Weaning off zolpidem (Ambien)

Posted by lusia @lusia, Dec 9, 2017

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

@bruce0712

My new doctor at the VA refuses to renew my ambien because instead he wants to start me on anti-depressants! I am not depressed, I deal with some anxieties, but once again, the government is making life difficult for the doctors and thus we, the patients suffer.

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In NM both Ambien
& Ultram were added to Schedule IV for purposes of DEA control. Then the dosing was changed for Ambien… women only getting 1/2 (5 mg) the previously Rx’d amount… MDs in this state are also being pressured by Feds as to the amount of Opiate Pain relievers. Some just F w/ patients!! Take their sweet time refilling the Rx thinking you’ll forget??!! Yeah right!! The pain returns AMPLIFIED!! They KNOW that cold detox is very dangerous and can cause cardiac arrest; donthry care?? NO!!

If you are a Fibro
Pt.. it’s a Neuro issue and Insomnia is a part of the profile!! Duh! You will literally go crazy if you don’t get enough sleep; esp REM sleep! At least you are guaranteed 4 Hrs?? Of sleep??

PS: it is super in vogue to require Pain Mgmt Contracts w/ their Pain Mgmt Patients! It’s sad… I know of a friend who is a Lupus & Rheum. arthritis patient that blew out her L/knee. They refused extra Rx for pain for a few days post surgery. They layed in bed crying and screaming in pain! I felt soo bad for her!!

PS: the use of anti depressants is to interrupt the pain message getting to the brain!! (Same receptors)!I will tell you that I was put on several.. one caused me to sweat like a pig.. .. another made lots of my long hair fall out!! No way!! I’m depressed.. but more pissed off that I’m denied pain mgmt that’s commensurate w/ the level of Dx!! Geez… you can’t expect a person to remain at a low dose for 20 yrs!! It don’t work!!

Bet the MDs would think otherwise if it were them!!

Wishing you much luck… thought I’d share from my ?s that my Dr answered when I asked him! He was the only compassionate Physiatrist or Pain Mgmt MD I had after an on duty car accident and Carpal Tunnel surgeries X 5!! Yup!! No mistake!! W/C postponed appropriate level of Tx do it went to my dominant sides elbow.. then shoulder!! I won’t go further except yo say I had to pay for the work related Tx b/c I was just getting steroid shots delaying the inevitable! MY insurance paid for an excellent Surgeon! He told me the truth! Made me steamed!! He told me he’d do his best to help me w/ the pain & other symptoms of pain .. swelling… numbness… throbbing… stiffness… etc!!

God Bless!
Sincerely.
99

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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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I take 10 mg of ambien but I take 10 mg melatonin Extended release along with it at night. I've taken ambien alone for 2 years. Sometimes I add tylenol pm with it. I just have to sleep and I decided that if it helps then I'm not going to worry about it. My doctor agrees.

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Seems this med works wonderful for some, a friend took ONE table, the next morning she noticed she had gotten up sometime in the night
changed clothes and went back to bed. she did not remember even waking…., she phoned her doctor and he DCed the med.
My MD will NOT prescribe Ambien because of what has happened to some, like even driving at night and finding fast food wrappers on kitchen table
the next morning and not remembering the activities.
We all are wired differently.
Wish I could help, I know 3 people that do not want to get off of it, it works for them.
For sure I think I would ask the prescribing doctor what to do, I would imagine gradually tapering off. If OTC helps you are blessed.

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@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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I took my time…. about a month or so it took to stop taking it, have been off ambien for a month now. I stayed at about 7.5 mg for about a week……then I went to about 0.5 mg for another week……33 another week……25 another week…..then zero. I only take 4.5mg melatonin, somehow I fall asleep. I am so happy about this yet my Dr wants me to start taking Lexapro because he thinks i have a bad case of anxiety. He thinks I am taking it. I won't take it for fear of weight gain and loss of sex interest which is bad enough already, I will not risk making it worse.

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Seeing what Ambien has done to other senior citizens I decided to not try it again. I did okay with it. I live alone so maybe did not.

