Author Topic: Z-Drug Support Group (Lunesta, Imovane, Zimovane, Ambien, Sonata, Zopiclone)  (Read 227985 times)

[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.

That is my way of cutting too, just very small steps, and without scheme. Only just when I feel ready for itÖ.
[...]
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]

Hello [...],

So so very sorry to hear about the hell your friend is in. I know people on here have had much harder tapers than me, I did mine in a straightforward way: tapering .[...] mg every 2 weeks for 9 months, coming off 10mg of ambien. My horrible symptoms came while on the full dose and I had them for many years prior to my taper. His body is very sensitive. I too had bad reactions with something a naturopath suggested. I just want to welcome you both here, but others will give their input.

I think it would be helpful for the group to know all meds he is taking now and how many weeks he took to go from 9mg at 3 weeks to 5.75mg now, as you stated. [...] has been bedridden during her taper and she is a great cheerleader.

Welcome,
[...]



Hi all.

Iím writing on behalf of another user on the boards, who is struggling so terribly he cannot express himself and has asked me to help him write this.
Hoping to get any ideas, thoughts, advice, etc. that will help him get through this. Writing as itís being dictated to me:

Up until October of 2021, had been taking 5mg of Ambien as prescribed every night for insomnia. In October of 2021, his physician who had prescribed him Ambien retired and he was assigned a new doctor by insurance. This doctor didnít agree with him taking Ambien, make horrible accusations of drug abuse even though it was taken exactly as prescribed, and took him off and refused refills.

He left the doctorís office and felt a lot of shame and guilt from the words the doctor used. He had about 2 weeks left of Ambien but stopped taking it due to confusion over the doctorsí words. A week later, he ended up in the ER due to total lack of sleep, hallucinations and w/d symptoms. The ER reinstated him immediately, telling him he needed to or would risk having seizures, and sent him [...] with Trazadone. When he got [...], he reinstated the previous Ambient dosage of 5mg, but his sleep didnít feel the same after that, so he doubled the dosage, not knowing what was going on. He then went to an addiction specialist the ER referred him to, where the psychologist put him on an erratic and odd tapering schedule alternating between Amitriptyline and Ambien every couple days, few days, etc. This didnít go well, and he had a lot of side effects and weird, scary sensations.

Went back to her and the next week was given Hydroxyzine, which did nothing, and then Seroquel a week later. Had horrible reaction to Seroquel with side effects. Went back to addiction psychologist who stated she didnít know why he was trying to get off Ambien because people ďstay on them for 20 yearsĒ and then referred him to a friend of hers who could prescribe meds. He didnít go to this referral but found a doctor closer who agreed to taper him off Ambien and wrote him a script for 10mg of Ambien. At this point, he also saw a naturopath who put him on a huge regiment of vitamins and IVS (B vitamins, tryptophan, etc.) to which had a negative reaction to and didnít sleep for 3 days straight.

In December of 2020 he found doctor Jennifer Lee online and learned about tapering benzos He also learned about the Ashton method and various other things he found on Benzo Buddies. He didn't know how to taper correctly and started erratically doing cuts and eyeballing the amounts. He started doing the taper coming down from 10 milligrams of Ambien. About two weeks after the tapering, he started getting his first withdrawal symptoms, the worst being noise and light sensitivity along with auditory hallucinations at night that were continuously waking him up. This also included noises like beeps pops auditory voices in his head, etc. The withdrawal symptoms continued and got worse in the third week even when he was only down to 9 milligrams of Ambien. The Ambien stopped working around this time and even though he would take it at 10:00 PM he was continuously waking up at 3:00 AM and has every night for the last five months. Now at 5 months old he's continuously getting sicker weaker tired fatigued and is bed bound. The symptoms are now debilitating where he cannot live a normal life and recently found on the Ashton manual that tapering off Ambien is fruitless as it has such a short half-life which is creating more confusion on what to do now. The fatigue and insomnia has gotten so bad that he's having full blown episodes of delirium, and is awakened every time he falls asleep by myoclonic jerks and loud auditory sounds.

He's now down to 5.75 milligrams of Ambien and developing new symptoms like heavy tinnitus burning limbs in each cut is bringing new symptoms with it.

