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

I find Ambien 5 milligrams is the least harmful way to fall asleep and at 70 I’m not worried about being addicted. If it’s not one thing, it’s another!

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@clutch

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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A friend of mine has been doing benzo's for a long time….he is mid 60's and literally can't get off of them. He can't sleep. He use to do ambien and was fine. He lives around finding his script or he is going to have a heart attack

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@earl66

A friend of mine has been doing benzo's for a long time….he is mid 60's and literally can't get off of them. He can't sleep. He use to do ambien and was fine. He lives around finding his script or he is going to have a heart attack

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@earl66
Hi,
I think until your friend makes a conscious decision to stop these meds or the doctor puts a stop to it there is little that can be done.
I do believe there are better sleep aids than Benzodiazepines in my opinion anyway. I told my doctor after getting of Klonopin when she tried to give me another Benzo drug “If your so fond of them you take them. Benzodiazepines are the drug of choice but it depends on how you take most drugs as to how safe they will be. Your friend shouldn’t rely on any medication to sleep on a nighty basis. There are other things that aid sleep.

No tv
No music
No cell phone use
No computer use
Sleep in a cool room with fresh air
Get plenty of light during the day to help your body efficiently use Melatonin
No caffeine at least 4hrs before bed
Go to bed and get up at the same time
Don’t nap
cognitive behavioral therapy.

I hope your friend can get off these meds and rely on his own body to do what it can do better than these drugs given the chance. But his body needs help. If he needs to do things that are conducive to sleep. We tend to take advantage of our bodies and expect it to function perfectly when we abuse it. Ain’t Hanna happen I’m afraid.
Good luck to your friend,
Jake

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@jakedduck1

@earl66
Hi,
I think until your friend makes a conscious decision to stop these meds or the doctor puts a stop to it there is little that can be done.
I do believe there are better sleep aids than Benzodiazepines in my opinion anyway. I told my doctor after getting of Klonopin when she tried to give me another Benzo drug “If your so fond of them you take them. Benzodiazepines are the drug of choice but it depends on how you take most drugs as to how safe they will be. Your friend shouldn’t rely on any medication to sleep on a nighty basis. There are other things that aid sleep.

No tv
No music
No cell phone use
No computer use
Sleep in a cool room with fresh air
Get plenty of light during the day to help your body efficiently use Melatonin
No caffeine at least 4hrs before bed
Go to bed and get up at the same time
Don’t nap
cognitive behavioral therapy.

I hope your friend can get off these meds and rely on his own body to do what it can do better than these drugs given the chance. But his body needs help. If he needs to do things that are conducive to sleep. We tend to take advantage of our bodies and expect it to function perfectly when we abuse it. Ain’t Hanna happen I’m afraid.
Good luck to your friend,
Jake

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@jakedduck1 – Hi. FYI – after using Ambien (5 mg) and Xanax (.25] religiously for many years, I made a decision to wean myself from these drugs. You may read my journey on this blog. I worked with a cognitive behavioral sleep therapist for 5 months. I practiced all the aids you mentioned. Bottom line, I now take 37 mg Trazodone nightly and sleep pretty well. My PCP is thrilled that I am off the other meds. Without this amount of Trazodone, I spent weeks sleep deprived. Understand, not everyone can sleep without some help, even practicing all you suggested. Trazodone seems to be the drug of choice of many psychiatrists.

Liked by Leonard

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@sndishpr

@jakedduck1 – Hi. FYI – after using Ambien (5 mg) and Xanax (.25] religiously for many years, I made a decision to wean myself from these drugs. You may read my journey on this blog. I worked with a cognitive behavioral sleep therapist for 5 months. I practiced all the aids you mentioned. Bottom line, I now take 37 mg Trazodone nightly and sleep pretty well. My PCP is thrilled that I am off the other meds. Without this amount of Trazodone, I spent weeks sleep deprived. Understand, not everyone can sleep without some help, even practicing all you suggested. Trazodone seems to be the drug of choice of many psychiatrists.

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@sndishpr
I agree many have sleep issues but I believe there are reasons people can’t sleep and those issues need to be addressed. Trazodone is a good choice if someone is depressed or has anxiety problems. To often doctors don’t investigate the reason for sleeplessness. I hope your being treated for the actual reason why your having these issues.
Jake

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@jakedduck1

@sndishpr
I agree many have sleep issues but I believe there are reasons people can’t sleep and those issues need to be addressed. Trazodone is a good choice if someone is depressed or has anxiety problems. To often doctors don’t investigate the reason for sleeplessness. I hope your being treated for the actual reason why your having these issues.
Jake

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@jakedduck1 I am not depressed or have anxiety issues. My sleep therapist and PCP agree that some people are miserable sleepers and that Trazodone is their drug of choice for me.

Liked by Leonard

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@sndishpr

@jakedduck1 I am not depressed or have anxiety issues. My sleep therapist and PCP agree that some people are miserable sleepers and that Trazodone is their drug of choice for me.

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@sndishpr
Hi
I hope you sleep like a baby every night!!!!!
💤 💤,
Jake

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@arachel

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.

