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Sleeping pills

jams67's picture
jams67
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

I've been taking Ambien CR for a long time and have tried to stop. The withdrawal is terrible and I'm not sure I can do it. I'm awake and having night sweats and muscle aches. Has anyone else experienced this and lived to tell about it?
Jo Ann

pamness
Posts: 513
Joined: Nov 2007

I have been taking Ambien CR for a long time too. I am going to ask my doctor how to best taper off. I did switch to regular Ambien for awhile and found that I could reduce it from 10 mg to 5 mg without much trouble. I suspect that I will be able give up the 5 mg. I want to check with my psychopharmacologist. I have an appt. in 2 weeks. Let me know if you find out anything about the best way to taper off.

Pam

KierstenRx's picture
KierstenRx
Posts: 249
Joined: Nov 2006

Jo Ann,
I understand completely what you are going through. At one point during my treatment my insomnia was sooooooo bad I was on enough to sedate an elephant. While the insomnia improved greatly the months following treatment, getting off the medication was not so easy. There are two ways I have found to get off the medication. I STRESS talk to your doctor first. The first way is cold turkey. That's what I did and it wasn't a good idea at all. I had insomnia, sweats, irritability, fatigue, etc.... That went on for about 4 days and when I couldn't stand it any longer I started taking them again. My advice would be to gradually get off the medication very slowly. If you are taking 12.5mg I would get a rx for 6.25mg. Stay on that for a few weeks, then perhaps switch to regular Ambien. Then slowly decrease that dose over a few weeks starting at either 5 or 10mg and splitting the tablets down to 2.5mg (Don't crush or split the Ambien CR). While you are weaning from the ambien you may find it helpful to temporarily add trazodone, however you will have to slowly wean yourself off trazodone also. I had been taking the meds for about a year when I decided no more. It did take me several tries and several months to stop. Now I only take them as needed about 1-3 times a month.
It is difficult and the rebound insomnia is awful, but discussing it with you doctor and coming up with a plan to slowly decrease with time will make it much more bearable.

Take care,
Kiersten

jams67's picture
jams67
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

I was able to go 4 nights cold turkey and had the same symtoms you describe. Last night I took an Ambien CR and today I went to my doctor. He said don't worry about taking them, sleep is necessary. It won't take much to talk me into taking them again, because I've suffered from insomnia for years.
Next time I try to go cold turkey it will probably be best if they lock me in a cell.
Jo Ann

pamness
Posts: 513
Joined: Nov 2007

thanks, this approach is working for me.
Although my doctor is worried about my taking the ambien, I feel like I would like to take less pills, I find vitamins to enough onerous enough, since I can't take the regular ones.

Pam

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