Author Topic: Zopiclone  (Read 894 times)

[Buddie]

Re: Zopiclone
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2019, 05:11:53 am »
Today after my second attempt to reduce the Endep down to zero I am absolutely dog tired. I have no idea how the Endep is working to give me better sleep in addition the one 7.5mg tablet of Zopiclone but it appears as if it does. Even though I get an uncomfortable stomach, I am going to return to 20mg Endep. The one major advantage I see from doing this is that I have been able to hold the dose of Zopiclone to 7.5mg which is equivalent to 5mg Valium. Without the Endep to structure my sleep better I fear I will be tempted to take more and more of the Zopiclone.

Withdrawal from 90mg Mirtazapine is a truly terrible thing to have to endure and sleep is absolutely essential in the face of it. Once these symptoms of constant aching relent, I will do everything I can to get off the two drugs which now sadly are essential to keeping me doing things. Getting out and about is so important in the face of this.

And I am able to tell myself that to reach an equivalent of 90mg Mirtazapine I would have to take Endep for ten and a half days.

I am so sorry if I am not following a set of strict guidelines but withdrawal from huge doses of Mirtazapine after taking it for ten months really is in uncharted territory.

My challenge - if I do recover from this - is to decide whether I will take antidepressants again. At this point in spite of taking a low dose of Endep my inclination once I get off it is to avoid antidepressants. I have no doubt that they do work for some people but I cannot think of one that has worked for me or hasn't given side effects or withdrawal.

That's all for now.

And thank you [...] and Marigold for your thoughts and encouragement.

Bye,

[...].

Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Zopiclone
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2019, 05:54:03 pm »
In the end you will have to face insomnia and go through it. I assume there will be no other way. These meds just work that way, they mess up with your natural sleep. But as you can see 1001 times here on bb, a lot of people have still their life and insomnia at the same time. Its exactly the drug who tells you that this insomnia will kill you.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Zopiclone
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2019, 11:20:52 pm »
 I absolutely agree with you that there will come a time when I am going to have to endure insomnia. As you correctly say that is an inevitable consequence of taking sleeping pills. But at the moment the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms from Mirtazapine are so great I need to have a sleep. When I tried to go with extremely little sleep, I was in terrible trouble and had a great deal of difficulty getting through any day. The assurance from my GP that the level of the Endep is very low and my determination to keep the Zopiclone at the equivalent of 5mg of Valium give me some degree of confidence that when the withdrawal symptoms eventually die down that my task in getting off Zopiclone wonít be too difficult. I have succeeded in getting off temazepam and Mogadon in the past so I believe I can get off this drug. Course it goes without saying I hate being on these two drugs but I just have to accept that Iím on them for the time being.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Zopiclone
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2019, 05:24:43 pm »
I absolutely agree with you that there will come a time when I am going to have to endure insomnia. As you correctly say that is an inevitable consequence of taking sleeping pills. But at the moment the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms from Mirtazapine are so great I need to have a sleep. When I tried to go with extremely little sleep, I was in terrible trouble and had a great deal of difficulty getting through any day. The assurance from my GP that the level of the Endep is very low and my determination to keep the Zopiclone at the equivalent of 5mg of Valium give me some degree of confidence that when the withdrawal symptoms eventually die down that my task in getting off Zopiclone wonít be too difficult. I have succeeded in getting off temazepam and Mogadon in the past so I believe I can get off this drug. Course it goes without saying I hate being on these two drugs but I just have to accept that Iím on them for the time being.

