Zolpidem or Doxepin for Insomnia

Posted by dsheahan1951 @dsheahan1951, Apr 26, 2022

I am 70 yrs old and have been taking zolpidem since 2011. Started with 5mg, only needing it when on vacation sleeping in a strange place, so not very often. I have multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's. I now take 2.5mg every night (5mg tablet broken in half). I don't know if I'm considered to be "addicted" or not but I don't think I'm having adverse effects. I hear about some side effects some people have, like sleepwalking or falling. I have not experienced any side effects that I'm aware of. I have tried melatonin in different strengths, even the 1mg makes me feel a hangover effect. Recently my drug insurance plan has rejected my refill request for zolpidem because there apparently is a cut-off age of 70 because of risk of falling. My doctor will have to put through an appeal if we want to continue the drug. Has anyone experienced any nasty side effects from zolpidem?

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I am a 70 yr old female with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's. Doing pretty well. My doctor has just prescribed doxepin as a sleeping aid to replace the zolpidem (Ambien) I've been taking for several years. Has anyone experienced negative effects from doxepin? Thanks.

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Ambien never worked for me ever. I wish you luck in finding your answers. I’ll keep you in my thoughts.

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I've taken zolpidem periodically for sleep over the years. I started with 10 mg, but found it caused a drug hangover in the morning, so switched to 5 mg. Now I use 2.5 mg if I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep within about 30 to 40 minutes.

I often take melatonin before bed, but after experimenting with different doses, have found that a very low dose of 300 mcg (0.3 mg) works the best for me. The higher doses did seem to produce a drug hangover effect.

I'm surprised that your insurance cuts you off from zolpidem at age 70. I'm 73 and can effortlessly get an Rx thru insurance.

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I've been taking 10 mg Ambien for 15 years and it usually works well for me. I make sure I take it right before bed so I have no problems with doing things and not remembering, falling, etc. I have no drowsiness the next day with Ambien, whereas over-the-counter sleep stuff makes me feel terrible the next day. My sleep issues seem to be a generalized anxiety/active mind for which I take Celexa. I don't like taking medication so I've tried to taper off the Ambien a few times, usually with the help of a sleep psychologist. It always involves having some short nights where I feel horrible the next day, so I end up going back to knowing I can get adequate sleep every night.

My doctor did have to file an appeal with my insurance company in order to have the Ambien covered by them. Recently, a new GP reduced my dosage to 5 mg because that's the FDA recommendation. I returned to my former GP and she continued the 10 mg. However, I'm hearing more and more about doctors, like yours, not wanting to prescribe Ambien long-term. It's very concerning but I'll just have to find a way to deal with it if docs stop prescribing it. I should say I've tried many other things for insomnia — acupuncture, meditation, Chinese herbs, melatonin, etc.

2.5 mg is a very low dose of Ambien. Do you really feel it's having a physiological effect or do you think it's kind of a psychological addiction. I think mine is partially psychological but not completely. I wish you luck in explaining your situation to your doctor and getting a result that allows you to sleep.

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@rocketjs

I've been taking 10 mg Ambien for 15 years and it usually works well for me. I make sure I take it right before bed so I have no problems with doing things and not remembering, falling, etc. I have no drowsiness the next day with Ambien, whereas over-the-counter sleep stuff makes me feel terrible the next day. My sleep issues seem to be a generalized anxiety/active mind for which I take Celexa. I don't like taking medication so I've tried to taper off the Ambien a few times, usually with the help of a sleep psychologist. It always involves having some short nights where I feel horrible the next day, so I end up going back to knowing I can get adequate sleep every night.

My doctor did have to file an appeal with my insurance company in order to have the Ambien covered by them. Recently, a new GP reduced my dosage to 5 mg because that's the FDA recommendation. I returned to my former GP and she continued the 10 mg. However, I'm hearing more and more about doctors, like yours, not wanting to prescribe Ambien long-term. It's very concerning but I'll just have to find a way to deal with it if docs stop prescribing it. I should say I've tried many other things for insomnia — acupuncture, meditation, Chinese herbs, melatonin, etc.