At this point we're looking for help on what to do next period the Ashton manual makes reference to slow tapering Ambien being ultimately fruitless but wanting to get stories of other people and how they did this with the least amount of pain possible. And the safest obviously. There's a lot of contradicting information online and in the forums, which is making the process more confusing and difficult, as many of you know.

Would it be [...] for him to just come off the Ambien at this point? Does he continue with the slow taper? How can we address those fears of not sleeping and going into delirium or psychosis or the other scary things that happen the first time he cold-turkeyed at 5mg due to tolerance, which is coming up? How do you get past the concept that our bodies are running out of reserves to heal themselves?

Looking for any stories or advice you guys have to share, as finding the correct way to do this is proving difficult. If anyone has any advice on how to get through the scary feelings of insomnia and fear of death because of it please feel free to share how you got through this and any encouragement.

 Thank you to all that contribute to 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]

Hey NorCal
I LOVE NorCal!!
Welcome, just saying, I had my docs support on a taper, even though I never told him how slow I did it. So I started with 2 5mg pills, which would total 10/10, and I just eyeballed my oblong pill, took a little jack knife and sawed off 1/10 of one pill, then threw cut in the trash with great joy and took the rest of the pill and the 2nd 5mg pill = 9.5mg and cut accordingly as the weeks went by.

Glad you're here, so sorry for your trauma. Life is [...] off ambien.
Cheers,
[...]



Thanks BBs. I think Iím going to try 17.5 tonight and see how that goes and give it time. If that goes well, another 2.5, etc. (eyeballed)

The problem is they are Aurobindo 10MG tablets with E-79 stamped on them so theyíre shaped kind of like an oblong oval. I ordered a really [...] pill cutter but Iím not sure if I can quarter this tablet but the cutter wont get here until Fri or Sat. Hopefully I can quarter them to get lower dosages and do some math, which Iím horrible at.

I donít have a scale (small condo with three children) and donít want the kitchen to turn into a lab lol. I figured I can do it by cutting.

Iím also on Klonopin so maybe that will lessen withdrawals during the day and I am definitely not keen on taking any Ambien during the day even though of its short half-life. I just take it at night in bed while reading a book. This sucks.
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]

Super happy to hear from you [...]!!! I am back to work now after my taper, since jan. I always felt for you working while tapering. So here's to us!!!!

I did check out [...] also before I found this site. Support means so much to all of us here.

Cheers,
[...]

I have not shared in a few months.
Was struggling with getting to zero and staying there.

I found an old prescription and thought I could use successfully. Well the short answer is I can not use occasionally.

Been going to [...] and so far so [...].
I finally made it past 30 days and the miracle is I'm sleeping [...] than ever being 100 percent off of Ambien.
My back / muscle pains are gone. The pain was due to interdose withdrawals.

My routine that is working after 20 + years on ambien is
I take magnesium and tryptophan a few hours before bedtime. It helps me wind down. I do take melatonin, over the counter pm, Hydroxyzine (prescribed by doctor), and play sleep music. It sounds like a lot, but my sleep is lovely and have a some nights actually enjoyed the getting into bed and sleeping. I'm slowly starting to trust I will sleep with out ambien.

I have some nights where I have the urge for ambien, but just lay my head down and breath and fall asleep before I know it.
[...] helped me a lot (happened to see your name). I am miracle and feel very grateful to be off of the wicked wicked wicked wicked drug. 
34 nights and counting with out ambien. That is the longest I've gone is 20 years.

For all the new comers, this was one of the most difficult drugs to come off of. I really doubted for month that I could do.
For me, I had to do it extremely slow and not beat myself up if had set-backs. just get back up and keep moving forward.

Dont do it alone, share the [...] and difficult.
sleeping is possible with out ambien


.
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 all.

Iím writing on behalf of another user on the boards, who is struggling so terribly he cannot express himself and has asked me to help him write this.
Hoping to get any ideas, thoughts, advice, etc. that will help him get through this. Writing as itís being dictated to me:

Up until October of 2021, had been taking 5mg of Ambien as prescribed every night for insomnia. In October of 2021, his physician who had prescribed him Ambien retired and he was assigned a new doctor by insurance. This doctor didnít agree with him taking Ambien, make horrible accusations of drug abuse even though it was taken exactly as prescribed, and took him off and refused refills.

