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Old 04-27-2016, 12:55 PM
Mvc
 
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Ambien is a benzodiazapine (like xanax, valium, ativan). There are those who will say it is not, but it is, it binds one less receptor than the usual benzos.

Benzos are addictive. You also develop a tolerance to them over time, meaning it takes more to get the same effect, e.g., put you to sleep. Eventually you get no effect, and you keep taking a larger dose just to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Benzo withdrawal is not to be taken lightly, don't go cold turkey, or you risk seizures. Best done under the supervision of someone who is experienced with weaning people off of ambien.

Your doctor may not know or not care about the addictive effects of ambien, if this is the case, best to get a different doctor.
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:23 PM
 
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Latest words out there now is benzos dementia/alzheimers connection. Dangerous drugs.
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:48 PM
 
2,937 posts, read 1,637,097 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaminhealth View Post
Latest words out there now is benzos dementia/alzheimers connection. Dangerous drugs.
I can't stand benzos, they have similar problems with oxycodone, you build a tolerance, need more, and then can have a withdrawal.

I do think in a short term and highly supervised (inpatient or partial hospital) situation they can benefit a patient. But like ambien, they get passed around like candy. People say marijuana is a gateway drug? Wrong, it's prescription pills that are killing our country. I'd sooner tell someone to smoke weed for anxiety before I'd tell them to take a benzo daily.
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Old 04-27-2016, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Central IL
12,988 posts, read 6,868,725 times
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Don't stop taking Ambien all at once - you really need to consult your doctor. Here's one source:

Tapering Down
Due to the very real risk of seizures, once dependent, you should never stop using Ambien very suddenly, nor should you reduce your daily dosage too quickly.3

Once dependent, to quit Ambien, you must choose one of the following three primary options:

Taper down slowly off Ambien
Switch over to a longer acting benzodiazepine like diazepam (at an equivalent dose) and then taper down from that
Detox off Ambien in an inpatient facility while receiving a continuous flumazenil infusion
In most cases, doctors will advise that you slowly taper down your dose, or switch to an equivalent dosage of a longer acting benzodiazepine, like diazepam, and then taper down from that.4

Straight Ambien Taper

The simplest method is the straight Ambien taper.

You should consult with your doctor when making a tapering plan, but don't get pressured into a rapid reduction - after all, what's the hurry? Consider taking your time and know that spaced gradual reductions cause fewer withdrawal symptoms and less rebound insomnia.

As a conservative starting point, you might consider a 10% reduction every 2 weeks. Or, you can try a slightly more aggressive tapering plan, such as reducing by 10% per week, knowing that you can always slow things down if it becomes unmanageable.

Tip for Success Ė Stay in control of the process and the pace. Itís your body and you know whatís manageable and whatís not. Donít let an outside Ďexpertí impose a schedule that doesnít work for you. Itís OK to pause reductions during times of great stress or when withdrawal symptoms get too severe - but try to avoid retreating to a higher dosage after a reduction. For the best chances of success, you can slow down, but never go backward.


Here's the rest: Ambien Addiction and Withdrawal: Tapering and Treatment Options
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Old 04-27-2016, 03:24 PM
 
2,652 posts, read 7,607,976 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCUGal View Post
I've been on Ambien for 3 years. It's now at the point I can't fall asleep without it. It's actually to the point I take MORE sleeping pills (i.e. Unisom) on top of Ambien because it's not enough to put me to sleep. Even with all of that, I still wake up in the middle of the night.

I am so extremely tired throughout the day, but I can't even fall asleep without taking the dang drug. I've expressed concern to my psych doctor about it, but she wants me to get over some major life stressors within the next month or so before switching up my meds. Um...I want it changed now.

I feel like a sleep study would be wasting my money. I had one a few years ago when fatigue was an issue, not insomnia, and nothing came back unusual. Also, I've tried Lyrica and it was like candy; it did nothing for me.

