Weaning off zolpidem (Ambien)

Posted by lusia @lusia, Dec 9, 2017

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

@jakedduck1

@incoff
Did you ever have nightmares prior to supplementing melatonin? Have you tried Magnesium?
I suppose you follow the normal pre-sleep protocols. No TV, phone, computer, darken house, relax for an hour or two before bed, go out in the sun everyday, sleep in cool room, go to bed everyday at the same time and get up at the same time, no large or spicy meals close to bedtime, no caffeine, etc, although my Mom had coffee right before bed and was asleep within 5 minutes. 10 minutes on a bad night and I stayed up all night or up to a week on rare occasions.
Hoping your sleep improves,
Jake

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Hi Jake,

I seldom had nightmares prior to using melatonin, and since I had them every time I used it I had to attribute the nightmares to the melatonin. And I try to be careful with the sleep protocols. I bought a pair of glasses to block blue light and start wearing them @10pm every night, which seems to actually help.

As for caffeine, I have completely stopped it. I miss my coffee, but I can't take a chance on it impeding my sleep. My husband can drink 2 or 3 cups between 5pm and 10pm and fall right asleep, which drives me crazy LOL!!!

Lynn

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I have been taking ambien for over 17 years. 10 mg once nightly. I first started taking it to help me sleep with my new CPAP machine the doctor started me on for sleep apnea. I became quickly addicted. In the beginnings it worked great lots of sleep. Then after about a month or two I started having those bad symptoms of getting up, fixing meals and eating everything I could find. I would have sex and not remember it the next morning. Also, I have bizarre conversations with people at home or on the phone and not remember it. I have even driven to Walmart and purchased groceries and not remember it until I found the bill and saw the time stamp. You would think this would have scared me enough to stop taking it but it hasn’t. I developed psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis so I continued to take the ambein because it is like taking a hypnotic drug. I knew I had psoriatic arthritis but when I took the pill I didn’t feel the pain. It put me in a dream/wake stage. I have had to apologize to a lot of people/friends/family the next day after taking ambien. So, I have said all this to say that I need to wean myself off of ambien because I am having severe memory loss. It almost seems like I have dementia. I am only 55 year old man and just retired from teaching elementary school for 30 years. It really feels like my mind is changing and not in a good way. I need some advice on quitting and still being able to get some sleep. Maybe someday I will blog about all the bizarre stories/talks/actions that happen when I take ambien. I am truly addicted and need help. I am very afraid of the side effects that will come with the withdrawal. Please help.

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@justsleepplease

I have been taking ambien for over 17 years. 10 mg once nightly. I first started taking it to help me sleep with my new CPAP machine the doctor started me on for sleep apnea. I became quickly addicted. In the beginnings it worked great lots of sleep. Then after about a month or two I started having those bad symptoms of getting up, fixing meals and eating everything I could find. I would have sex and not remember it the next morning. Also, I have bizarre conversations with people at home or on the phone and not remember it. I have even driven to Walmart and purchased groceries and not remember it until I found the bill and saw the time stamp. You would think this would have scared me enough to stop taking it but it hasn’t. I developed psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis so I continued to take the ambein because it is like taking a hypnotic drug. I knew I had psoriatic arthritis but when I took the pill I didn’t feel the pain. It put me in a dream/wake stage. I have had to apologize to a lot of people/friends/family the next day after taking ambien. So, I have said all this to say that I need to wean myself off of ambien because I am having severe memory loss. It almost seems like I have dementia. I am only 55 year old man and just retired from teaching elementary school for 30 years. It really feels like my mind is changing and not in a good way. I need some advice on quitting and still being able to get some sleep. Maybe someday I will blog about all the bizarre stories/talks/actions that happen when I take ambien. I am truly addicted and need help. I am very afraid of the side effects that will come with the withdrawal. Please help.