He left the doctorís office and felt a lot of shame and guilt from the words the doctor used. He had about 2 weeks left of Ambien but stopped taking it due to confusion over the doctorsí words. A week later, he ended up in the ER due to total lack of sleep, hallucinations and w/d symptoms. The ER reinstated him immediately, telling him he needed to or would risk having seizures, and sent him [...] with Trazadone. When he got [...], he reinstated the previous Ambient dosage of 5mg, but his sleep didnít feel the same after that, so he doubled the dosage, not knowing what was going on. He then went to an addiction specialist the ER referred him to, where the psychologist put him on an erratic and odd tapering schedule alternating between Amitriptyline and Ambien every couple days, few days, etc. This didnít go well, and he had a lot of side effects and weird, scary sensations.

Went back to her and the next week was given Hydroxyzine, which did nothing, and then Seroquel a week later. Had horrible reaction to Seroquel with side effects. Went back to addiction psychologist who stated she didnít know why he was trying to get off Ambien because people ďstay on them for 20 yearsĒ and then referred him to a friend of hers who could prescribe meds. He didnít go to this referral but found a doctor closer who agreed to taper him off Ambien and wrote him a script for 10mg of Ambien. At this point, he also saw a naturopath who put him on a huge regiment of vitamins and IVS (B vitamins, tryptophan, etc.) to which had a negative reaction to and didnít sleep for 3 days straight.

In December of 2020 he found doctor Jennifer Lee online and learned about tapering benzos He also learned about the Ashton method and various other things he found on Benzo Buddies. He didn't know how to taper correctly and started erratically doing cuts and eyeballing the amounts. He started doing the taper coming down from 10 milligrams of Ambien. About two weeks after the tapering, he started getting his first withdrawal symptoms, the worst being noise and light sensitivity along with auditory hallucinations at night that were continuously waking him up. This also included noises like beeps pops auditory voices in his head, etc. The withdrawal symptoms continued and got worse in the third week even when he was only down to 9 milligrams of Ambien. The Ambien stopped working around this time and even though he would take it at 10:00 PM he was continuously waking up at 3:00 AM and has every night for the last five months. Now at 5 months old he's continuously getting sicker weaker tired fatigued and is bed bound. The symptoms are now debilitating where he cannot live a normal life and recently found on the Ashton manual that tapering off Ambien is fruitless as it has such a short half-life which is creating more confusion on what to do now. The fatigue and insomnia has gotten so bad that he's having full blown episodes of delirium, and is awakened every time he falls asleep by myoclonic jerks and loud auditory sounds.

He's now down to 5.75 milligrams of Ambien and developing new symptoms like heavy tinnitus burning limbs in each cut is bringing new symptoms with it.

At this point we're looking for help on what to do next period the Ashton manual makes reference to slow tapering Ambien being ultimately fruitless but wanting to get stories of other people and how they did this with the least amount of pain possible. And the safest obviously. There's a lot of contradicting information online and in the forums, which is making the process more confusing and difficult, as many of you know.

Would it be [...] for him to just come off the Ambien at this point? Does he continue with the slow taper? How can we address those fears of not sleeping and going into delirium or psychosis or the other scary things that happen the first time he cold-turkeyed at 5mg due to tolerance, which is coming up? How do you get past the concept that our bodies are running out of reserves to heal themselves?

Looking for any stories or advice you guys have to share, as finding the correct way to do this is proving difficult. If anyone has any advice on how to get through the scary feelings of insomnia and fear of death because of it please feel free to share how you got through this and any encouragement.

 Thank you to all that contribute to this.

This story breaks my heart! Sounds like multiple cases of HCP malpractice.  But now that the damage is done, I fear that the situation is no longer a simple case of coming off the Ambien.  The short half-life is always an issue for tapering, but with all the other machinations of starting and stopping psychoactive agents has definitely complicated matters.

My only thought now is whether it would be [...] to cross over to a longer acting benzo (valium?) to stabilize and only then restart the taper (?)....

