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, lucky1038

@stout79

I just picked up a prescription for Trazodone for insomnia. How long does it take to work? Like, does it start to help the first night or did it take a few days to help? Any weird side effects I should be aware of? Thanks in advance.
J

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Hello @stout79,

I see that Erika, @erikas, tagged me on this discussion about sleep and the use of Trazodone. I used Trazodone for a number of years to deal with sleeplessness as well as pain. It really did work quite well. It seemed to work quite quickly after I started taking it. It helped me with both the pain as well as sleep. I changed about 2 years ago to Cymbalta and that works well too. As I've never taken Ambien, Lunesta or other sleeping pills so I have no way to compare it to them.

The only problem with Trazodone was the foggy feeling in the morning. I only took 25 mg at night, but I found that the fogginess didn't lift until about noon. If I took it an hour earlier than when I actually went to bed, the fogginess in the morning lifted sooner. However, remember that each person's reaction to medication is different since our bodies metabolize meds in different ways.

Once you start taking the Trazodone, I'd like to hear how it works for you. Will you post again and share your response to it?

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Thank You so much! You say you weaned off of Ambiem? I've not had a problem when I have switched from Ambiem to Lunesta. I do 10mg of Ambeim a night plus usually 100mg of Diphenhydramine at bed time!(50mg tablets)
Forgot to ask, are there any side effects you've had on the Trazadone??
Sometimes it's good sometimes not. Have had sleep problems since probably 40 years ago! Problem now is I've had Late Stage Chronic Lyme Sisease for the last 2 1/2 years.
So if I'm haveing a "Lyme Episode" some night I may add another one of the 50mg.
I'm going to do some more research on it! I have a very good PCD! He's always open to help me, even tho he alwalys refused the other diagnoses from other doctors that I have Lyme! Says because we live in New Mexico and we don't have those kind of ticks! Have tried to show him research but he still dosen't believe me! So I just let it go and we don't talk about it!
Thanks Again!
I'll get back with you with any other questions.
Sundance (RB)

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@sundance6

Thank You so much! You say you weaned off of Ambiem? I've not had a problem when I have switched from Ambiem to Lunesta. I do 10mg of Ambeim a night plus usually 100mg of Diphenhydramine at bed time!(50mg tablets)
Forgot to ask, are there any side effects you've had on the Trazadone??
Sometimes it's good sometimes not. Have had sleep problems since probably 40 years ago! Problem now is I've had Late Stage Chronic Lyme Sisease for the last 2 1/2 years.
So if I'm haveing a "Lyme Episode" some night I may add another one of the 50mg.
I'm going to do some more research on it! I have a very good PCD! He's always open to help me, even tho he alwalys refused the other diagnoses from other doctors that I have Lyme! Says because we live in New Mexico and we don't have those kind of ticks! Have tried to show him research but he still dosen't believe me! So I just let it go and we don't talk about it!
Thanks Again!
I'll get back with you with any other questions.
Sundance (RB)

