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

@lisalucier

Hi, @melissa15 — welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Sounds like you've been doing some research on zolpidem (Ambien), which is wise.

Here is some Mayo Clinic information on this medication you might find useful:
– general information about zolpidem (Ambien), https://mayocl.in/2nZkT0L
– article @kanaazpereira mentioned several months ago in this discussion by a sleep medicine specialist on whether dependence on zolpidem (Ambien) is possible and potential side effects, https://mayocl.in/2OSZxxi

How are things going with your sleep as you are tapering, @melissa15?

@maryshipley — wondered if you'd share more about what you said about thinking you were emotionally addicted to zolpidem (Ambien)?

Jump to this post

I think for me, I took it for so long it became a security blanket. I would almost panic If on a business trip and I forgot to bring the medication. Just going down 30 percent and now able to go into a deeper sleep, has been reassuring. Hope this helps someone.

REPLY

I developed insomnia when I started having seizures. The seizures were medication induced. I have tried everything for sleep but always come back to ambian. I am 65 and don't have any side effects from having taken it for so long. My doctor weighs the damage my body experiences without sleep and sleep with medication. Take as directed or you will regret running out before you can get your refill. Some insurance companies will only give you 15 a month without a authorization from your doctor.

REPLY

@susanjc

Hello Susan

I have appreciated reading your many posts. I was especially interested in this post that speaks of having seizures that were medication induced. Once you discontinued the med, did the seizures end? Are there specific types of meds that cause seizures? Do you currently take anti-seizure meds?

REPLY
@maryshipley

I think for me, I took it for so long it became a security blanket. I would almost panic If on a business trip and I forgot to bring the medication. Just going down 30 percent and now able to go into a deeper sleep, has been reassuring. Hope this helps someone.

Jump to this post

Taken 10 mg. For years & my dr. Will no longer give me a script. I am now in that panic mode! Help, looking for the best way to stop. I am 67 and still working.

REPLY

Hi, @mickie75 – thinking of you and wondering how it's going with the zolpidem (Ambien)?

@maryshipley — how are things going with the lower doses of zolpidem (Ambien) and increasing the trazadone?

REPLY
@lisalucier

Hi, @mickie75 – thinking of you and wondering how it's going with the zolpidem (Ambien)?

@maryshipley — how are things going with the lower doses of zolpidem (Ambien) and increasing the trazadone?

Jump to this post

I am at half dose of ambien. Still waking a couple of times however. Working on meditation and have STOPPED worrying about going to sleep. Thanks for checking. Not an easy process.

REPLY
@dlms

Taken 10 mg. For years & my dr. Will no longer give me a script. I am now in that panic mode! Help, looking for the best way to stop. I am 67 and still working.

Jump to this post

Try Trazodone. You can take up tp 300 mil. Prescribed by my doc. I would try to wean off ambien, to hard to quit cold turkey. Your doc. Should agree to this.

REPLY
@maryshipley

I think for me, I took it for so long it became a security blanket. I would almost panic If on a business trip and I forgot to bring the medication. Just going down 30 percent and now able to go into a deeper sleep, has been reassuring. Hope this helps someone.

Jump to this post

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.

REPLY
@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.

Jump to this post

Go slowly is my advise. I know where you are. I was on 15 mil. For 20 years. I have been listening to meditation apps just before bedtime. This is helping me. Teaches me to clear my mind so that I can fall asleep. Also focusing on not worrying about sleep. You will make it will through this. One day at a time. Message me anytime.

REPLY
@maryshipley

Go slowly is my advise. I know where you are. I was on 15 mil. For 20 years. I have been listening to meditation apps just before bedtime. This is helping me. Teaches me to clear my mind so that I can fall asleep. Also focusing on not worrying about sleep. You will make it will through this. One day at a time. Message me anytime.