Perhaps you should post this in the general boards so the moderators to also chime in.

[...] Luck and Godspeed!
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]

[...], my tablets (10 mgs Ambien) were the Auribindo also. Very inconvenient to cut up. I asked my doc for 5mg tablets (also oblong shape) to taper. Then I cut them in quarters with a razor blade, then just took 25% less for 2 weeks, then 25% less again and so on until I was done. Not a very scientific taper, but it worked!

Best of luck to 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]

Super happy to hear from you [...]!!! I am back to work now after my taper, since jan. I always felt for you working while tapering. So here's to us!!!!

I did check out [...] also before I found this site. Support means so much to all of us here.

Cheers,
[...]

I have not shared in a few months.
Was struggling with getting to zero and staying there.

I found an old prescription and thought I could use successfully. Well the short answer is I can not use occasionally.

Been going to [...] and so far so [...].
I finally made it past 30 days and the miracle is I'm sleeping [...] than ever being 100 percent off of Ambien.
My back / muscle pains are gone. The pain was due to interdose withdrawals.

My routine that is working after 20 + years on ambien is
I take magnesium and tryptophan a few hours before bedtime. It helps me wind down. I do take melatonin, over the counter pm, Hydroxyzine (prescribed by doctor), and play sleep music. It sounds like a lot, but my sleep is lovely and have a some nights actually enjoyed the getting into bed and sleeping. I'm slowly starting to trust I will sleep with out ambien.

I have some nights where I have the urge for ambien, but just lay my head down and breath and fall asleep before I know it.
[...] helped me a lot (happened to see your name). I am miracle and feel very grateful to be off of the wicked wicked wicked wicked drug. 
34 nights and counting with out ambien. That is the longest I've gone is 20 years.

For all the new comers, this was one of the most difficult drugs to come off of. I really doubted for month that I could do.
For me, I had to do it extremely slow and not beat myself up if had set-backs. just get back up and keep moving forward.

Dont do it alone, share the [...] and difficult.
sleeping is possible with out ambien


.
TWD heyyyyyy!  :) Iíve been wondering what happened to you, my friend! Glad to see you post an update. Even more happy to read that itís a [...] one! Wooohooo! Wow Iím so proud of you. And I donít mind helping you or anyone. Others certainly helped me. This is a give and receive forum. Love it! What would we do without it? It brings my heart such joy that I was able to help you. Your sleep routine and hygiene sounds great. Wonderful that itís working for you. Keep up the [...] work. Even after youíre completely healed, itís a great routine to have. It definitely gives the brain a cue to start getting ready to sleep.  :thumbsup:
[...] is also not a bad thing to attend. Thereís life changing tools they give. If thatís working for you, then go for it! It certainly wonít do any harm. Iím so proud of you, TWD! Way to go.
Big hugs and keep in touch please.
🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗 Team Z!
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]

Warm loving healing hugs to Team Z! I pray you all are progressing nicely. Enjoying things again. Staying stress free and eating healthy. Oh yeahÖ.donít forget to take walks when you can then rest.  :thumbsup:
As we feel [...] we tend to overdo it. So please be careful. Itís beginning of summer. [...] keep plenty of water handy especially if youíre outside  :thumbsup:
Ve got a feeling this year will be a scorcher! Iíve gathered this prediction from the crazy rare record breaking weather weíve been having. This is the middle of may and I saw the weather predictions for this weekÖ.some days will be 90 already! Wow! Thatís so very hot!
So howís everyone doing? Any [...] news?


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]

[...], my tablets (10 mgs Ambien) were the Auribindo also. Very inconvenient to cut up. I asked my doc for 5mg tablets (also oblong shape) to taper. Then I cut them in quarters with a razor blade, then just took 25% less for 2 weeks, then 25% less again and so on until I was done. Not a very scientific taper, but it worked!

Best of luck to you,

[...]

Thank you [...]. Iím down to 10MG from 20MG. Sleep is still fine. Iím neither promoting nor advocating other supplements, but those 5MG [...] time gummies are a game changer.

From here on out Iíll do the 10 or 25% method until off.
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]

 :thumbsup: norcal!

[...]
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.