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Just an update on switching off Ambiem onto Trazadone! As I had mentioned my PCD is a Jewel! When I emailed him about making the switch he emailed me back within two hours!
He checked in my records and found 7 years ago a new PCD, who was inexperienced, tried to take me off Ambiem and put me on Tarazadone becuase the medical group said, Ambiem is to dangerous for,"OLD PEOPLE, like me!
She did not wien me off the Ambiem and went to the Tarasadone directly!
Within about 7 days I started having many of the side effects mentioned when I just did a search on it.
Headaches, dizzeyness and so on were starting! I was on a week business trip to El Paso, from my home in ABQ.
By the second day of my trip the headaches were some of the worst I had ever experienced! The other side effects made it even worse. So on that day I stopped taking the Tarazadone! Was still having them the next three days. I emailed the doctor to tell her how I was and she she told me two days later to stop taking the Trazadone! Thanks, two days after I emailed her. Sent her an email back I had stopped two days before.
I made the drive back to ABQ, even though the headaches were still there I took IB's to help the hurt! I made it home ok. The next day I was feeling better and even went skiing with my adult daughter.
Felt fine that night when I went to bed. Did not have any alcoholic that night!
Around 3 AM in the morning as close as we can tell I got up I think to go to the bathroom. Somehow I feel down our stairway 20' and landed on my head on the tile floor, along the way my head was cut open by light fixtures in the stair well.
It goes on a lot deeper, but if you've ever seen a Dateline Story about someone pushing someone down a stairway you can imaginr the Bloody scene!
Ended up having a massive brain bleed which was not discoverd until a week later when I started having Sezuries. Which lead to me being in a coma on life support for 7 days.
It's taken me these several years to fully recover, although still not fully!
So the end of this story is I think Travasdone may be good for some, just as everyone has said everything has it's side effects. In reachearching my experience I think the new doctor had not sufficuntly weined me off the Ambiem!
Needless to say when I finally came out of the experience, I FIRED her!
I know it is very hard for our "Baby Boomer Generation" to disrespect doctors! But for me I learned a valuable lesson! WE ARE THE ONLY ONE IN CHARGE OF OUR BODIES! We must examine what the medical profession tell us! don't think they are right because they say they are!
It was a valuable leason learned that has helped my family and myself since then!
Thanks agian for the information! It just didn't work out for me!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!
This is a very hard time of the year for those who may be sick and alone!
My Blessing to You!
Sundance (RB)

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@arachel

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.

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I have been taking Ambien every night for at least 10 yrs. My internist doesnt’t want me to and over the past few yrs, I believe has stopped seeing me and passes me over to his PA. My son thinks by taking Ambien I am becoming forgetful and addicted to it. I’ve heard it’s not good to keep taking this for the over 65 population, which I am. I have sleep apnea and have tried many cpap models. When I first started, I had no problem and used it for several months. I found I didnt have to take the Ambien anymore as I slept better. Over time, I can no longer use the masks as it makes me feel claustrophobic and anxious. Soo, no cpap and back to Ambien! Not happy about it but not sure what to do next!

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@azteacher7 Welcome back to Mayo Clinic Connect, a place to give and get support.

You have been taking Ambien for 10 years and your son and former internist have expressed their want for you to stop Ambien for several reasons. You were successful in not taking Ambien for a few months due to the use of a cpap machine for sleep apnea. However now you feel claustrophobic and anxious due to the cpap machine and do note wear it. Ambien is again needed to sleep.

It sounds like you are a vicious cycle and you're not sure what to do to break this cycle.

May I ask what kind of a relationship you have with your new provider (P.A). I'm also wondering if you have considered behavioral interventions for sleep and anxiety? Many people find that medications don't address all sleep and anxiety symptoms and that therapy alongside medication works best. Do you think your current provider would refer and coordinate with a behavioral health specialist for symptom management?

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@erikas

@azteacher7 Welcome back to Mayo Clinic Connect, a place to give and get support.

You have been taking Ambien for 10 years and your son and former internist have expressed their want for you to stop Ambien for several reasons. You were successful in not taking Ambien for a few months due to the use of a cpap machine for sleep apnea. However now you feel claustrophobic and anxious due to the cpap machine and do note wear it. Ambien is again needed to sleep.

It sounds like you are a vicious cycle and you're not sure what to do to break this cycle.

May I ask what kind of a relationship you have with your new provider (P.A). I'm also wondering if you have considered behavioral interventions for sleep and anxiety? Many people find that medications don't address all sleep and anxiety symptoms and that therapy alongside medication works best. Do you think your current provider would refer and coordinate with a behavioral health specialist for symptom management?

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I don’t have a very close relationship with the PA. I want to get a new primary dr but just keep putting it off. I know I also need to see a psychologist for several issues and have known this for a while. Since Covid began and having Medicare+a supplement, I’m not sure how to find someone at this time. I’m not opposed to behavioral interventions, not sure what that would look like.

