Ambien: How can I sleep without it?

Posted by rachel123 @rachel123, Jan 20, 2019

I have been taking ambien for over 10 years, and daily for the past year. Unfortunately, I now cannot go to sleep without it. Have gone to counselor for sleep therapy and now filling out a form about my sleep. What time do I go to sleep, how many times do I wake up, how long am I awake? I can’t even remember because I can’t sleep without it. Any comments, I am very challenged by the situation I have gotten myself in, and have anxiety because I cannot remember things.

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@groovemon

There ARE helpful psychiatric medications out there. Ambien isn't one of them. I've been taking it for insomnia for several months now, and
I admit I enjoy the "hypnotic feeling" I get as soon as I take it. I get REM sleep, but during the day I'm mentally fuzzy, angry, confused … In a word, stupefied.
It isn't normal. I don't feel myself. Please give me some advice for stopping. And for God's sake, DON'T tell me to change doctors, get
new referals, switch meds, etc. I don't have any money. I can't afford rehab. And I'm not going to a "free one." And my poverty health insurance barely pays my doctor, so he could care less.

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@groovemon
You say "There ARE helpful psychiatric medications out there" meaning you somehow already know of one or more that would be better than Ambien. If your doctor could care less (far from an optimum situation but oh well), is it possible he also would not care whether he prescribed you something different than Ambien? Maybe just ask him to get you off Ambien and onto a different med., one that you feel would be better for your situation.
Best, Hank

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@contentandwell

@rachel123 Great thoughts from Colleen. Do you think, working with your doctor, that you could start by reducing the dosage of Ambien that you take? That would probably be a good first step, I would think, but I have never really used prescription sleep medications really so I am not familiar. I did try something one time a long time ago but I didn’t like how I felt in the morning so I did not take it for long.
JK

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I’ve been using zolpidem for 15 years and have cut it down to a third of a five mg. tab and am sleeping better.

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@dustycat52

I’ve been using zolpidem for 15 years and have cut it down to a third of a five mg. tab and am sleeping better.

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@dustycat52 Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect.

It sounds like you have information and support to give.

May I ask, did you come to Connect for any particular reason?

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@erikas

@dustycat52 Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect.

It sounds like you have information and support to give.

May I ask, did you come to Connect for any particular reason?

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I connected to this forum because I wanted to know about other people’s experiences with tapering off zolpidem. I find a lot o fire as in support groups.

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@dustycat52

I connected to this forum because I wanted to know about other people’s experiences with tapering off zolpidem. I find a lot o fire as in support groups.

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rachel123 I feel the same way that you do. I have taking Ambien for about 6 years now. When I am out of medicine I can tell that my body has a dependence on it. It is the only sleeping medication that I have taken that helps me fall asleep.

I don't know how you other people can wean yourself off of this medication.

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@lsittll

rachel123 I feel the same way that you do. I have taking Ambien for about 6 years now. When I am out of medicine I can tell that my body has a dependence on it. It is the only sleeping medication that I have taken that helps me fall asleep.

I don't know how you other people can wean yourself off of this medication.

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@isittil I was only on Ambien for a little while but realized I was addicted to it .The only way I got of mine was cold turkey but you have to drink a lot of water to flush out your system . I did this for awhile until I was finally able to fall asleep without the med

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@lsittll

rachel123 I feel the same way that you do. I have taking Ambien for about 6 years now. When I am out of medicine I can tell that my body has a dependence on it. It is the only sleeping medication that I have taken that helps me fall asleep.

I don't know how you other people can wean yourself off of this medication.

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I haven’t totally weaned off of it yet but I’m working on it or at least on taking much less. I cut it using a razor blade. Every ten days I would cut the tiniest piece off to give my brain time to get used to it. I’m down to a third of a 5 mg. tablet. I dissolve it .under my tongue and keep it in my mouth as long as possible to give it time to get into my bloodstream.

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@dustycat52

I haven’t totally weaned off of it yet but I’m working on it or at least on taking much less. I cut it using a razor blade. Every ten days I would cut the tiniest piece off to give my brain time to get used to it. I’m down to a third of a 5 mg. tablet. I dissolve it .under my tongue and keep it in my mouth as long as possible to give it time to get into my bloodstream.

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Because I have been on Ambien so long and it the only medication that helps me sleep I guess I must grin and bear it. It is not wise to fool around with the non addicting sleep medications with me because of my seizures so I just must take it. I just must be watchful of the amount that I take

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@lsittll

Because I have been on Ambien so long and it the only medication that helps me sleep I guess I must grin and bear it. It is not wise to fool around with the non addicting sleep medications with me because of my seizures so I just must take it. I just must be watchful of the amount that I take

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I totally get it. I have Burning Mouth Syndrome which causes a lot of pain and makes it hard to fall asleep. Ambien has been a life saver. But now in California drug stores were told they can no longer use discount coupons for tier 2 drugs and my insurance won’t cover it. So it’s $80 a month. I can’t afford that. I wish the government wouldn’t determine that we don’t need it.

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@dustycat52

I totally get it. I have Burning Mouth Syndrome which causes a lot of pain and makes it hard to fall asleep. Ambien has been a life saver. But now in California drug stores were told they can no longer use discount coupons for tier 2 drugs and my insurance won’t cover it. So it’s $80 a month. I can’t afford that. I wish the government wouldn’t determine that we don’t need it.

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I've been on Ambiem for over 15 years! My sleep problems got awful when I had Stage IV colon cancer 21 years ago!
I had an allergic reaction to the then popular chemo drug, 5FU +. I was in a coma on Life support for 14 days. I came out of both alive, and then did kill the cancer! LOL! But it did a lot to my autoimmune system plus other things. I am lucky that 90% of my PCP understood my issues, it was the one who didn't and put me on something else that caused another reaction and caused me to black out and fall down 20' of stairs and cause a TBI!
Why can't they stop trying to dictate our lives!
I'm lucky in that I live in a Third world state they have not stopped us from using discounts like GoodRX.
My thoughts go out to you!
From The Land of Enchantment!
Sundance(RB)

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