Weaning off zolpidem (Ambien)

Posted by lusia @lusia, Dec 9, 2017

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

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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@tolepma

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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the 10mg is way too much for me…low tolerance to meds…that's why I cut it in half…..I probably have a few weeks of progression before I can get off of zolpidem. I am semi retired but still work and never had blood pressure problems but I have a feeling breaking off the helper will put me in to a different category. I have set December as my stop working date and once I am done working I will definitely be more prepared to deal with the insomnia.

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My husband is 65 and has Lewy Body Dementia. His geriatric psychiatrist is taking him off of Ambien after 2 years, since it appears it is not working. He is now on a low dose, 12.5 of Seroquel for anxiety and to help him sleep more sound. Do I wean him off the 5 mg. or cold turkey the Ambien?

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