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NotQuiteMyself: 23 Years of anti-depressants and sleeping tablets for anxiety and insomnia


NotQuiteMyself

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I'm so happy to have found this group through a link on the UK MIND website. This is my story so far.

 

After a few years of poor sleep leading to debilitating anxiety, at the beginning of 2000 my GP prescribed me Seroxat (Paxil) and Zopiclone 3.75mg (Lunesta). I was in such a state and so relieved to have been helped, that I took Zopiclone every night along with the Seroxat as instructed.. for six years.

 

In the first year I gained 4 stone (56 pounds) in weight but otherwise felt well. In 2006 I went on holiday and forgot to take my Seroxat with me. Three days later it didn't occur to me that the reason I thought I was dying was my forgotten meds, but I then realised and obtained an emergency supply. This incident frightened me and as I felt well and was sleeping, I decided to stop taking Seroxat. My GP told me to 'do it gradually' over a two-week period. After starting to feel unwell having halved my dose (can't remember what I was on but it wasn't the highest or the lowest) I googled and discovered tapering. With the help of a wonderful online support group I used liquid Seroxat (the GP didn't know it was a thing) and having nevertheless been through appalling withdrawal over 18 months, I was free of it.

 

Even having tapered by a droplet every two weeks, the withdrawal was intolerable. I lost 18 months of my life doing little else but lie on a sofa. In 2007 I presented myself, a weeping mess, at the GP's again and was offered Trimipramine, a sedating tricyclic AD (proprietary name then was Surmontil). Trimipramine was actually the answer to my prayers. It knocked me out for twelve hours at a stretch. I slept, but it dulled my mind and gave me heart arrhythmia which caused me to start a tapered withdrawal in 2017.

 

It was going reasonably well until a GP I had never met rang me to say I had to stop taking the drug immediately as the price had sky-rocketed and the NHS could no longer prescribe it. My taper turned into a glorified cold turkey and I had every withdrawal symptom possible. My Zopiclone dose was doubled to 7.5mg and after 4 weeks I was back at the surgery, seeing a fourth different GP, who was adamant that what I needed was Mirtazapine (in spite of my protestations about its reputation for weight gain). I only took it for two weeks, I really wasn't invested in it and although I didn't really give it a fair chance, it was no help.

 

I decided to see a psychiatrist in March 2018, who put me on Amitiyptilyne (Elavil), the thinking being that as a tricyclic had already helped me, this drug might get me out of crisis. I went from 25-75mg in a week. It didn't help my sleep or anxiety and gave me bladder issues, mainly false urinary urgency, which made my anxiety go through the roof and put a complete end to any hope of sleeping. I then did a quick cross-taper onto Escitalopram (Lexapro) going up from 2.5mg to 15mg in the three months to June 2018. Escitalopram was just wrong for me and my chronic insomnia. It was extremely stimulating, I was wired 24/7, I had tinnitus, ear and sinus pain, mania, twitching muscles, popping ears, panic, to name but a few. I did a quick cross-taper onto Venlafaxine (Effexor) 37.5mg, increasing after a week to 75mg. This drug was also stimulating. The bladder issues had gone after three months on Escitalopram, but Venlafaxine also gave me the jitters, the ENT symptoms and I couldn't sleep. I added Melatonin and CBD oil into the mix. The side-effects just worsened, I had stomach pain, digestive issues, acid reflux and my head was a sleep-deprived mess. I decided enough was enough and tapered off Venlafaxine, by myself, between September 2020 and 12 August 2022 when I took my last sliver of tablet.

 

So I'm just approaching one year of being AD-free. I still take 7.5mg of Zopiclone nightly, but suffer from appalling insomnia and my quality of life is much-diminished from what it could be. I use CBD oil sometimes at night, melatonin, valerian. I practise slow breathing, I have had CBT and CBTi. I did a course on Vedic meditation which has helped somewhat, but I typically have 5/6 hours' sleep a night, I cry, I panic and I despair. I avoid socialising and going away from home: my sleeping is scant in my own bed, elsewhere it is an anxiety-ridden struggle.

 

I wish that back in 2000, I had been offered CBT rather than pills, and that I could have been encouraged to use Zopiclone sparingly, occasionally. I'll never know if that could have been enough.

 

Thank you so much if you've got to the end of this long initial post. I was planning to be brief.. I spent this morning dipping in and out of threads and have already found much to encourage and comfort.

 

 

 

Uninterrupted Use of ADs from 2000 to 12 August 2022*

2000-2007 paroxeteine (Seroxat/Paxil); zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg.