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@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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Hi @humanehuman I totally understand what you’re going through. Read my journey on this thread. Maybe it will help you. I started with substituting Ambien with Trazodone. I no longer take any other drugs. At this point, my sleep therapist and PCP are ok with me taking 25 mg of the Trazodone. I am still in therapy. Good luck. Feel free to ask me any questions.

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@sndishpr

Hi @humanehuman I totally understand what you’re going through. Read my journey on this thread. Maybe it will help you. I started with substituting Ambien with Trazodone. I no longer take any other drugs. At this point, my sleep therapist and PCP are ok with me taking 25 mg of the Trazodone. I am still in therapy. Good luck. Feel free to ask me any questions.

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@sndishpr Thanks for the reply! I have tried trazadone but it didn't help. Maybe i didn't take enough, I can't remember how much I took.
Did you take ambien AND trazodone simultaneously for a while or just substituted trazodone for ambien right off the bat? Did you gain weight on trazadone? It is one of the older antidepressants that could cause weight gain.

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@bruce0712

I took my time…. about a month or so it took to stop taking it, have been off ambien for a month now. I stayed at about 7.5 mg for about a week……then I went to about 0.5 mg for another week……33 another week……25 another week…..then zero. I only take 4.5mg melatonin, somehow I fall asleep. I am so happy about this yet my Dr wants me to start taking Lexapro because he thinks i have a bad case of anxiety. He thinks I am taking it. I won't take it for fear of weight gain and loss of sex interest which is bad enough already, I will not risk making it worse.

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@bruce0712 I took lexapro a few years ago for my hot flashes. That worked until it didn't but I don't think I gained weight. I did, however, have weird symptoms when I went off it even though I did so gradually. All @SSRIs are known to reduce sexual desire. I am happy for you that you are totally off of ambien, that's great news! I don't like feeling like I am dependent on something and I am definitely both psychologically and physiologically hooked on it 🙁 I can't fall asleep after I awaken with a hot flash.

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@humanehuman

@sndishpr Thanks for the reply! I have tried trazadone but it didn't help. Maybe i didn't take enough, I can't remember how much I took.
Did you take ambien AND trazodone simultaneously for a while or just substituted trazodone for ambien right off the bat? Did you gain weight on trazadone? It is one of the older antidepressants that could cause weight gain.

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@humanehuman I substituted 50 mg. Trazodone for the Ambien right off the bat. However I also took .5 mg Xanax, and 2 Benadryl with the Trazodone. Took a few nights for it to start to work. I was thrilled to be off Ambien. I worked wth a sleep therapist and my PCP, and eventually eliminated all but the Trazadone. I was down to 12.5 mg Trazodone, but was sleeping poorly. I’m back to 25 Trazodone and sleep better, but still get up for a short period at night, Still working with sleep therapist. Don’t see a weight gain,

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1st off I have been taking 5 mg of zolpidem for probably 4 years. I cut the 10 in half. At this dose am I better off going cold turkey and dealing with my 2 am wake up and 4 hours of sleep or is it better to cut a half in half and slim down. After reading through some of these posts and replies I realize a lot of people have more of an addictive personality and considering zolpidem is all I take at 66 years old I am wondering if I have put myself in that category. Never had a drug problem and take ambien for the specific purpose of being able to fall back to sleep after waking up. Insomnia has been a problem since my mid 30's.

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@earl66

1st off I have been taking 5 mg of zolpidem for probably 4 years. I cut the 10 in half. At this dose am I better off going cold turkey and dealing with my 2 am wake up and 4 hours of sleep or is it better to cut a half in half and slim down. After reading through some of these posts and replies I realize a lot of people have more of an addictive personality and considering zolpidem is all I take at 66 years old I am wondering if I have put myself in that category. Never had a drug problem and take ambien for the specific purpose of being able to fall back to sleep after waking up. Insomnia has been a problem since my mid 30's.

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I also have been trying to wean off Ambien but at 70 years old with lots of health issues and anxiety, finding it very difficult!

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