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Hi Arachel,
I sure wouldn’t try going off Effexor and Ambien at the same time. I would do the Effexor first…slowly if possible. You’ll need your sleep because the side effects are trying. Then if you want to get off the Ambien wean yourself off that with the help of a sleep specialist.

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This was a special on Lynne Ling Show on CNN recently. You may want to watch. and talk to your doctor.If you or anyone you know is taking a benzodiazapine medicine, this is a 'MUST SEE?HEAR'.
Pls! Please watch this to the very end! GOTO: https://youtu.be/Yh54uj6qH98

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Hi, @arachel – wondering how you are doing? You mentioned going back on venlafaxine (Effexor) and cutting back on Zolpidem (Ambien) instead. Is your sleep still restless?

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@sndishpr

Hi. Am new to Connect. I’ve been on ambien (5 mg) for years. Absolutely a security blanket. I also take .25 Xanax and a melatonin. My doctor wants me off the ambien and Xanax and thinks therapy to reduce stress and anxiety is the answer. I have no stress or anxiety at this time in my life, I couldn’t be happier. However, If I don’t take the ambien at bedtime, I eventually take it hours later after not sleeping, Need help in weaning.

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Sorry, I bumped a button and lost what I started. Basically, take one pill and crush it – then mix / shake it with 3 mg of water – use two syringes [ 1mg. and a 3mg. ] to measure out 1/100 reduction per day until you get down to 0. It will take 100 days. You will have to make a chart with your reduction schedule. Double check your math! Log each day and the reduction on a calendar. You should talk to your doctor first. This is the only way to slowly wean off very slowly. Your brain may fight the reduction and you may not sleep from time to time. Remember, this is hard, a pain in the butt. It will work. I will be working on a table of measurements sometime this winter and post it to this site (if allowed). Good luck.

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@gman007

Some excellent points Georgette! I made a commitment to myself that when I quit drinking and smoking that I would not make an effort to tell everyone I saw doing either what great harm they were doing to their bodies and that they could quit if they really wanted. Life choices must be made by everyone for their life and it is not our place to judge, but I will offer support if anyone asks because they are attempting to make a lifestyle change. I think your making a choice that is best for you and your health, regardless of what anyone else thinks, is admirable.

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Dear Gary, your response is a couple years old so I have no clue whether you will receive this or not, but I have been taking Ambien (5-10 mgs)for about 20 years and am currently confronting a significant side effect due to my extended exposure to the drug, which is why I am on the board looking for best approaches to ween myself off completely. The reason I am investigating this is because Ambien is destroying my memory. I am in my early 40s, am on no other meds, am healthy (exercise 5x a week), have my Masters degree, and am a card carrying member of MENSA. My intellectual capabilities have enabled me to thrive my entire life. Over the last 5-7 years, my memory has slowly gotten worse and worse over time. I use to have an encyclopedic memory and was untouchable at games like Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit. Now, it seems like answers are just beyond my grasps. I have an extremely hard time remembering any new info I have to process. Meeting new people is a nightmare. I have built in as many crutches as possible, entering names, instructions, details of anything I am told into my phone, but it’s hardly the way I want to live my life. I am terrified that the damage I’ve done to my brain cannot be fixed & gradually over time I will develop dementia. Honestly, if I was single I would probably accept this fate because I am terrified of the insomnia that awaits once I start trying to ween myself of Ambien. However, I have 3 young sons, and I can’t imagine not being able to watch them grow up and Build families of their own. All that being said, please do not take Ambien for an extended period of time. The last handful of years are a blur and even my old “hardwired” memories are fading. You don’t want to deal with the memory challenges I am confronting, and if anyone is reading this and has successfully weaned yourself off of Ambien, please share your story.

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Im in the same boat. Been taking ambien for many years at the top dosage 10 mg, wven after they changed the recommendations that women ahould take less, my dr had no problem with me taking the full 10. Im trying to wean myself off as i have begun abusing it by taking small amounts during the day after accidentally realizing that it takes away all my anxiety, something i have been struggling with after trying to wean from and ultimately reinstating effexor. On a slipperly slope, ive admitted this to doctors and asked for something else and am told "just don't take it during the day" which is about as helpful as telling an alcoholic to just not drink. I feel like the ambien actually exacerbates anxiety and depression but in the moment, it helps it, so its hard not to take it.

Liked by cheshirecat

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Hi. I’m sorry you are having such a battle; one I know only too well. You mentioned you have been taking it many years at the top dosage. How many years?
I have been taking it at least fifteen years at 12.5 and I believe that is the highest dosage. I have tried numerous different things : other drugs, antihistamines, edibles came closest to anything that worked. I have had two sleep studies and they recommended that I stay in in the Ambien because I had tried so many different Pharmaceuticals.
What did you mean about “women taking less?” Was a reason given?
Right now I am trying, again, a CPAP machine. It just might work this time. It’s a lot more comfortable than it was seven years ago, when I gave up trying. It’s supposed to help (maybe get off the Ambien) also with clenching (teeth) during the night, which is a real problem for me.
Let me know how you’re doing.😊

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@kanaazpereira

Hi @lusia,

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:
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/insomnia-29e169/

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.

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My doctor said it can cause some memory loss for seniors I am 73

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