2006-7 slow taper from paroxeteine of 18 months. *AD-free for 3 weeks.

2007-2018 trimipramine (tricyclic AD), accelerated taper due to unavailability of drug, last dose January 2018. 

2018 mirtazapine (Remeron) for 2 weeks, discontinued and took amitriptyline (tricyclic)for 2 weeks. Cross-tapered to:

2018-19 escitalopram (Lexapro). Zopiclone increased to 7.5mg.

2019 -2022 Venlafaxine (Effexor) reaching 75mg April 2019 having cross-tapered from escitalopram after a year. Began tapering off venlafaxine Sep2020. 56mg (9 Sep 2020); 37.5mg (Jan2021); 28mg (Aug 2021); 19mg (Feb2022); 9mg (Jul2022); final dose 12 Aug2022. Uninterrupted and continuing use of zopiclone 7.5mg. (Omeprazole (antacid) introduced January 2021 - now used if and when needed).

“Z drug” Use  Uninterrupted use 2000-present (still using) Zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg 2000-2018 and 7.5mg 2018-present

Currently AD-free for one year, as of 12 August 2022, taking 7.5mg zopiclone nightly and occasional antacid Omeprazole.

 

 

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Welcome. @NotQuiteMyself

 

I am sorry you've been through this. I am also sorry it's not an unusual story.

 

What is your sleep pattern now? How has your symptom pattern changed in the last 3 months?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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Good morning, Altostrata.

 

Many thanks for welcoming me into the group.

 

Every night, how long I sleep, the quality of it and what measures I took to get any will dictate how my day will go. In a typical 7 days, I will try to fall asleep with the sole help of my 7.5mg of Zopiclone. If I do, it will take up to an hour and if I’m lucky I’ll sleep for 6 hours, but that will be broken by maybe 2 visits to the bathroom, coughing, sleep apnoea and snoring. If I can’t fall asleep, one night a week I’ll take an extra quarter of a Zopiclone which will send me off after 20-30 minutes. One night a week I’ll take 3mg of melatonin after an hour, although I prefer to use this as a booster if I wake at 3-4am and can’t get to sleep. On the other 5 days I might take CBD oil (although this only helps if my insomnia is due to obvious stress symptoms like a racing heart). Other things I try are slow breathing, thinking a sound repeatedly in my head, counting in sevens backwards, you name it. Last week I tried Nytol, which is high-dose Valerian, but I really wish I hadn’t: I had a headache for three days afterwards and felt like a zombie. When nothing works, panic and despair mount. As I mentioned in my introduction, I am avoiding socialising, particularly in the evenings, and I have begun to find spending nights away from home impossible.

 

Over the last three months, things have deteriorated. I’ve been away for a few days at a time in the UK and spent a week in Europe. While I’m away, I depend on more of the sleep aids mentioned above, but hate using them, terrified of tolerance developing. Then when I’m home it can take weeks or months to settle back into my old (and in itself not great) pattern. So I’m avoiding going away or out and my world is shrinking. Every day of my life is dependent on how much sleep I’ve had, and most days are to be survived, not enjoyed.

 

My sleep problems have been inextricably linked with anxiety issues since the start, and I believe that now insomnia is only one of the gifts I’ve been given by withdrawal syndrome, but that’s another post..

Uninterrupted Use of ADs from 2000 to 12 August 2022*

2000-2007 paroxeteine (Seroxat/Paxil); zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg.

2006-7 slow taper from paroxeteine of 18 months. *AD-free for 3 weeks.

2007-2018 trimipramine (tricyclic AD), accelerated taper due to unavailability of drug, last dose January 2018. 

2018 mirtazapine (Remeron) for 2 weeks, discontinued and took amitriptyline (tricyclic)for 2 weeks. Cross-tapered to:

2018-19 escitalopram (Lexapro). Zopiclone increased to 7.5mg.

2019 -2022 Venlafaxine (Effexor) reaching 75mg April 2019 having cross-tapered from escitalopram after a year. Began tapering off venlafaxine Sep2020. 56mg (9 Sep 2020); 37.5mg (Jan2021); 28mg (Aug 2021); 19mg (Feb2022); 9mg (Jul2022); final dose 12 Aug2022. Uninterrupted and continuing use of zopiclone 7.5mg. (Omeprazole (antacid) introduced January 2021 - now used if and when needed).

“Z drug” Use  Uninterrupted use 2000-present (still using) Zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg 2000-2018 and 7.5mg 2018-present

Currently AD-free for one year, as of 12 August 2022, taking 7.5mg zopiclone nightly and occasional antacid Omeprazole.

