Author Topic: Z-Drug Support Group (Lunesta, Imovane, Zimovane, Ambien, Sonata, Zopiclone)  (Read 234818 times)

[Buddie]

Hi NorCal - I was using up to 15 mg Ambien for a time until tolerance hit and needed to taper.  I used to take it in 5mg divided doses over the course of the night.  Do you take your all at once?

I felt I could go directly to 5mg once a night and I tapered from there over 5 weeks total.  It was fast yes.  I noticed the interdose withdrawal was much [...] so I felt I could do it this quickly.  Once I was off acute withdrawal hit and the rest is history as they say. 

I agree that you are right to taper and rid yourself of the Ambien first - the short half-life makes things so rough.   You may find it ok to go in 5mg chucks at first but as you get to 5mg and below, I'd go slower then.

Keep us updated and [...] luck!
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]

Hi NorCal - I was using up to 15 mg Ambien for a time until tolerance hit and needed to taper.  I used to take it in 5mg divided doses over the course of the night.  Do you take your all at once?

I felt I could go directly to 5mg once a night and I tapered from there over 5 weeks total.  It was fast yes.  I noticed the interdose withdrawal was much [...] so I felt I could do it this quickly.  Once I was off acute withdrawal hit and the rest is history as they say. 

I agree that you are right to taper and rid yourself of the Ambien first - the short half-life makes things so rough.   You may find it ok to go in 5mg chucks at first but as you get to 5mg and below, I'd go slower then.

Keep us updated and [...] luck!

Thanks Deanna! Yes, once at bedtime while reading a book. Just waiting for my pill cutter to arrive. Iíll keep you guys updated once I start (should be Friday or Saturday)

Rite-Aid and Walgreens are all out of pill cutters. Supply chain issues? I did read that during the pandemic more people were prescribed Benzos and Z-drugs. Ugh. Not [...].

Iíll keep you updated.

One love.
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]

I bought some plastic pill splitters from Rite-Aid and they break if your pills are huge.  The metal pill splitters are the best, but they don't sell them in stores.  I use a box cutter blade now to cut down my magnesium pills.
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]

I bought some plastic pill splitters from Rite-Aid and they break if your pills are huge.  The metal pill splitters are the best, but they don't sell them in stores.  I use a box cutter blade now to cut down my magnesium pills.

Yep. I was just scrolling through this site and someone recommended ďEqualSplit Pill Splitter, Double Blades, Cleanly Split or Quarter Any PillĒ

All metal. Amazon.
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]

Ambien is intended for sleeping and it has a short half-life.
Don't take it during the day. Expecially if you have to drive or doing something else.
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]

Hey Team Z! Love you all bunches.

Nor, Iím going to weigh in.
Firstly I agree with you tapering the Ambien first. Because of the short half life as the others have said.
Secondly I also agree that your taper plan is too fast. The equivalent of Valium should be considered when making a taper plan IMO. An ideal plan is one that would give your brain adequate time to adjust the reductions. You certainly donít want to ď shock ď your brain by doing big reductions too fast. Not trying to scare you, but thereís a risk of seizures especially if youíve hit tolerance or having interdose WD. At this point, your brain is ď dependent ď. So you can ideally reduce without a scale easily. Iíve found this to be true that this is the one [...] thing about Ambien compared to longer acting benzos. It can be easily dry cut with a razor, sharp thin knife, fingernail file or pill cutter. If I were you, Iíd do a 1mg reduction every 10-14 days. The way I achieved this was I made a paper model of my pill ( mine was oblong also ). I drew a very close replica of the front and back of the pill. On the paper model, I marked the middle of the pill as 2.5 mg - my tablets were Zolpidem 5mg. I was originally on the 12.5 CR. I switched to 10mg regular to start my taper because the manufacturer and pharmacist explained the danger of cutting the CR tablets. To make it even easier, I used the two 5 mg tablets.
Once I made the paper model and marked where 1mg would be ( yes it isnít exact but thatís ok) I just cut the 1mg off and took my night dose as usual. Every 14 days, I reduced again by cutting off 1 mg. If you do well, you can reduce every 10 days instead of 14. I usually felt my cuts 3-4 days later. But it was noticeable yet very doable because I didnít reduce big chunks. I strongly believe this is the best and most successful way.
Thirdly you can do this! I wish you well on becoming Ambien free. We are here to support you. Please keep us posted.
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]

Hey Team Z! Love you all bunches.

