Weaning off zolpidem (Ambien)

Posted by lusia @lusia, Dec 9, 2017

taking 5mg ambian for 20 years can melatonin help to ween me off

Liked by hutch1

@humanehuman

I am a brand new member. I would like to try to wean off of Ambien which I have been taking for over ten years. I started on it when my menopausal symptoms greatly interfered with my sleep. I do not have depression or anxiety but I have insomnia. I have finally admitted to myself that I am physiologically addicted and intend to cut down and go off very, very slowly. I am reading a good book called The Sleep Book by Dr. Guy Meadows. Not finished yet but highly recommend. I believe that my fear about not getting enough sleep combined with having to take more and more of the meds to get an effect are my problem.

Who here has gotten off completely and how long did it take? Thanks in advance.

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New member here. Age: 59. I started taking ambien to relieve Jet Lag on overseas business trips 10 years ago. I travel so much I ended up taking 10mg a day for a few years straight. I decided to quit back in October & did cold turkey. I chose to quit when I had 5 days in a row off from work. I had two nights of bad sleep and a week or so of very strange dreams. Also for the first few weeks I made myself get up at 5:30 am every morning no matter how much sleep I got. That seemed to do the trick for me as waking up at 5:30 is as much a "habit" as popping an ambien at night. Otherwise, since then, my sleep pattern has been pretty good. To be honest I'd forgotten what normal sleep was like. I have taken on three occasions since I quit, all for jet lag only. Each time it was easy to go back to normal. As a tool for brutal jet lag the drug is great but for sleeplessness I'm not so sure. Ambien sleep is so different from normal sleep (at least for me) that I wonder what the negative effects of long term use might be. I can 100% relate to the fear of not sleeping. I had gotten programmed to the feeling that ambien gave me as a precursor to sleep. For me, at least, the issues were totally in my mind. There was no physical reason for me not to sleep. I hope it's going well for you. Also, I started an ambitious hiking/ walking program when I quit which also helped a lot.

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@debbier no need to feel embarrassed, ambien is a hypnotic, so theres no telling what you will do or say after you've taken it. I have many experiences where packages showed up at my door after I had unknowingly placed orders online. That's one of the reasons I decided I needed to stop taking it.

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@bernese53

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?

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I was prescribed Ambien in 1992 15-mg at bedtime due to a number of Neurologist-diagnosed sleep disorders. Over the years I lowered the dose to 2.5 mg (half a 5 mg tablet). Recently I started taking 1 mg of Melatonin after having stopped the Ambien. This was over 2 months ago and I seem to be sleeping quite well. Considering that I had been taking this medication every night for over 25 yrs I was surprised at how well I am sleeping without it.

Liked by lillee

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@hikeswiss

I was prescribed Ambien in 1992 15-mg at bedtime due to a number of Neurologist-diagnosed sleep disorders. Over the years I lowered the dose to 2.5 mg (half a 5 mg tablet). Recently I started taking 1 mg of Melatonin after having stopped the Ambien. This was over 2 months ago and I seem to be sleeping quite well. Considering that I had been taking this medication every night for over 25 yrs I was surprised at how well I am sleeping without it.

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I have a big insomnia problem. I haven't slept 8 hours in years. I have tried Ambien and it works at times but it seems to make my mind wonder even worse. I do believe you can become addicted to it. My friend has a huge addiction to it but there are a lot of sleeping meds that are so much worse. I tried a new drug called belsomra , I think that's how it's spelled. and it worked great, but my insurance won't pay for it yet.

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I am new here also. My name is Kathryn I am a double amputee after 98 surgeries from a car accident and I have lupus. My car crash was a result of not sleeping. I had been up for 3 days and feel asleep. Thank God I was the only one hurt. I have a lot of pain issues but like I said my sleep problem started before my accident. If anyone has any advice on sleeping well or any good experiences with meds or etc. please share with me. When I was in my 20's it wasn't this bad I am in my 40's and just adopted my God daughter I have had for over 3 years now and need to know how I can get a good nights sleep.

