Author Topic: afraid but will be brave - going off zolpidem  (Read 769 times)

[Buddie]

afraid but will be brave - going off zolpidem
« on: September 14, 2012, 12:02:02 am »
Hello,

I'm an earnest, compassionate, hard working woman (teacher) getting ready to get off of Zolpidem. I have taken 10mg every night for about two years. I actually went off of Lunesta once before, and was on only a natural remedy for over a year. That time, I went cold turkey (I had no idea then it was dangerous) I went five solid days without a wink of sleep. That kind of sleeplessness became my greatest fear. Now I am facing it again. I've been doing some crazy/amnesia stuff while on the Zolpidem, and I want this out of my life. I'm so very afraid, but I want the joy of being strong and getting through this.
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: afraid but will be brave - going off zolpidem
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2012, 12:22:42 am »
Hi [...],

I'm glad that you found benzobuddies for support for your taper. It sounds like you've got to maneuver between two very frightening situations.  People here are very understanding and supportive, and will hopefully offer some helpful ideas to get you through.

If you haven't read this, the Ashton Manual is a very valuable resource that details the effects of these types of medications and how to withdraw. It is primarily about benzodiazepines, but she also talks about z-drugs.  Here is the link: http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/

Also, please write a signature line for yourself, like I have below this post, posting your medication dosage experience.  That way when you ask questions members can refer to your history and respond accordingly. Create a Signature

Welcome and please ask any questions as you have them,
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« Last Edit: September 14, 2012, 12:40:42 am by [Buddie] »
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: afraid but will be brave - going off zolpidem
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2012, 12:38:31 am »
Hello [...],

I would also like to welcome you to Benzo Buddies.

Try not to be afraid, you have made a decision to withdraw from the Zolpidem and your user name shows that you indeed can do this. While I do not have first hand experience with that medication, the z drugs to target the same receptors in the brain as benzos do. The best way to approach this is with a slow and gradual taper.  A reduction of 5-10% every 10-14 days is recommended.

We do have members that can chime in with their experience with Zolpidem.  Our forum has many well informed and kind members willing to help and encourage you with your withdrawal and recovery.

You might want to explore the Insomnia Board for support dealing with that issue. Here is a link to that board: http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?board=83.0

We are glad you have joined!

[...]
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: afraid but will be brave - going off zolpidem
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2012, 03:52:46 pm »
Welcome!!!!!!!!!!

I just finished my taper off of ambien....I totally feel your pain. I did mine quite quickly but I am also taking xanax that I am tapering which I believe helped me thru my taper. Otherwise I would not recommend going as fast as I did. Do it the correct way. If you can manage the 5% then I would do that....the smaller the better for less withdrawals!!

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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: afraid but will be brave - going off zolpidem
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2012, 06:00:15 pm »
Can Do:

Welcome to the forum!

I also have the same Rx problem - Zolpidem. I have done a lot of research on the matter (as have many on here) and from all indication we have picked a benzo that is in such a grey area. It's marketed like non-benzo, it's prescribed like it's not addicting, even the vaunted Dr. Ashton says you can just stop taking it (presumaby at doses 10-20mg daily) without feeling any protracted or serious withdrawal symptoms, and nobody really understands when or if one should substitute Valium if a taper is planned.

That being said, anecdotal experiences (the majority I have seen) and my own intuition (I am at 50mg a day, taking it in 2-3 doses for anxiery and sleep) tell me a few things -- 1. That whatever your dose, rebound insomnia is very real and very problematic when you stop taking Zolpidem; 2. If you are taking higher doses (like me) to avoid taking the "real" benzos (and there may be even less of a distinction here that even the best doctors realize), then you will probably have the same withdrawals as any other benzo; 3. A gradual taper will work; 4. Often you get a "mini-withdrawal" during the day from Zoplidem, because you effectively eliminate the drug in 8-10 hours. I have often thought that feeling like semi-crap every day should be "gutted out" because I would feel much better (and be Zolpidem free) if I could just go a few days, but, alas, I am chicken). I just got about a 12 day supply, but one day I'll be forced to cold turkey (especially at these doses) unless I taper quickly. The good news is that you are taking (10mg) about 1/4th of what some folks are prescribed in Xanax or Klonopin on a regular basis.

So how gradual? I dare say that because of the half-life of Zolpidem that you don't need to follow the strict 10-15% rule. But that's just an opinion and it certainly would not hurt to taper as slowly as you want, as long as there is some steady downward progression. Personally, I can feel the effects of as little as 2.5mg, but not under that. Although I am going to try a Valium taper (unless doctors will not cooperate), I probably could just as easily taper 2.5mg a week, if I could cut it that small. I am going down about 5mg per week.   
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.