 

 

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Since your sleep problem is so long-standing, it's hard to see whether it was caused by drugs, but going on and off psychiatric drugs probably hasn't helped. For withdrawal syndrome, 5-6 hours of sleep per night isn't bad.

 

What times o'clock do you take each of your drugs, with their dosages? What is your sleep schedule?

 

If I were you, I'd take 0.5mg melatonin every night 2 hours before bedtime.

 

Suggest you follow these sleep hygiene tips ASAP. Blacking out light in your bedroom is the first step. It should also be cool and quiet.  Going to bed and getting up in the morning at consistent times are helpful. Getting out in the daytime and get natural light can help set your internal clock.

 

 

What is the sleep cycle?

 

Waking with panic or anxiety -- managing the morning cortisol spike

 

Tips to help sleep -- so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

Path to Better Sleep FREE online for everyone from the US Veterans Administration

 

Music for self-care: Calms hyperalertness, anxiety, aids relaxation and sleep

 

White noise devices for sleep

 

Melatonin for sleep: Many people find it helpful

 

TV or computer use in evening can disrupt sleep: Bright light signals the brain that it's daytime

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Many thanks for your reply and the links. I was particularly interested in your thoughts on melatonin. We can’t buy it over here, although I understand it can be obtained on prescription. I buy mine from iherb in the US, but they don’t seem to sell tablets any lower than 3mg. I still have some of those and thought I might cut them into quarters, what do you think? I worry that the active ingredient isn’t evenly distributed throughout the tablet? I wonder if any UK members could recommend an alternate US retailer who ships lower doses to the UK? I certainly want to give the drip-feed principle a try.

 

I agree that my insomnia is unlikely to be caused by the ADs but is likely exacerbated by them. I also know that on the face of it 5/6 hours doesn’t look so terrible. My issue is that insomnia is what pushed me into GAD. CBT has really helped me with my general anxiety. My only real anxiety is around sleep. When I’m struggling it causes me to panic and catastrophise about how I can live without rest. I’ve been trying to work out if my lack of sleep is making the other WD symptoms worse, or whether the insomnia is just one of the WD symptoms, because the two always come at once. It’s really hard when you have to cancel something and people think you’re wimping out just because you’re tired. It’s just too exhausting and embarrassing to start trying to explain that actually I’m cancelling because I can’t stop crying, my head is spinning, my ears are buzzing, I feel sick, am constantly rushing to the loo and I’m so stressed and wired that I’m hyperventilating and shredding my fingernails.

 

12 hours ago, Altostrata said:

What times o'clock do you take each of your drugs, with their dosages? What is your sleep schedule

I take 7.5mgs of Zopiclone when I turn out my light, between 10.45-11.15. If I’m desperate, I’ll take another quarter of these within an hour or so. If it’s a melatonin night, I take it if I wake, usually between 2-4am, 3mgs. If it’s a CBD night, I’ll take 8 drops of CBD 3,000, at any time of night before about 3am. I always take the 7.5 of Zopiclone, but only ever add in one of the other options.

I go to bed by 9.45-10.15 and then read in bed until I’m sleepy, 10.30-11.15-ish. I’ve read in bed before sleep since I was a child, although the CBTi course I followed discouraged it. They also told me to get up if I couldn’t sleep and I understand the thinking behind it, but it didn’t work for me. Sleep restriction was also a non-starter.

 

I do all of the right things regarding sleep hygiene otherwise. My room’s dark, I’m on my own (snoring husband banished), earplugs in, temperature just right, no screens after 6 (most of the time) etc. we watch tv from about 7.30-10pm, but I have my reading wind-down before sleep.

 

I do know one thing about my sleeping problems:- it is highly probable that my various back-ups often work because I’ve taken some action. ‘It’s fine now, you’ve taken X so you’ll be able to sleep now.’  If someone slipped me a placebo, I suspect that would work too.

 

 

Uninterrupted Use of ADs from 2000 to 12 August 2022*

2000-2007 paroxeteine (Seroxat/Paxil); zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg.

2006-7 slow taper from paroxeteine of 18 months. *AD-free for 3 weeks.

2007-2018 trimipramine (tricyclic AD), accelerated taper due to unavailability of drug, last dose January 2018. 

2018 mirtazapine (Remeron) for 2 weeks, discontinued and took amitriptyline (tricyclic)for 2 weeks. Cross-tapered to:

2018-19 escitalopram (Lexapro). Zopiclone increased to 7.5mg.