Jump to this post

My biggest fear is the fear of not falling asleep! Don’t know how therapy will help. The therapist I spoke with said that first I must overcome my anxieties and then work with my doctor help me wean off meds. Thanks for the encouragement.

REPLY
@arachel

Hi Helen:
Thank you for taking the time to tell your story. I sometimes feel that I’m the odd one out having to rely on both antidepressants and ambien at the same time. After reading many posts here at Mayo Clinic Connect, I am realizing that I’m not such an odd duck. My doctors also don’t discourage me from taking the ambien, but my family doctor has suggested that I begin lowering my Effexor dosage and has been helping me with the process. I’ve been taking Effexor for 15 years and I am willing to cut it down or get off of it entirely just to see how I do without it. I always had a problem with insomnia but didn’t realize that there was a drug out there that would make such a difference in my quality of life. In 2001, my first husband died of cancer at age 54. I was his caretaker and held down a full time job at the same time. Sleep consisted of an hour or two before I had to get up to tend to my husband. Then I would try to get back to sleep for a while before it would start all over again. I was a hot mess before I ended up at the doctors office. He made sure I understood how important it was for me to sleep and prescribed ambien. I was lucky enough to have my mother in law spend some time helping me and I was able to try the ambien. It was right then and there that I realized that I didn’t know what a good nights sleep was. I’ve been taking it ever since. I wonder if I could live without the ambien now, but I am so afraid to try. They say, if its not broken, don’t fit it, but in this case does that still apply?

Jump to this post

Hi there, I was taking ambien for several months, however believe it was messsing with my mind. I don't really know if it was just ME….but it scared me that I needed this to sleep…and sleep I did.
Because I do like to have drinks several times a week, it truly is not recommended to take ambien with alcohol, therefore….that is what I believe is what was happening. Strange mind things going on.
I am exhausted every day now, trying to decide what to do.
Thinking of going back on trazedone, which helped with sleep for a couple years but I seemed to reach a tolerance level and kind of stopped working.
Why do we hear such bad things about ambien, if Dr's keep prescribing?

REPLY
@maryshipley

I am at half dose of ambien. Still waking a couple of times however. Working on meditation and have STOPPED worrying about going to sleep. Thanks for checking. Not an easy process.

Jump to this post

Meditation, playing calming sounds (app-I love)…. plus rubbing sleep lotion on does seem to help. Melatonin really doesn't seem to help me but I take 10mg a couple times a week…
I hate feeling lost, foggy and tired but really need to find a miracle drug that doesn't mess with me!

REPLY
@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.

Jump to this post

I quit cold turkey as it was messing with me! It's been tough. My allergies and worrying is not helping.
I am still trying to figure this out but think it's best to stay away from ambien.

REPLY
@findrest

Hi there, I was taking ambien for several months, however believe it was messsing with my mind. I don't really know if it was just ME….but it scared me that I needed this to sleep…and sleep I did.
Because I do like to have drinks several times a week, it truly is not recommended to take ambien with alcohol, therefore….that is what I believe is what was happening. Strange mind things going on.
I am exhausted every day now, trying to decide what to do.
Thinking of going back on trazedone, which helped with sleep for a couple years but I seemed to reach a tolerance level and kind of stopped working.
Why do we hear such bad things about ambien, if Dr's keep prescribing?

Jump to this post

I guess I’m lucky. I have a glass of wine every day around 5-6. Take my ambien and Xanax around 10:00 and feel fine and we’ll rested the next day. If I try skipping the ambien, I end up taking it after not being able fall asleep. My doc really wants me off ambien even though I take only 5 mg.

REPLY
@maryshipley

Go slowly is my advise. I know where you are. I was on 15 mil. For 20 years. I have been listening to meditation apps just before bedtime. This is helping me. Teaches me to clear my mind so that I can fall asleep. Also focusing on not worrying about sleep. You will make it will through this. One day at a time. Message me anytime.

Jump to this post

So you have stopped ambien as well?

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.