Insomnia and Cancer

Posted by lacey @lacey, Nov 1, 2016

HI, my name is Lacey, I have been in remission since Jan. 2015 and I feel great except for sleeping issues. I was on
zolpiderm for at least a year and the insurance co. just denied the prescription any longer. Instead , they prescribed
Trazodone which does nothing . I haven’t slept in 48 hours and I feel that no sleep is going to cause worse problems
The zolpiderm let me sleep 8-9 hours a night. Do you have any help for this problem? Thanks, Lacey

Hello Saltis, thanks for taking the time to tell me how you have been coping. I wonder if you ever took
zolpiderm?? It is the only thing that helps me to sleep, Are you living in Sweden or here in the US? Look
at a website named Good Rx, one of the other friends on Mayo told me about it and read the facts it
shows, I think there is something that can help us both. Let me know what you think? Lacey

REPLY
@laneyk

I had the same problem with insurance and zolpidem. Have you tried Good Rx. I use their coupon and can get for $7 per month. Does not go thru insurance. Of course you need doctors rx. Hope this will help you,

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Lacey, I removed your email from the public message board because I don’t want you to start getting unwanted spam. I believe this is the website and app that @laneyk was referring to. http://www.goodrx.com/

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Hi @lacey,
Yes, I live in Sweden. Sorry, no I don’t know the zolpiderm. Unfortunately the site you mention won’t be of much use to me because all my medication is through my oncolog or my GP. I already take too much medication and for two years ago I decided not to take any powerful medication, because this is the only time I have living & I don’t like not to be present. Even though sometimes it means pain & sometimes sleepless nights. The only luxury medication which I have allowed myself to is my anti-depression pills cymbalta 30 mg. Well I am a 3 time cancer survivor but now it has spread to my chest, too. Probably I would live another couple of years but it has become metastastic and it is stage 4. Thank you for thinking about me but I walk the dogs, meditate and have my utterly boring book, lol. Take care dear Lacey!

REPLY
@laneyk

I had the same problem with insurance and zolpidem. Have you tried Good Rx. I use their coupon and can get for $7 per month. Does not go thru insurance. Of course you need doctors rx. Hope this will help you,

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Thank you Colleen. Lacey

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@saltis

Hi @lacey,
Yes, I live in Sweden. Sorry, no I don’t know the zolpiderm. Unfortunately the site you mention won’t be of much use to me because all my medication is through my oncolog or my GP. I already take too much medication and for two years ago I decided not to take any powerful medication, because this is the only time I have living & I don’t like not to be present. Even though sometimes it means pain & sometimes sleepless nights. The only luxury medication which I have allowed myself to is my anti-depression pills cymbalta 30 mg. Well I am a 3 time cancer survivor but now it has spread to my chest, too. Probably I would live another couple of years but it has become metastastic and it is stage 4. Thank you for thinking about me but I walk the dogs, meditate and have my utterly boring book, lol. Take care dear Lacey!

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I have had insomnia problems but eventually overcame them. People can become addicted to zolpidem, the generic for Ambien. Ambien does nothing for me as I quickly get used to it, but long-term use such as yours can lead to addiction. The recommendation is a gradual tapering off over weeks. Trazodone needs much higher doses than other medicines. Usually Trazodone is prescribed in 100 mg. for sedative effect. I got hooked on benzodiazipines the doctor prescribed and only dropping .5 of a mg. after being on it for only 4 weeks caused my insomnia. It took many weeks of little sleep to get back to normal. I’m still taking 1.5 mg. Hope this gives you some insight and ideas to discuss with your doctor. If all else fails, the body does get so tired that you will eventually sleep. Just do not worry about not sleeping, but accept that you are not sleeping and let time take you into sleep.

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Thank you Johnhans for answering my comment. Believe me, I have tried to quit cold turkey, but I never sleep
and I am so tired , I cannot function. Everything you say is true and I have tried so often, I gave up and felt it is
better to get some sleep than none at all and get sick other ways., I have cut back on the zolpiderm to 5 mg. and
I am trying something new tonight, hope it works. Thanks again, Lacey

REPLY
@hopeful33250

@lacey I am sorry to hear about your sleep problems. I wasn’t familiar with the medicine that you were previously taking, however, have you considered consulting with a sleep specialist? A sleep study might be helpful in determining the kind of sleep disorder you have. If your previous medicine was one that is addictive, it might take time to adjust to something different. I know of many people who use Trazodone with good results. Perhaps the dosage needs adjusting? In any event, it would be a good time to talk to your doctor regarding your options. Best wishes for better sleep.