2019 -2022 Venlafaxine (Effexor) reaching 75mg April 2019 having cross-tapered from escitalopram after a year. Began tapering off venlafaxine Sep2020. 56mg (9 Sep 2020); 37.5mg (Jan2021); 28mg (Aug 2021); 19mg (Feb2022); 9mg (Jul2022); final dose 12 Aug2022. Uninterrupted and continuing use of zopiclone 7.5mg. (Omeprazole (antacid) introduced January 2021 - now used if and when needed).

“Z drug” Use  Uninterrupted use 2000-present (still using) Zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg 2000-2018 and 7.5mg 2018-present

Currently AD-free for one year, as of 12 August 2022, taking 7.5mg zopiclone nightly and occasional antacid Omeprazole.

 

 

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8 hours ago, NotQuiteMyself said:

I still have some of those and thought I might cut them into quarters, what do you think?

 

Yes, you can do this.

 

If you can strengthen your sleep by natural methods, that would set you on a road to recovery overall.

 

8 hours ago, NotQuiteMyself said:

I take 7.5mgs of Zopiclone when I turn out my light, between 10.45-11.15. If I’m desperate, I’ll take another quarter of these within an hour or so.

 

Please take the same dosage at the same time each day. Inconsistent dosing can get you into trouble.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Good morning and thank you for your feedback.

 

Last night I took 0.75mg melatonin at 9pm, turned my light out at 10.40 and was asleep by 11.10. 9Goes without saying I had my 7.5mg Zopiclone at lights out).

I slept until 5.10am with a loo visit at about 3, so around 6 hours’ sleep. Very tired.

 

I do take on board your comment about taking regular doses of Zopiclone, but when I am spiralling downwards with panic, the only thing I have to cling on to is that extra quarter. When I take it it can bring me peace from despair and panic, but I’m always upset that I had to resort to it. Panic makes you think you’re dying, so it’s my lifesaver.

 

 

Uninterrupted Use of ADs from 2000 to 12 August 2022*

2000-2007 paroxeteine (Seroxat/Paxil); zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg.

2006-7 slow taper from paroxeteine of 18 months. *AD-free for 3 weeks.

2007-2018 trimipramine (tricyclic AD), accelerated taper due to unavailability of drug, last dose January 2018. 

2018 mirtazapine (Remeron) for 2 weeks, discontinued and took amitriptyline (tricyclic)for 2 weeks. Cross-tapered to:

2018-19 escitalopram (Lexapro). Zopiclone increased to 7.5mg.

2019 -2022 Venlafaxine (Effexor) reaching 75mg April 2019 having cross-tapered from escitalopram after a year. Began tapering off venlafaxine Sep2020. 56mg (9 Sep 2020); 37.5mg (Jan2021); 28mg (Aug 2021); 19mg (Feb2022); 9mg (Jul2022); final dose 12 Aug2022. Uninterrupted and continuing use of zopiclone 7.5mg. (Omeprazole (antacid) introduced January 2021 - now used if and when needed).

“Z drug” Use  Uninterrupted use 2000-present (still using) Zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg 2000-2018 and 7.5mg 2018-present

Currently AD-free for one year, as of 12 August 2022, taking 7.5mg zopiclone nightly and occasional antacid Omeprazole.

 

 

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21 hours ago, NotQuiteMyself said:

I do take on board your comment about taking regular doses of Zopiclone, but when I am spiralling downwards with panic, the only thing I have to cling on to is that extra quarter.

 

You slept pretty well, why not continue with this regular regimen?

 

21 hours ago, NotQuiteMyself said:

the only thing I have to cling on to is that extra quarter. When I take it it can bring me peace from despair and panic, but I’m always upset that I had to resort to it. Panic makes you think you’re dying, so it’s my lifesaver.

 

If you don't want to go off your drugs, you don't have to. Please let us know if you want to taper your drugs.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Sunday turned into a bit of a meltdown. The early waking and failing to go back to sleep seems to indicate that WD symptoms are kicking in. I spent the day fretting, crying and catastrophising about my struggles. I was boiling hot all of the time and had a stomach ache, along with bad tinnitus and all of the other symptoms that go with high stress.

 

Yesterday (Monday) was a good day. I woke early but was able to go back to sleep. This indicates to me that the WD symptoms had abated. I don’t believe that I had a good day because I had more sleep - this is what I used to believe. Now I think that everything is pure WD symptoms and the wakefulness is a part of that.

 

I’m continuing with the 0.75 melatonin at 9pm. I’m getting off to sleep effectively, but my nights are broken and restless and the early waking is my current problem sleep-wise.