Can I get any advice?
L-Theanine. I used to have a terrible time sleeping. Went to the health food store and they recommended it. It's worked better than anything I'd taken previously.
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Old 04-27-2016, 03:39 PM
 
6,923 posts, read 8,784,819 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCUGal View Post
I've been on Ambien for 3 years. It's now at the point I can't fall asleep without it. It's actually to the point I take MORE sleeping pills (i.e. Unisom) on top of Ambien because it's not enough to put me to sleep. Even with all of that, I still wake up in the middle of the night.

I am so extremely tired throughout the day, but I can't even fall asleep without taking the dang drug. I've expressed concern to my psych doctor about it, but she wants me to get over some major life stressors within the next month or so before switching up my meds. Um...I want it changed now.

I feel like a sleep study would be wasting my money. I had one a few years ago when fatigue was an issue, not insomnia, and nothing came back unusual. Also, I've tried Lyrica and it was like candy; it did nothing for me.

Can I get any advice?


If you have to take more sleep meds on top of Ambien, the Ambien is obviously no longer cutting it. And you're probably dragging thru the day because you're either overmedicated during daytime hours or simply sleep deprived. A sleep study would not give you any useful results when you're this heavily medicated, more than likely.


There are many, many meds that can help you sleep. But throwing pills at the problem is only going to get you so far. Have you asked what is keeping you awake at bedtime? What is waking you up in the middle of the night? If the issue is panic attacks or generalized anxiety, you probably need to get with a counselor who does cognitive-behavioral therapy. Meanwhile, start lifting weights or running or doing something that will burn off some of this excess energy. Ditto traumatic flashbacks. If it's hot flashes, go on the pill. If it's depression, try an SSRI, or a sedating antidepressant like trazadone. (And, again, go to a dang therapist and work on your mood problems.)


You can also try the electronics diet. Many people watch TV or play video games or otherwise do electronic activities right before they try to go to sleep and then lie there awake. If electronics are your problem, don't go near a TV or computer screen or smartphone for at least 4 hours before bed. It should start to help in a couple of days.
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Old 04-28-2016, 09:34 AM
 
Location: The Palmetto State
635 posts, read 476,036 times
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Those who were on Ambien, were tired throughout the day, and successfully came off of it, how do you feel during the day now? When do you go to bed? I am so nervous to start a second job and be already tired when I wake up for my first job. Is there anything non-addictive I can take to give me energy?

I will say there are some major stressors that are going to stay present for the next month. I know that's not helping my situation.
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Old 04-28-2016, 10:21 AM
 
2,937 posts, read 1,637,097 times
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Look up sleep hygiene, it'll give you good advice.
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Old 04-28-2016, 10:33 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,047 posts, read 6,216,144 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angeltx98 View Post
isn't there an Ambien extended (or controlled?) release? or is that what you are on? I'm sorry, I don't have any personal experience with it, I just know someone who has been addicted to it for ages. He used to have severe hallucinations when he didn't go to sleep. He still takes it and his dr is constantly increasing his meds because of his increasing tolerances. It's very disturbing. Maybe instead the dr should address the issue that he drinks a dozen sodas a day, drinks a dozen cups of coffee a day, takes a bunch of Adderall, smokes 2 packs of cigarettes a day... maybe that's why he can't sleep?? He does all that to combat the drowsiness of the increasing Ambien doses. Vicious cycles.
Seems like he would be up all night going to the john, if nothing else.
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Old 04-28-2016, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
304 posts, read 188,820 times
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No sweats 3 hours to bedtime, no foods 3 hours if you really mean it. Keep bedroom completely dark, cool, have a fan for white noise, shut your door.

Meditate. You don't have to go all Buddist Monk, but just sit there for 5 minutes and focus on nothing but your breathing.

Read a bit before bedtime, NO tv prior to bedtime, the red/blue colors keep you awake.

Finally, if you take any meds at all, either take them in the morning or afternoon, many meds, both over the counter or scripts may throw of your melatonic or circadian rhythms.

Try Valerian Root and green tea.

K
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