oh I understand your reasons, they seem to be quite popular. I have thought like you as well before I finally had to face tolerance from 3 drugs at the same time. I wish you the best, just keep in mind to taper the zopiclone like a benzo / the ashton protocol. The statement from your GP is radically dangerous. They always tell us its just a low dosage. It does not depend on the dosage. But I do not want to frighten you. You have a plan and made your decision, I am sure you will follow your goals and get there! :smitten:
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Zopiclone
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2019, 11:00:12 am »
The aching from antidepressant withdrawal is gradually dissipating. Soon it will be time to start withdrawing from Zopiclone. The Ashton Manual states that it is possible to complete a taper directly from Zopiclone without switching to Valium but the advice is to go down the equivalent of 1mg of Valium every 1 to 2 weeks. I can cut the 7.5mg tablet into 4 bits each equivalent to 1.25mg of Valium. It should be noted that I have been on the Zopiclone for about six weeks. The dose has varied but I am now getting sufficient sleep on the equivalent of 6.25mg for the last two nights. Before that I was taking the equivalent of 5mg of Valium for a week. The antidepressants Endep on a low dose of 20mg seems to have stabilised my sleep so that I have been able to keep from increasing the dose of Zopiclone. In total I have only taken 53 of the 7.5 mg Zopiclone tablets. I think I should get off the Zopiclone first and then wait for a few weeks as advised by the Ashton Manual prior to getting off the Endep. The concern for me is the aching is still there. I tried to reduce the Zopiclone a couple of weeks ago and was overwhelmed by a lack of sleep whilst the aching appeared to be stronger.

At the moment I desperately need sleep and am not really getting enough. But at the same time I donít want to become so addicted to the Zopiclone that I keep taking more and more of it.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Zopiclone
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2019, 04:58:41 pm »
The aching from antidepressant withdrawal is gradually dissipating. Soon it will be time to start withdrawing from Zopiclone. The Ashton Manual states that it is possible to complete a taper directly from Zopiclone without switching to Valium but the advice is to go down the equivalent of 1mg of Valium every 1 to 2 weeks. I can cut the 7.5mg tablet into 4 bits each equivalent to 1.25mg of Valium. It should be noted that I have been on the Zopiclone for about six weeks. The dose has varied but I am now getting sufficient sleep on the equivalent of 6.25mg for the last two nights. Before that I was taking the equivalent of 5mg of Valium for a week. The antidepressants Endep on a low dose of 20mg seems to have stabilised my sleep so that I have been able to keep from increasing the dose of Zopiclone. In total I have only taken 53 of the 7.5 mg Zopiclone tablets. I think I should get off the Zopiclone first and then wait for a few weeks as advised by the Ashton Manual prior to getting off the Endep. The concern for me is the aching is still there. I tried to reduce the Zopiclone a couple of weeks ago and was overwhelmed by a lack of sleep whilst the aching appeared to be stronger.

At the moment I desperately need sleep and am not really getting enough. But at the same time I donít want to become so addicted to the Zopiclone that I keep taking more and more of it.

As I said the withdrawal from a sleep aid will come with insomnia. But it does not have to be for a long time. At the moment I am still functioning with only 2 hours sleep per night. Its a difference if you are not getting sleep cause of withdrawal or "just" not getting sleep. I would start to taper as soon as possible no matter if you get some sleepless nights or not, in no case I would updose. But 6 weeks are an already very long time and I would not want to risk to get tolerance.
Its always like you reduce something and then symptoms may become worse FIRST, but then it balances itself out again.
What do you have in strategies, skills, alternative meds and helpers for insomnia?
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Zopiclone
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2019, 11:54:58 pm »
Thanks very much for your feedback, Marigold,

Throughout the time I have been taking Zopiclone, I have felt uneasy about it. I am aware that this drug is highly addictive. In the middle of this week, I was confronted by the reality that I had three very busy days ahead as I run classes as a volunteer. On Wednesday I also had to give a short speech about a programme I am involved in. So I said to myself that I needed sleep. That is when I upped the dose by a quarter of a tablet which moved me up to the equivalent of 6.25mgs of Valium. Last night I reduced it again to 5mg equivalent. I did sleep - maybe for 4 to 5 hours - but I now feel very weird. It is probably a combination of withdrawal from one drug and withdrawal from another which I took to help me deal with the withdrawal symptoms of the first drug. This is typical of many people's experience of psychiatric drugs - including mine; one ends up taking drugs to counteract the effects of other drugs.