 

I’ve read on here about ‘windows and waves’ and I do recognise this, but my ups and downs are so short-lived. In the last 6 days I’ve gone good good good bad good bad. 
 


’If you don't want to go off your drugs, you don't have to. Please let us know if you want to taper your drugs.‘

I’m left with Zopiclone 7.5mg. I really do want to come off this, but I am really suffering from the Venlafaxine WD (Effexor) and can’t contemplate a new taper for a long time I don’t think. When I do, I want to use liquid Zopiclone. I’ve asked 2 different GPS about it. They really aren’t interested. One didn’t know anything about it and said he’d get back to me: he never did. The other looked it up and said it isn’t licensed as a sleeping aid, but he would get back to me. He hasn’t either and that was months ago. The thought of another new struggle after so many already fills me with dread.

Uninterrupted Use of ADs from 2000 to 12 August 2022*

2000-2007 paroxeteine (Seroxat/Paxil); zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg.

2006-7 slow taper from paroxeteine of 18 months. *AD-free for 3 weeks.

2007-2018 trimipramine (tricyclic AD), accelerated taper due to unavailability of drug, last dose January 2018. 

2018 mirtazapine (Remeron) for 2 weeks, discontinued and took amitriptyline (tricyclic)for 2 weeks. Cross-tapered to:

2018-19 escitalopram (Lexapro). Zopiclone increased to 7.5mg.

2019 -2022 Venlafaxine (Effexor) reaching 75mg April 2019 having cross-tapered from escitalopram after a year. Began tapering off venlafaxine Sep2020. 56mg (9 Sep 2020); 37.5mg (Jan2021); 28mg (Aug 2021); 19mg (Feb2022); 9mg (Jul2022); final dose 12 Aug2022. Uninterrupted and continuing use of zopiclone 7.5mg. (Omeprazole (antacid) introduced January 2021 - now used if and when needed).

“Z drug” Use  Uninterrupted use 2000-present (still using) Zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg 2000-2018 and 7.5mg 2018-present

Currently AD-free for one year, as of 12 August 2022, taking 7.5mg zopiclone nightly and occasional antacid Omeprazole.

 

 

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See Tips for tapering off Z drugs for sleep (Ambien, Imovane, Sonata, Lunesta, Intermezzo, etc.) 
 

16 hours ago, NotQuiteMyself said:

I’m continuing with the 0.75 melatonin at 9pm. I’m getting off to sleep effectively, but my nights are broken and restless and the early waking is my current problem sleep-wise.

 

This is typical when your nervous system is settling down from withdrawal.

 

I would not taper until your sleep is steady. Also follow these tips to strengthen sleep. Keep your bedroom cool and as dark as possible with blackout shades and curtains. 

 

What is the sleep cycle?

 

Waking with panic or anxiety -- managing the morning cortisol spike

 

Tips to help sleep -- so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

Path to Better Sleep FREE online for everyone from the US Veterans Administration

 

Music for self-care: Calms hyperalertness, anxiety, aids relaxation and sleep

 

White noise devices for sleep

 

Melatonin for sleep: Many people find it helpful

 

TV or computer use in evening can disrupt sleep: Bright light signals the brain that it's daytime

 

Light boxes/light therapy for depression and sleep disorders

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thank you for the links, Altostrata, I’m reading!


I’ve been calling Zopiclone Lunesta, which I now see is the brand name for eszopiclone. I believe I should have been referring to it as Imovane.

 

Although I’ve been awake since 5am and my eyes are sore, I’ve had no notable WD symptoms today, which goes to show that insomnia is not making me unable to function, it’s WD that is doing it and in spite of my poor night’s sleep, I’m enjoying a little window. Do I dare make a plan, like arrange to meet a friend for coffee, or am I just getting cocky?

 

I’m trying to find out as much as possible about Zopiclone tapering. I’ve read through the link you provided and I saw that someone else was referred to a benzo thread. Will z drugs be discussed there or do I just treat my Zopiclone addiction as though it were a benzo addiction?

 

I haven’t got the hang of the forum yet. Am I right in thinking that I shouldn’t start my own Zopiclone/Imovane thread, but should look for an established one to piggy-back on to or address it here? Will other people in my situation find it if it appears in my intro thread? I’m not sure there are many people who have taken Zopiclone continuously for 23 years, or are there…? And how do I find these people to share experiences and hopefully learn from their tapering experience.

 

Also, is it protocol to give regular updates on my WD progress, and if so, how often, or should I only add a post if I have a question or there’s been a development?