Nor, Iím going to weigh in.
Firstly I agree with you tapering the Ambien first. Because of the short half life as the others have said.
Secondly I also agree that your taper plan is too fast. The equivalent of Valium should be considered when making a taper plan IMO. An ideal plan is one that would give your brain adequate time to adjust the reductions. You certainly donít want to ď shock ď your brain by doing big reductions too fast. Not trying to scare you, but thereís a risk of seizures especially if youíve hit tolerance or having interdose WD. At this point, your brain is ď dependent ď. So you can ideally reduce without a scale easily. Iíve found this to be true that this is the one [...] thing about Ambien compared to longer acting benzos. It can be easily dry cut with a razor, sharp thin knife, fingernail file or pill cutter. If I were you, Iíd do a 1mg reduction every 10-14 days. The way I achieved this was I made a paper model of my pill ( mine was oblong also ). I drew a very close replica of the front and back of the pill. On the paper model, I marked the middle of the pill as 2.5 mg - my tablets were Zolpidem 5mg. I was originally on the 12.5 CR. I switched to 10mg regular to start my taper because the manufacturer and pharmacist explained the danger of cutting the CR tablets. To make it even easier, I used the two 5 mg tablets.
Once I made the paper model and marked where 1mg would be ( yes it isnít exact but thatís ok) I just cut the 1mg off and took my night dose as usual. Every 14 days, I reduced again by cutting off 1 mg. If you do well, you can reduce every 10 days instead of 14. I usually felt my cuts 3-4 days later. But it was noticeable yet very doable because I didnít reduce big chunks. I strongly believe this is the best and most successful way.
Thirdly you can do this! I wish you well on becoming Ambien free. We are here to support you. Please keep us posted.

The tracing is a heck of an idea- kind of a template. Fantastic. I will take your approach after I get through this first cut - took 15MG last night instead of 20  :-[ I donít feel any different and I slept, although woke up 45 min early. I also took an organic ď[...] timeĒ gummie 5MG an hour before bed. Iíd rather get a natural drowsiness than a chemical one.

I also have the Klonopin in me so that, anecdotally, might help he with the Amb. Iíll try it again tonight (15MG) and see how it goes ó then do the micro cuts and tracing once I get my pill cutter.

Right on!
« Last Edit: May 11, 2022, 04:53:00 pm 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]

I donít have any tolerance WD that I can tell. I also donít seem to have intedose WD either, BUT, I will proceed with caution. I have a wonderful wife and kids that rely on me. Iíll play it smart.

Looking down the road, I also think itís incumbent upon myself to take it easy and give myself some time after the Ambien before I tackle the K. Iím not doing back-to-back with what is basically two different Benzos.

« Last Edit: May 11, 2022, 05:19:44 pm 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]

Ambien is intended for sleeping and it has a short half-life.
Don't take it during the day. Expecially if you have to drive or doing something else.

I hear you. Thereís no way I can take this stuff during the day but I do understand those who had to do it. Poor folks just trying to get their life back and be free but also fending off symptoms at the same time. What a cluster ****
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]

In my experience moving up and down with doses, trying several drugs one after another etc. just stressed my brain.
No matter what I was taking I could score 3h at best. Maybe 5 taking something again when I woke up in the middle of the night. I reinstated benzos, albeit at a lower dosage. I weaned off seroquel and lowered trazodone from 150 to 75mg. Basically I accepted my shitty nights (and shitty days too) and I started to hold stopping to feel guilty for my benzos. Self blaming is quite normal but it makes everything more difficult. Holding at a regular dosage helped my brain. Slowly I went from 3h to 5h per night. Yes it's a fucked chemical sleep but I can work and some days are OK. Then I started a symptoms based tapering. Small cuts only when and if I felt I could try it. I went from 8mg to 6.8mg zolpidem in 3-4 months and from 105mg weekly to 90mg weekly of flurazepam in the same period. Also from 75mg to 50mg trazodone. Btw I halse changed my "philosophy": I decided my war against benzos is lost and every small and sustainable cut is an unexpected [...] that deserve a triumph. No more timetables. Just cutting a little when I feel it. This kind of approach is helping me now.
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.