I looked at the Ashton Manual and the guidelines are to come down gradually from a level like mine by reducing 1mg Valium equivalent every week or two. So I will be sticking with 7.5mg Zopiclone (5mg Valium equivalent) until at least next Thursday night. I will see the GP on Thursday morning so we can discuss this. He has successfully assisted some of his patients through this kind of withdrawal. I might need to change to Valium at some stage but it doesn't appear to give me any sleep. So I would prefer a direct taper. How long I spend on each level as I go down will depend on how I feel and what the GP says.

You ask about strategies. Well, I am going to try to be as active as possible every day. I will walk for 40 minutes a day religiously. I will try not to dwell on the sensations flooding my body and get on with things. I have been doing this already throughout the extremely severe withdrawal from Mirtazapine for over three months. The anti-depressant Endep is helping with my sleep so I will keep taking 20mg of that drug daily until some time after I have got over the two withdrawals. This is a very low dose - 10 and a half times less than I was taking of Mirtazapine which was a ludicrously high dose.

I will also try not to get angry. Having already managed to get off a combination of Ativan and Mogadon last year I will keep reminding myself that this can be done. I am not sure yet how I am going to handle the period when I won't sleep. I will just try my best day by day.

I see from your signature that you have every reason to be unhappy about the impact of psychiatric drugs on your life. I hope everything is going well with you now - well at least as well as possible.

Psychiatry has been disastrous for me but because I keep falling into depression I keep ending up in their hands.

At the moment I am just focussing on getting through this and trying to make something of my life. Thanks to ECT many of my memories have been taken away from me which is truly devastating. And after that I entrusted myself into the hands of an experienced psychiatrist who has now inflicted two withdrawals me.

Thanks again for your support. Best of luck with your issues,

Best wishes,

[...].
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Zopiclone
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2019, 10:50:25 pm »
Thanks very much for your feedback, Marigold,

Throughout the time I have been taking Zopiclone, I have felt uneasy about it. I am aware that this drug is highly addictive. In the middle of this week, I was confronted by the reality that I had three very busy days ahead as I run classes as a volunteer. On Wednesday I also had to give a short speech about a programme I am involved in. So I said to myself that I needed sleep. That is when I upped the dose by a quarter of a tablet which moved me up to the equivalent of 6.25mgs of Valium. Last night I reduced it again to 5mg equivalent. I did sleep - maybe for 4 to 5 hours - but I now feel very weird. It is probably a combination of withdrawal from one drug and withdrawal from another which I took to help me deal with the withdrawal symptoms of the first drug. This is typical of many people's experience of psychiatric drugs - including mine; one ends up taking drugs to counteract the effects of other drugs.

I looked at the Ashton Manual and the guidelines are to come down gradually from a level like mine by reducing 1mg Valium equivalent every week or two. So I will be sticking with 7.5mg Zopiclone (5mg Valium equivalent) until at least next Thursday night. I will see the GP on Thursday morning so we can discuss this. He has successfully assisted some of his patients through this kind of withdrawal. I might need to change to Valium at some stage but it doesn't appear to give me any sleep. So I would prefer a direct taper. How long I spend on each level as I go down will depend on how I feel and what the GP says.

You ask about strategies. Well, I am going to try to be as active as possible every day. I will walk for 40 minutes a day religiously. I will try not to dwell on the sensations flooding my body and get on with things. I have been doing this already throughout the extremely severe withdrawal from Mirtazapine for over three months. The anti-depressant Endep is helping with my sleep so I will keep taking 20mg of that drug daily until some time after I have got over the two withdrawals. This is a very low dose - 10 and a half times less than I was taking of Mirtazapine which was a ludicrously high dose.