 

Apologies for all the questions. This marvellous site is a huge thing and I want to know how to navigate it correctly. I am so grateful for your feedback. I am amazed every time I find a response in the morning after posting. Thank you.

Uninterrupted Use of ADs from 2000 to 12 August 2022*

2000-2007 paroxeteine (Seroxat/Paxil); zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg.

2006-7 slow taper from paroxeteine of 18 months. *AD-free for 3 weeks.

2007-2018 trimipramine (tricyclic AD), accelerated taper due to unavailability of drug, last dose January 2018. 

2018 mirtazapine (Remeron) for 2 weeks, discontinued and took amitriptyline (tricyclic)for 2 weeks. Cross-tapered to:

2018-19 escitalopram (Lexapro). Zopiclone increased to 7.5mg.

2019 -2022 Venlafaxine (Effexor) reaching 75mg April 2019 having cross-tapered from escitalopram after a year. Began tapering off venlafaxine Sep2020. 56mg (9 Sep 2020); 37.5mg (Jan2021); 28mg (Aug 2021); 19mg (Feb2022); 9mg (Jul2022); final dose 12 Aug2022. Uninterrupted and continuing use of zopiclone 7.5mg. (Omeprazole (antacid) introduced January 2021 - now used if and when needed).

“Z drug” Use  Uninterrupted use 2000-present (still using) Zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg 2000-2018 and 7.5mg 2018-present

Currently AD-free for one year, as of 12 August 2022, taking 7.5mg zopiclone nightly and occasional antacid Omeprazole.

 

 

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You're welcome.

 

Yes, please put your updates in this thread, @NotQuiteMyself

 

Many of us have had to deal with withdrawal insomnia and found we can do a lot more than we think. In fact, as much activity as is comfortable for you will help your nervous system adapt to less drug.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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6 hours of sleep last night 11.30-5.30 with only one loo trip at 12.30. And today I feel ok again. No panic, tears, buzzing head.

Is it a window? Is it the low-dose evening melatonin? Is it the magic of immersing myself in the stories on this site? I have given myself permission to take an extra Zopiclone crumb if I really need it, and I haven’t needed it for several nights.

Whatever it is, I’ll take it.

Uninterrupted Use of ADs from 2000 to 12 August 2022*

2000-2007 paroxeteine (Seroxat/Paxil); zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg.

2006-7 slow taper from paroxeteine of 18 months. *AD-free for 3 weeks.

2007-2018 trimipramine (tricyclic AD), accelerated taper due to unavailability of drug, last dose January 2018. 

2018 mirtazapine (Remeron) for 2 weeks, discontinued and took amitriptyline (tricyclic)for 2 weeks. Cross-tapered to:

2018-19 escitalopram (Lexapro). Zopiclone increased to 7.5mg.

2019 -2022 Venlafaxine (Effexor) reaching 75mg April 2019 having cross-tapered from escitalopram after a year. Began tapering off venlafaxine Sep2020. 56mg (9 Sep 2020); 37.5mg (Jan2021); 28mg (Aug 2021); 19mg (Feb2022); 9mg (Jul2022); final dose 12 Aug2022. Uninterrupted and continuing use of zopiclone 7.5mg. (Omeprazole (antacid) introduced January 2021 - now used if and when needed).

“Z drug” Use  Uninterrupted use 2000-present (still using) Zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg 2000-2018 and 7.5mg 2018-present

Currently AD-free for one year, as of 12 August 2022, taking 7.5mg zopiclone nightly and occasional antacid Omeprazole.

 

 

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We would expect gradual, halting improvement.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Slept from 11.15 to 5.45 last night! This is the longest window I can remember having and only two things have changed: starting low-dose 9pm melatonin and joining this site. I am so thankful for both.

A friend on holiday in Spain has sourced some 1.95 melatonin. I’m not sure if it’s pure or mixed with other ingredients and I know to be wary of some of them, so I’ll I have a good look when I get my hands on them.

Uninterrupted Use of ADs from 2000 to 12 August 2022*

2000-2007 paroxeteine (Seroxat/Paxil); zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg.

2006-7 slow taper from paroxeteine of 18 months. *AD-free for 3 weeks.

2007-2018 trimipramine (tricyclic AD), accelerated taper due to unavailability of drug, last dose January 2018. 

2018 mirtazapine (Remeron) for 2 weeks, discontinued and took amitriptyline (tricyclic)for 2 weeks. Cross-tapered to:

2018-19 escitalopram (Lexapro). Zopiclone increased to 7.5mg.