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@lacey Actually 50 mg is low. I know of people recovering from multiple cancers and other chronic illnesses who take 75 up to 150. A call to your doctor may provide the OK to bring up the dosage a bit, however, if the Ambien you were taking is an addictive med, it might still take time to be rid of the effect. (As I recall, you said you had been taking the Ambien for several years.) Light exercise might help provide the feeling of sleepiness that you need. On that thought, have you tried walking or Tai-Chi?

REPLY
@hopeful33250

@lacey I am sorry to hear about your sleep problems. I wasn’t familiar with the medicine that you were previously taking, however, have you considered consulting with a sleep specialist? A sleep study might be helpful in determining the kind of sleep disorder you have. If your previous medicine was one that is addictive, it might take time to adjust to something different. I know of many people who use Trazodone with good results. Perhaps the dosage needs adjusting? In any event, it would be a good time to talk to your doctor regarding your options. Best wishes for better sleep.

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Hi Hopeful, I have been on zolpiderm for around a year now and it really helps me to get
a good nights sleep, It is suppose to be addictive, but I take a 10mg pill and split it , so
it’s only 5 mg and I never take it , only for sleep. I do belong to a group called livestrong
at the Ymca, we do all kinds of exercise and use the machines, I walk my 3 doggies in
the morning and I do a lot around the house, so I am getting plenty of exercise, I have
tried many other meds and none of them work. I was told about a co. called GoodRx.com
you can get your meds from Walgreens for a fraction of the price and you by-pass the ins. co.
So, we’ll see where that leads me. Thanks for your input, appreciate any help I can get. Lacey

REPLY
@lacey

Thank you Johnhans for answering my comment. Believe me, I have tried to quit cold turkey, but I never sleep
and I am so tired , I cannot function. Everything you say is true and I have tried so often, I gave up and felt it is
better to get some sleep than none at all and get sick other ways., I have cut back on the zolpiderm to 5 mg. and
I am trying something new tonight, hope it works. Thanks again, Lacey

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@lacey, I started smoking when I was 13 years old. Anyway I wanted to quit smoking and a friend who successfully quit smoking, shared his secret. Quit while you have a cold, as you feel already down, tired and everything else. Maybe you can try go cold turkey, while you have cold. You are anyway tired so maybe it would help you to sleep a little and after a week you start feeling much better. I personally followed his advice and I have not smoked for the past 3 decades. Take care,

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I wish it was that easy, I smoked as a kid also and that was easy to quit compared to sleeping. I am
lucky in a way, I never get sick ( except for the cancer ) I am going to try sleeping on the couch sitting
partially upright, I did that last night and I got about 5 hours sleep, better than nothing, thanks for the
info. nice to know someone cares. God bless, Lacey

REPLY
@hopeful33250

@lacey I am sorry to hear about your sleep problems. I wasn’t familiar with the medicine that you were previously taking, however, have you considered consulting with a sleep specialist? A sleep study might be helpful in determining the kind of sleep disorder you have. If your previous medicine was one that is addictive, it might take time to adjust to something different. I know of many people who use Trazodone with good results. Perhaps the dosage needs adjusting? In any event, it would be a good time to talk to your doctor regarding your options. Best wishes for better sleep.

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@lacey I’m so impressed with your exercise program. That is great. I’m glad to hear about your participation in Livestrong. I need to look into that as well. Sleep problems have a way of resolving themselves with time and patience. Best wishes and keep in touch.

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@lacey Sometimes starting to go to sleep in a recliner is a good way to start as well. Glad to hear that you got 5 hours sleep, that is an improvement!

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Hi Hopeful, I think I found a cure ( temporary anyway ) I have slept on the couch for two nights now and
I am sleeping almost through the night, feels so good, Of course I am still on my zolpiderm ( 5 mg. ) Lacey

REPLY
@lacey

Hi Hopeful, I think I found a cure ( temporary anyway ) I have slept on the couch for two nights now and
I am sleeping almost through the night, feels so good, Of course I am still on my zolpiderm ( 5 mg. ) Lacey

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I am so glad you found a solution.

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Thanks, but I will let you know in a week or so if its still working.

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