I will also try not to get angry. Having already managed to get off a combination of Ativan and Mogadon last year I will keep reminding myself that this can be done. I am not sure yet how I am going to handle the period when I won't sleep. I will just try my best day by day.

I see from your signature that you have every reason to be unhappy about the impact of psychiatric drugs on your life. I hope everything is going well with you now - well at least as well as possible.

Psychiatry has been disastrous for me but because I keep falling into depression I keep ending up in their hands.

At the moment I am just focussing on getting through this and trying to make something of my life. Thanks to ECT many of my memories have been taken away from me which is truly devastating. And after that I entrusted myself into the hands of an experienced psychiatrist who has now inflicted two withdrawals me.

Thanks again for your support. Best of luck with your issues,

Best wishes,

[...].

Hey buddy,

I am just worried.
I can say that I have been thinking the same way as you. Without meds I will not survive depression, I will not survive insomnia, I will loose everything - so doctor, please tell me, what else can we do - well lets try this or that, in combination with this or that...
Since I am med free I have a normal sleepand I would say its much better than under sleep aids, depression has never been how it was before and under meds, same for panic and all other kind of "mental illnesses" that I was digaozed with. I am only sleepless because of noise outside, but even then I can function the next day and I would not freak out in panic about the thought that I might not get sleep the night.

You have already tapered 2 benzos last year? So you are still in withdrawal from these 2 meds for sure!

It worries me that you updose zopiclon. Thats what I meant when I spoke about alternative strategies. Taking more before stressful events or to prevent not to be functional, that is a dangerous game, in my eyes. You already take a med to help with sleep which you do not get because of withdrawal from another med. And in my opinion, since you said you did also taper ativan and a second med last year - hell, thats a lot...

I suffered from the worst depression ever and psychiatry has only lead to a low self-esteem, endless taper and withdrawals. I am so happy I could escape out of this system. Since I am medfree I never had a depression like I had under meds again. Panic and anxiety are gone totally and I have overcome a bad trauma from childhood without chemical help. For me it was a good decision to get rid of anything but the real good outcome is that I do not have these thoughts any more, like you have now, the conviction that you cannot survive just alone by yourself. That you will end up in the hands of psychiatrists again. I know what you are talking about, for years I had a big bag packed for the hospital, in case I would freak out again, and the feeling of being not safe inside myself - oh lord, thats tough.

You have already done a taper, so this means you can survive much more than you think. Lots of members here are totally med free today and went through a phase of insomnia. Insomnia is like "open the door to all inner monsters", I used to say. It is night, it is dark, your nerves are totally broken and then let the circus begin. The first 3-5 days you will think that you will just not survive. Spiraling, looping, horror. Then you will maybe experience that you get 1 hour per night, or 2 hours. Your body will get sleep, but you will not notice cause your CNS is over-aware and totally out of control. After a while you can become more "cool" and decided to watch TV all night or "pretend" to nap, cause you just won't let the nerves punish you all night. Then a period of depression, panic attacks. But then - somehow we become masters of insomnia and surrender. WE give up the fight. Nap in daytime, in the bus, even at work.. and with time, the body adjusts. Its like giving birth to a normal sleep and this takes time.

So, to make it short.. here are some strategies, just to let you know what has helped me:

Strategies which you should be able to practice BEFORE you start:

- Tai Chi
- breathing techniques
- long walks
- things to keep your hands busy, like painting, playing piano, cooking, whatever
- a cosy place to calm down in your house or apartment that only belongs to you
- buy medical/food helpers
- prepare an emergency kit: Mine contained teas (herbs), lavender capsules, chocolate, a teddybear, hot water bottle, ..
- write a text you can read when you are near to give up. I have written kind of cheerleading text messages every morning on my phone and sent it to myself - in order to read them in the middle of the night when I was freaking out like "you have done a taper before, you will not give up now, you can do that, any change always seems horrible fro you first but you can do it"
- organize a network of friends/people you can call or write anytime