2019 -2022 Venlafaxine (Effexor) reaching 75mg April 2019 having cross-tapered from escitalopram after a year. Began tapering off venlafaxine Sep2020. 56mg (9 Sep 2020); 37.5mg (Jan2021); 28mg (Aug 2021); 19mg (Feb2022); 9mg (Jul2022); final dose 12 Aug2022. Uninterrupted and continuing use of zopiclone 7.5mg. (Omeprazole (antacid) introduced January 2021 - now used if and when needed).

“Z drug” Use  Uninterrupted use 2000-present (still using) Zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg 2000-2018 and 7.5mg 2018-present

Currently AD-free for one year, as of 12 August 2022, taking 7.5mg zopiclone nightly and occasional antacid Omeprazole.

 

 

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  • Mentor
2 hours ago, NotQuiteMyself said:

Slept from 11.15 to 5.45 last night! This is the longest window I can remember having

 

That's great - yay!  I'm happy for you. 😊

 

I can relate to some of your sleep issues.  I have anticipatory anxiety whenever there is a big trip the next day or something like that.  I worry so much about not being able to sleep the night before and think about how miserable I'm going to be the next day without any sleep.  And guess what?  That's exactly what happens because that's what I set myself up for.  It's a real struggle.  

 

When I had my horrible withdrawal crash it got really bad because my body literally couldn't sleep for days.  I then developed PTSD about sleeping.  I would get so scared at night right before I was supposed to try to sleep.  Things are much, much better now though thankfully.

 

I'm glad to hear you've incorporated some CBT with regard to your sleeping issues since sometimes the problem lies with the thoughts we are feeding our mind.  The more we worry, the more we think; and the more we think, the more we worry.  It's a vicious cycle.

 

I hope you continue to have improvements with your sleep!  😴

Disclaimer:  This is not professional medical advice but is based on personal experience only.

1994 - 2017:  Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Seroquel, Buspar, Lorazepam, Xanax, Ambien

2005-present:  Trazodone 50 mg 

2017:  Effexor XR 37.5 >> 75 mg 

2020 (March):  Began 10% monthly taper of Effexor XR (got down to 12 mg)

2021 (September):  Completely crashed.  Went back up to 37.5 mg but in doing so I kindled myself for two years

2024:  1/1:  35.6 mg (-6 beads)  |  2/1:  33.8 mg (-11 beads)  |  3/1:  32.1 mg (-16 beads)

Reasons for starting psych meds:  PMDD/Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Other medications:  Levothyroxine 75 mcg

Supplements:  I sporadically take Dr. Berg's Electrolyte Powder, Magnesium Glycinate, Fish Oil, & Vitamin D3/K2

 

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  • Administrator

I think people in UK might order melatonin from iherb.com

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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6 hours ago, Altostrata said:

think people in UK might order melatonin from iherb.com

Morning.

iherb is where I’ve got my 3mg melatonin in the past, but the only one they seem to do now is a capsule.

I can see that 1mg/2mg is available online, but I have no idea which are reputable US sites before I send off my pounds! Could anyone tell me where they get their supplements in the US please?

Uninterrupted Use of ADs from 2000 to 12 August 2022*

2000-2007 paroxeteine (Seroxat/Paxil); zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg.

2006-7 slow taper from paroxeteine of 18 months. *AD-free for 3 weeks.

2007-2018 trimipramine (tricyclic AD), accelerated taper due to unavailability of drug, last dose January 2018. 

2018 mirtazapine (Remeron) for 2 weeks, discontinued and took amitriptyline (tricyclic)for 2 weeks. Cross-tapered to:

2018-19 escitalopram (Lexapro). Zopiclone increased to 7.5mg.

2019 -2022 Venlafaxine (Effexor) reaching 75mg April 2019 having cross-tapered from escitalopram after a year. Began tapering off venlafaxine Sep2020. 56mg (9 Sep 2020); 37.5mg (Jan2021); 28mg (Aug 2021); 19mg (Feb2022); 9mg (Jul2022); final dose 12 Aug2022. Uninterrupted and continuing use of zopiclone 7.5mg. (Omeprazole (antacid) introduced January 2021 - now used if and when needed).

“Z drug” Use  Uninterrupted use 2000-present (still using) Zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg 2000-2018 and 7.5mg 2018-present

Currently AD-free for one year, as of 12 August 2022, taking 7.5mg zopiclone nightly and occasional antacid Omeprazole.