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@azteacher7

I don’t have a very close relationship with the PA. I want to get a new primary dr but just keep putting it off. I know I also need to see a psychologist for several issues and have known this for a while. Since Covid began and having Medicare+a supplement, I’m not sure how to find someone at this time. I’m not opposed to behavioral interventions, not sure what that would look like.

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Ask @ of your neighbors & friends about who their MD I’d & if they like them! Google them and read the reviews! Also… @ Yr in my city they publish a magazine where they rate the Top Docs !! Do research! Same w/ Psych… Google The Top Psychologist in … and insert your city & state! See what cones up!! Talk to your insurance Co & see who is the most popular MD! They’ll them you wish to be part of the team for you to participate in your care… not just assigned an MD!! I did that and found good ones in @ insurers in service list! Just Google them! Also look up the State Medical Licensing Bd… see if the one you want or have heard about has been written up.

Hope you find YOUR MD.. ask others that if they as MDs needed a Doc.. or their wife or husband needed a Doc… sho would they trust & go to??? ie ObGyn..

Wishing you good physical & mental health!!
M

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@azteacher7

I don’t have a very close relationship with the PA. I want to get a new primary dr but just keep putting it off. I know I also need to see a psychologist for several issues and have known this for a while. Since Covid began and having Medicare+a supplement, I’m not sure how to find someone at this time. I’m not opposed to behavioral interventions, not sure what that would look like.

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@azteacher7 That's great you are open.

I've worked in insurance and I know insurance can be extremely confusing for folks. You likely either have a supplement or a managed cared policy. If you have an insurance card you can call customer service and ask for a list of providers that your insurance covers or you can call local providers and ask them if they take your insurance. You mentioned that you had a son. I'm wondering if this is something that you both can figure out together?

Regarding behavioral interventions, you might want to look for therapist that specializes in sleep and/or anxiety.

Below I have linked a common website you can find therapists in your area. Due to COVID-19 most therapists are online. This is a convenient option.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/
Below I have linked AZ therapists that take Medicare.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/medicare/arizona
Have you ever done an online search for in-network providers for insurance and specialties?

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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 been on it for years as well. I can't sleep without of them. But going try to cut my in half for aweek then going try stop completing. Been so long on it and with this sleep apnea started fell more tired and sleepy doing the day. So going get off of it. I afraid to do it cold turkey.

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@lisalovestim

I been on it for years as well. I can't sleep without of them. But going try to cut my in half for aweek then going try stop completing. Been so long on it and with this sleep apnea started fell more tired and sleepy doing the day. So going get off of it. I afraid to do it cold turkey.

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I was able to wean off ambien by substituting trazodone. I read here that someone had a bad reaction from the Trazodone. I was lucky. You can read about my journey on this blog. I am ecstatic to be off Ambien. It’s close to 2 years now and I may have taken Ambien 3 x during this period (for emergency purposes). Good luck. It can be done.

Liked by azteacher7

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@sndishpr

I was able to wean off ambien by substituting trazodone. I read here that someone had a bad reaction from the Trazodone. I was lucky. You can read about my journey on this blog. I am ecstatic to be off Ambien. It’s close to 2 years now and I may have taken Ambien 3 x during this period (for emergency purposes). Good luck. It can be done.

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Did you cut back on the Ambien first or just replace it immediately with Trazadone?

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@kelbel

Did you cut back on the Ambien first or just replace it immediately with Trazadone?

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I think it would help if you read my journey @sndishpr I think my first post was August 2018. Let me know if you can’t find it.

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@lisalovestim

I been on it for years as well. I can't sleep without of them. But going try to cut my in half for aweek then going try stop completing. Been so long on it and with this sleep apnea started fell more tired and sleepy doing the day. So going get off of it. I afraid to do it cold turkey.

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@lisalovestim & @kelbel Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, a place to give and get support.

@lisalovestim You mentioned that you have been on Ambien for years and want to get off of it. Have you discussed this with your provider? Sometimes can help with the tapering process, as @sndishpr said. I'm not sure about Ambien but I do know that some medications can be dangerous to go off of without a provider's guidance.

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