2.5 mg is a very low dose of Ambien. Do you really feel it's having a physiological effect or do you think it's kind of a psychological addiction. I think mine is partially psychological but not completely. I wish you luck in explaining your situation to your doctor and getting a result that allows you to sleep.

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I’ll keep you in my thoughts at least your trying. I’m losing hope.

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Has anyone tried doxepin for insomnia. I think I want to try it, but not too sure.

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@cecp

Has anyone tried doxepin for insomnia. I think I want to try it, but not too sure.

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Please look up this medication it’s also for pain.

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@cecp

Has anyone tried doxepin for insomnia. I think I want to try it, but not too sure.

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Hi @cecp, I moved your post to another discussion from yesterday where @dsheahan1951 was asking about the same medication.
What brought you to the conclusion of using Doxepin? Did your doctor recommend it?

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I recently started taking Ambien about a couple of months ago. Prescribed by my oncologist. It is a low dosage but has worked great for me. I used to take Lunesta before but still found myself waking up and worrying over things I can't control. I still worry over things I can't control (60mg of Prozac for anxiety and Lorazepam on a daily) but at least I can get 8 hours of sleep and if I wake up to use the bathroom, I can fall right back to sleep on my Ambien.

My oncologist said it is important to get a goodnights rest. Our body is going through so much. I hope you all find something that will give you a good
nights rest. #Peace and love to all.

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@rocketjs

I've been taking 10 mg Ambien for 15 years and it usually works well for me. I make sure I take it right before bed so I have no problems with doing things and not remembering, falling, etc. I have no drowsiness the next day with Ambien, whereas over-the-counter sleep stuff makes me feel terrible the next day. My sleep issues seem to be a generalized anxiety/active mind for which I take Celexa. I don't like taking medication so I've tried to taper off the Ambien a few times, usually with the help of a sleep psychologist. It always involves having some short nights where I feel horrible the next day, so I end up going back to knowing I can get adequate sleep every night.

My doctor did have to file an appeal with my insurance company in order to have the Ambien covered by them. Recently, a new GP reduced my dosage to 5 mg because that's the FDA recommendation. I returned to my former GP and she continued the 10 mg. However, I'm hearing more and more about doctors, like yours, not wanting to prescribe Ambien long-term. It's very concerning but I'll just have to find a way to deal with it if docs stop prescribing it. I should say I've tried many other things for insomnia — acupuncture, meditation, Chinese herbs, melatonin, etc.

2.5 mg is a very low dose of Ambien. Do you really feel it's having a physiological effect or do you think it's kind of a psychological addiction. I think mine is partially psychological but not completely. I wish you luck in explaining your situation to your doctor and getting a result that allows you to sleep.

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Regarding a possible psychological addiction, I don't know. All I know is that I'm getting to sleep. My doctor did prescribe doxepin for me to try. My pharmacy is waiting for the doxepin to come in. I haven't met my deductible yet so the cost is going to be over $200 for a 30 day supply. So the pharmacy is going to give me just 5 pills to try them out and that way I'll only have to pay around $35 for now, and then if they work out I'll get the rest of the prescription filled. In the meantime, they did refill my Ambien (zolpidem) and I bypassed the insurance and only had to pay $11.30 for it. Apparently I can bypass the insurance for zolpidem each month if doctor continues to order refills on it. I talked to my doctor and she said to try the doxepin first and if that doesn't work out, she will continue to let me refill the zolpidem. Rather than mess around with an appeal for insurance coverage, I'll just bypass the insurance and pay the $11.30 out of pocket. I'd rather stick with the zolpidem since I have been taking it since 2011 and it works well for me, but I'll give the doxepin a try. Hopefully I won't have any negative effects.

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