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@justsleepplease, good for you for posting to this community. The first step is recognizing that this drug is no longer helping you and is harmful for you. I'm tagging fellow members like @bernese53 @blazytracy @robbinr @mickie75 @lpole @maryshipley @sussan @sndishpr @sundance6 @jeffkboyce who can share their experiences with tapering off of Ambien (zolpidem).

JustSleep, are you working with your doctor to develop a tapering schedule that's right for you?

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@justsleepplease

I have been taking ambien for over 17 years. 10 mg once nightly. I first started taking it to help me sleep with my new CPAP machine the doctor started me on for sleep apnea. I became quickly addicted. In the beginnings it worked great lots of sleep. Then after about a month or two I started having those bad symptoms of getting up, fixing meals and eating everything I could find. I would have sex and not remember it the next morning. Also, I have bizarre conversations with people at home or on the phone and not remember it. I have even driven to Walmart and purchased groceries and not remember it until I found the bill and saw the time stamp. You would think this would have scared me enough to stop taking it but it hasn’t. I developed psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis so I continued to take the ambein because it is like taking a hypnotic drug. I knew I had psoriatic arthritis but when I took the pill I didn’t feel the pain. It put me in a dream/wake stage. I have had to apologize to a lot of people/friends/family the next day after taking ambien. So, I have said all this to say that I need to wean myself off of ambien because I am having severe memory loss. It almost seems like I have dementia. I am only 55 year old man and just retired from teaching elementary school for 30 years. It really feels like my mind is changing and not in a good way. I need some advice on quitting and still being able to get some sleep. Maybe someday I will blog about all the bizarre stories/talks/actions that happen when I take ambien. I am truly addicted and need help. I am very afraid of the side effects that will come with the withdrawal. Please help.

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I too have taken ambien for maybe 20 years now but generally not the full dose of 10 mgs. I have weaned myself down to about 2 mgs per night as more than that triggers Periodic Involuntary Limb Movement (PILM) which won't allow sleep even with the ambien. However, I cannot get below the 2 mgs. I am able to get to sleep on most nights without ambien but wake up 2, 3 or 4 hours later and am wide awake and unable to get back to sleep. I would love to no longer need ambien to sleep. I would be willing to just tough it out if I knew that after a week or so I could sleep through the night but I cannot find any medical literature indicating that to be the expectation. I fear I am stuck with Ambien for the rest of my life.

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I had been taking Zolpidem ( Ambien genetic) for about 20 years. My dose has been 12.5 mg for the entire time. It was very helpful in dealing with insomnia. Recently (about two months ago), I decided to stop taking this medication. It was rough for about three nights because of light sleep and restlessness. I discovered that I could get a 7-hour night of sleep thereafter and that it was achievable night after night. I am still off of Zolpidem 12.5 mg, My sleep seems to be normal. I was able to take one zolpidem four nights ago to help me sleep through pain from a shoulder injury, but could get to sleep without this medication thereafter without sleepless, light sleep returning.
I was able to stop nightly use of zolpidem once I got through three nights of very uncomfortable, restless sleep when I stopped taking this medication.
Wish you success and encourage you to persevere. Talk with your prescribing physician before you do this, however.

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@victorkach

I had been taking Zolpidem ( Ambien genetic) for about 20 years. My dose has been 12.5 mg for the entire time. It was very helpful in dealing with insomnia. Recently (about two months ago), I decided to stop taking this medication. It was rough for about three nights because of light sleep and restlessness. I discovered that I could get a 7-hour night of sleep thereafter and that it was achievable night after night. I am still off of Zolpidem 12.5 mg, My sleep seems to be normal. I was able to take one zolpidem four nights ago to help me sleep through pain from a shoulder injury, but could get to sleep without this medication thereafter without sleepless, light sleep returning.
I was able to stop nightly use of zolpidem once I got through three nights of very uncomfortable, restless sleep when I stopped taking this medication.
Wish you success and encourage you to persevere. Talk with your prescribing physician before you do this, however.

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Thank you for sharing your experience. I shall talk to my doc at my appointment in September and with her approval, pick a week with no commitments and try to stop taking it all together.

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