Mayo Clinic Connect
taking 5mg ambian for 20 years can melatonin help to ween me off
I have been taking 10 mg of Ambien for the last ten years. I have tried melatonin but it did not work for me. I understand that it is important to be under a doctor’s supervision when you cut back on Ambien. Anyone here who has been successful in terms of cutting back/quitting Ambien?
Liked by Kanaaz Pereira, Connect Moderator
Welcome to Connect. I’d like to introduce you to @robbinr @128128terry11t Mentor @sandytoes14 who may have some thoughts for you. You can view their posts in this discussion:
– Insomnia. Nothing seems to help.https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/josephene-i-am-having-terrible-insomnia-as-well-nothing-seems-to-help/
Although this discussion is in another group on Connect, I’d encourage you to go through it, as @lacey @johnhans and other members have addressed the same concern about Ambien:
Here’s some great information from Mayo Clinic:
Ambien: Is dependence a concern? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/insomnia-29e169/
@lusia, if you wish, would you share your reason(s) for wanting to wean off Ambien? We look forward to getting to know you.
Liked by Lisa Lucier, Connect Moderator
I have been using zolpidem 10 mg for sleep every night for the last 15 years. I am an insomniac and I have anxiety, depression and panic disorder. I take Effexor for the panic etc and have started slowly withdrawing from that. I also want to stop taking zolpidem. My doctor has no problem with me staying on it, but I want to be able to sleep normally without taking drugs. Has anyone had any experience with zolpidem dependency?
Hi, @arachel — I have merged your post with this other thread on weaning off Ambien/Zolpidem so you can meet some of the members here. Hoping they might be able to shed some light on your question about dependency on this medication.
What does your doctor think about your situation with the Ambien/Zolpidem?
Liked by Colleen Young, Connect Director
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I have consulted a sleep specialist about my concerns. He feels that there is no problem with me taking 10mg per night as long as it works for me. I have seen him regularly for the last 2 years. I also discuss the situation with my family doctor. He also doesn’t feel there is any reason to discontinue. I, on the other hand, want to get off of it. The doctors think it would be too stressful to try to withdraw and don’t encourage it. Presently, I am trying to get off of my antidepressant drug, Effexor, with the help of my family doctor. Maybe I should get over the Effexor withdrawal before attempting the ambien, but I do want to find out how best to go about it.
Please don’t misunderstand what I am about to say. The less drugs we all take, the more our bodies would function as they were meant to, but some people don’t have bodies that function in a normal method when unmedicated. My mother never wants to take anything that she could become “addicted” to. An addiction typically drives the need for more of something because you are getting something other than simply the medicinal benefits from the substance. My mother if 76 years old and if she needs 10 mg of ambien for the rest of her life, she will have a much better quality of life for what I hope are at least 20 more years than if she were passing that time groggy and half asleep because she did not take her ambien. Unless God decides to rewire my brain one night, I imagine I will be on a cocktail of 3-4 meds for anxiety and depression for how ever long I am still on this earth. without them, my quality of life would be far worse than current and I can’t imagine a friend who would still be within shouting distance if I were unmedicated. Am I addicted top them? My answer would be no because I get no sense of euphoria from them and don’t want to know if I would if I took a couple of extra one day. Am I dependent on them? Absolutely. I will turm over the soapbox to someone else at this point, but that is my take on meds that help us live better lives.
Liked by Colleen Young, Connect Director, Kanaaz Pereira, Connect Moderator, JK, Volunteer Mentor
Thank you so much for your comments. Up until recently, I have been content with my dependence on ambien. Before I started taking it, I would literally be dragging my butt through the day just looking forward to bed time. Ambien has indeed changed my quality of life and I don’t debate that. But my family has been on me to quit and have convinced me that I am in denial about my “addiction”. I have never read about anyone who does take ambien every day but would love some positive feedback from those who do. It might help me get over my issues. Again, thank you. I am going to rethink this decision.
I take Remeron as Ambien and a couple of other sleep only meds did not do the trick for me and I have no qualms about using it forever if necessary. I also take three other meds for my depression/anxiety and opiates for my pain. I never want to speak ill of anyone, but those who worry about your addiction; Are they content to spend every night that you are awake all night on the phone with you? I think I have overstated my viewpoint, but are there those out there who take Ambien or another prescription sleep medication that they would describe their experiences for us. Have you tried stopping due to dependence or some other reason? What difference has no longer being an insomniac made in your life? I would appreciate anyone else’s experience and views on this topic.
I have been taken Ambien since Sept. 2001. Like many of us, I had problems falling asleep after the events of 9/11. I have struggled with insomnia for most of my adult life. Initially, I was taking 5 mg of Ambien as needed but after a few years, I was prescribed 10 mg which I have been taking every night for the last ten years. I saw both a neurologist and a sleep specialist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester for an episode of Transient Global Amnesia (not related to Ambien use). Both were concerned about the DOSE of Ambien but not its frequency; the FDA has recommended a dose of less than 10 mg for women. Not one of my many doctors has suggested stopping the Ambien entirely. I also take Effexor and Wellbutrin for chronic depression; both enable me to get out of bed in the morning and live a relatively normal life.
Best of luck,
Thank you for taking the time to tell your story. I sometimes feel that I’m the odd one out having to rely on both antidepressants and ambien at the same time. After reading many posts here at Mayo Clinic Connect, I am realizing that I’m not such an odd duck. My doctors also don’t discourage me from taking the ambien, but my family doctor has suggested that I begin lowering my Effexor dosage and has been helping me with the process. I’ve been taking Effexor for 15 years and I am willing to cut it down or get off of it entirely just to see how I do without it. I always had a problem with insomnia but didn’t realize that there was a drug out there that would make such a difference in my quality of life. In 2001, my first husband died of cancer at age 54. I was his caretaker and held down a full time job at the same time. Sleep consisted of an hour or two before I had to get up to tend to my husband. Then I would try to get back to sleep for a while before it would start all over again. I was a hot mess before I ended up at the doctors office. He made sure I understood how important it was for me to sleep and prescribed ambien. I was lucky enough to have my mother in law spend some time helping me and I was able to try the ambien. It was right then and there that I realized that I didn’t know what a good nights sleep was. I’ve been taking it ever since. I wonder if I could live without the ambien now, but I am so afraid to try. They say, if its not broken, don’t fit it, but in this case does that still apply?
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Hi, @arachel — I thought a few other members on Connect who’ve also talked about taking Zolpidem (Ambien) might have some insights for you on 1) needing to take Zolpidem (Ambien) or other medications every day to sleep and 2) family members commenting that you have an “addiction,” like @georgette12, @onewhoknows, @user_che69bc66,@johnhans, @pamelasa, @128128terry11t, @susanlorrie and @lauren123.
Where would you say you are at today regarding your decision on whether or not to keep taking the Zolpidem (Ambien)?
I’ve been taking Ambien since 1995. I cannot sleep without it. I absolutely do not care what anyone says about it, unless they come up with an alternative. Robbinr
Thanks, Lisa. I’ll take a look at the links you suggested. I appreciate the information.
Right now I will continue taking the ambien since I am in the process of weaning off of Effexor. I don’t think my body could handle withdrawal from two different drugs at the same time. I do, however, plan to do something about the ambien. I am going to see the sleep specialist tomorrow and see if he has any input on the matter. I’ll certainly check back with any progress.
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