Strategies when insomnia kicks in - for the nights:

- order Netflix/TV channel for bingewatching all night long:-)
- music/audio books
- other things that allow you to focus on while your eyes are closed
- pillows everywhere so you can switch rooms during the night
- Use teas and herbs, like lavender, passion flower, valerian root - also as oils or shower gels / parfumes
- stick to a healthy diet, some food makes us sleepy too
- try to accept the shit that is happening and do not fight, instead: surrender
- spend some hours in one room, then go into another room
- do things during the night that you would normally do in daytime, like loundry


Strategies how to survive the days without sleep:

- things you must focus on using the brain (crosswords, work...)
- things you focus on using the body (tai chi, exercising, walking... something that does not allow thinking)
- fruits and healthy smoothies
- sweets and sugars for emergency cases, even caffeine
- a teddybear to cry on
- something you can smash or bang on
- An informed friend you can call and who is willing to tell you not to give up
- Make things as easy as possible, cancel appointments as much as you can, no big events, no family discussions etc.
- take a holiday day, meaning in all this mess do something you would normally not do on normal days, like booking yourself a nice room in a hotel, cause when you are without sleep you can use the night just for yourself
- read the manual you prepared for yourself every morning or when needed
- allow yourself to look and act like a zombie in daytime, even at work. This will change but do not invest energy in wondering about that
- do not waste energy. If you feel to weak to cook, order food. if you don't have the power to work, miss one day at work and go the following day
- Do not forget to celebrate each night you have survived. At the end of one week you should buy yourself a gift. Not kidding, its an important sign to your inner self and the brain
- Be aware that other people do not care if you look bad or have a bad time. Tell them you had a party or watched netflix the hole night and they will be okey with it.

I think you can make it. Just trust yourself and dare it!!

hugs,
Marigold


Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Zopiclone
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2019, 12:16:48 pm »
Thanks very much for this incredibly thoughtful reply, Marigold. I think I am able to go through withdrawal from Zopiclone but my aching from the Mirtazapine withdrawal is still severe. Coping with two withdrawals at once could be nigh on mission impossible. I will see my GP on Thursday and we will discuss strategies to avoid raising the Zopiclone further and even possibly reducing it. I am certain this will be the last time I will up-dose.

And for anyone who happens to read this post,the UK Daily Mail has been successful in its campaign to pressure the government to take action on the over-prescribing of psychiatric drugs. Here is a link to the article:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7445657/One-four-people-hooked-prescription-drugs-official-review-calls-national-helpline.html

Or just Google The Daily Mail prescription drugs.

Marigold, I will update you on Thursday after I have seen the GP and tomorrow I will read your post very carefully again.

Thanks again,

[...].
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Zopiclone
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2019, 08:29:17 pm »
Thanks very much for this incredibly thoughtful reply, Marigold. I think I am able to go through withdrawal from Zopiclone but my aching from the Mirtazapine withdrawal is still severe. Coping with two withdrawals at once could be nigh on mission impossible. I will see my GP on Thursday and we will discuss strategies to avoid raising the Zopiclone further and even possibly reducing it. I am certain this will be the last time I will up-dose.

And for anyone who happens to read this post,the UK Daily Mail has been successful in its campaign to pressure the government to take action on the over-prescribing of psychiatric drugs. Here is a link to the article:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7445657/One-four-people-hooked-prescription-drugs-official-review-calls-national-helpline.html

Or just Google The Daily Mail prescription drugs.

Marigold, I will update you on Thursday after I have seen the GP and tomorrow I will read your post very carefully again.

Thanks again,

[...].

What do you mean with this will be the last time you will up-dose? So you are planning to again updose?
I do not understand why you keep listening to a doctor who puts you on another med that made you addicted. Its clear that he or she will either force you to take more of one med or add an additional med - because that is, what they are taught to do.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.