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My daughter is 4 years old and very active so I really need sleep lol

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@lillee

I am new here also. My name is Kathryn I am a double amputee after 98 surgeries from a car accident and I have lupus. My car crash was a result of not sleeping. I had been up for 3 days and feel asleep. Thank God I was the only one hurt. I have a lot of pain issues but like I said my sleep problem started before my accident. If anyone has any advice on sleeping well or any good experiences with meds or etc. please share with me. When I was in my 20's it wasn't this bad I am in my 40's and just adopted my God daughter I have had for over 3 years now and need to know how I can get a good nights sleep.

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Oh, @lillee – being up for 3 days without sleep sounds so hard.

One discussion on Connect you may want to check out is https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/josephene-i-am-having-terrible-insomnia-as-well-nothing-seems-to-help/, where members offer some suggestions on getting some sleep.

@hikeswiss – welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. When you went off of the Zolpidem (Ambien), did you experience any symptoms from the reduction?

@korykong – how is your sleep going lately now that you're a bit out from tapering off the Zolpidem (Ambien)?

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@tennbee

I've never had the problem that some have said of getting up and doing things during the night and never been tempted to abuse the 1 nightly. Since Ambien(Zolpidem) is a controlled drug, I couldn't get more than 30 in 30 days if I wanted them.

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I used my husbands ambien! ;(

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@debbier

I used my husbands ambien! ;(

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Were you out of your own?

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@hikeswiss

I was prescribed Ambien in 1992 15-mg at bedtime due to a number of Neurologist-diagnosed sleep disorders. Over the years I lowered the dose to 2.5 mg (half a 5 mg tablet). Recently I started taking 1 mg of Melatonin after having stopped the Ambien. This was over 2 months ago and I seem to be sleeping quite well. Considering that I had been taking this medication every night for over 25 yrs I was surprised at how well I am sleeping without it.

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Are you off Ambien completely now?

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@tennbee

I've never had the problem that some have said of getting up and doing things during the night and never been tempted to abuse the 1 nightly. Since Ambien(Zolpidem) is a controlled drug, I couldn't get more than 30 in 30 days if I wanted them.

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@tennbee – is the Zolpidem (Ambien) working okay for you still? You mentioned you don't have the side effect of getting up and doing things in the night. Do you experience other side effects at all?

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@lisalucier

@tennbee – is the Zolpidem (Ambien) working okay for you still? You mentioned you don't have the side effect of getting up and doing things in the night. Do you experience other side effects at all?

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I don't have any side effects that I've directly attributed to the Zolpidem. I do think the 10MG dose might be a little to much for my 74 year old body to process.

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@tennbee

I don't have any side effects that I've directly attributed to the Zolpidem. I do think the 10MG dose might be a little to much for my 74 year old body to process.

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HI, @tennbee – will you talk more about the 10 mg dose being a little too much for your body to process? What have you experienced at this dosage? Interestingly, @earl66 also talked about feeling a 10 mg dose was too much, and maybe can explain further what he experienced.

@clutch – how's your sleep going after tapering off the zolpidem (Ambien)?

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@lisalucier

HI, @tennbee – will you talk more about the 10 mg dose being a little too much for your body to process? What have you experienced at this dosage? Interestingly, @earl66 also talked about feeling a 10 mg dose was too much, and maybe can explain further what he experienced.

@clutch – how's your sleep going after tapering off the zolpidem (Ambien)?

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I have to get up at least 1 time, if not 2, to go to the bathroom during the night. I feel unsteady on my feet so I'm extra careful. This has just started to happen this year. I've tried breaking the 10MG in half but most nights I'll get to sleep but don't stay asleep very long.

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@lisalucier

HI, @tennbee – will you talk more about the 10 mg dose being a little too much for your body to process? What have you experienced at this dosage? Interestingly, @earl66 also talked about feeling a 10 mg dose was too much, and maybe can explain further what he experienced.

@clutch – how's your sleep going after tapering off the zolpidem (Ambien)?

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Thank you Lisa.
I was able to wean off the Ambien pretty easily, but traded the witch for the devil by doing so. Had to depend on benzos for sleep. I actually think I should have tried it the other way around. Anything has to be better than weaning off benzos. Wouldn't recommend them to anyone for anything, except in very extrememe anxiety disorders.

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