individuals that do permanent damage to their GABA receptors typically abuse a benzodiazepine like Xanax or Klonopin for years meaning they must take very high doses to do so. Lets put it this way 10mg of the Ambien is around equivalent to a 1/10th of .5mg of Xanax. Ambien is not considered very strong when compared to other benzodiazepines at all and you did not even use Ambien that long, so all in all you did not permanently damage your GABA receptors.
You will notice in the article you linked that the study she is referring to was in 1982 and 1984 and was very small and not considered representative of the community who takes a benzodiazepine. Also she only mentions long-term use which again does not apply to you. And lastly her study she posted does not mention Ambien because it was not invented yet.
It is not rebound insomnia since the Ambien has long been washed out of your system. Most likely this is your original issue of insomnia that you had before you took the Ambien as it returned now that you are not taking any significant sleep aid medication. The only way to resolve this would be to either go on another sleep aid medication or treat the core causes of your insomnia (e.g. anxiety/stress)
I hope this answers your questions and gives you some guidance on this issue. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns as I am happy to assist and support you regarding this issue.
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