 

 

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  • Mentor
4 hours ago, NotQuiteMyself said:

Morning.

iherb is where I’ve got my 3mg melatonin in the past, but the only one they seem to do now is a capsule.

I can see that 1mg/2mg is available online, but I have no idea which are reputable US sites before I send off my pounds! Could anyone tell me where they get their supplements in the US please?

 

Here is an article that gives you some places you can order from.  Hope it helps!

 

https://www.verywellfit.com/best-places-vitamins-4767552

Disclaimer:  This is not professional medical advice but is based on personal experience only.

1994 - 2017:  Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Seroquel, Buspar, Lorazepam, Xanax, Ambien

2005-present:  Trazodone 50 mg 

2017:  Effexor XR 37.5 >> 75 mg 

2020 (March):  Began 10% monthly taper of Effexor XR (got down to 12 mg)

2021 (September):  Completely crashed.  Went back up to 37.5 mg but in doing so I kindled myself for two years

2024:  1/1:  35.6 mg (-6 beads)  |  2/1:  33.8 mg (-11 beads)  |  3/1:  32.1 mg (-16 beads)

Reasons for starting psych meds:  PMDD/Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Other medications:  Levothyroxine 75 mcg

Supplements:  I sporadically take Dr. Berg's Electrolyte Powder, Magnesium Glycinate, Fish Oil, & Vitamin D3/K2

 

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@NotQuiteMyself Vey familiar.  We share a similar drug history including a tricyclic!  I appreciated you comment on my history.  Managed to avoid Seroquel but almost put on lithium... perhaps that balances. Was offered admission to psych ward 23 yrs ago - probably only avoided being Sectioned as I work in MH and psychiatrist was an ex-colleague- very, very scary. 

It appears that we are quickly put on a medication escalator, and because we are emotionally distressed at the time, we consent in desperation.  I think our prescribers prescribe, in good faith, but also in desperation. 

I am a bloke, but have frequently been dismissed by others as "a drama queen".  I am not gay or especially effeminate, but even if I was, what difference should that make?   In old psych speak we were simply sensitive or artistic, even neurotic was better than this misogynistic term.  

Good luck.  I will keep an eye out for you as a fellow newbie. 

Various ADs from 1991, always for depression with anxiety and agitation... sertraline, paroxetine, citalopram (with 2.5mg olanzapine briefly), coming off each for increasingly shorter times until 2000 when I went on meds full time with Clomipramine 200mg. Then Venlafaxine (XR) since 2008, initially 225mg, then 300mg, plus tried on venlafaxine with mirtazapine (California Rocket) for only a week in 2017(?) as absolutely intolerable. 

July '23 Venlafaxine XL 300 to 275mg.  Aug '23 275 to 250mg. Sept/Oct '23 250 to 230 to 225mg.  Nov '23 205mg. Dec '23 185mg.  28 Dec '23 reinstated 225mg after crashing. 

 

Supplements: Vitamin D and fish oil. 

 

"L'exposition du merde est temporaries".

 

Although I have a background in health, I am here to learn from others, encourage others and share my experiences, not to give professional guidance. 

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  • Administrator

Not all US supplement sellers will ship overseas.

 

I see at least 100 melatonin tablet products on iherb. I'd buy any of the melatonin supplements they carry, but I most frequently buy NOW and Source Naturals brands.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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20 hours ago, Catina7 said:

Here is an article that gives you some places you can order from.  Hope it helps!

Thank is so kind of you and so helpful, thank you. X

Uninterrupted Use of ADs from 2000 to 12 August 2022*

2000-2007 paroxeteine (Seroxat/Paxil); zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg.

2006-7 slow taper from paroxeteine of 18 months. *AD-free for 3 weeks.

2007-2018 trimipramine (tricyclic AD), accelerated taper due to unavailability of drug, last dose January 2018. 

2018 mirtazapine (Remeron) for 2 weeks, discontinued and took amitriptyline (tricyclic)for 2 weeks. Cross-tapered to:

2018-19 escitalopram (Lexapro). Zopiclone increased to 7.5mg.

2019 -2022 Venlafaxine (Effexor) reaching 75mg April 2019 having cross-tapered from escitalopram after a year. Began tapering off venlafaxine Sep2020. 56mg (9 Sep 2020); 37.5mg (Jan2021); 28mg (Aug 2021); 19mg (Feb2022); 9mg (Jul2022); final dose 12 Aug2022. Uninterrupted and continuing use of zopiclone 7.5mg. (Omeprazole (antacid) introduced January 2021 - now used if and when needed).

“Z drug” Use  Uninterrupted use 2000-present (still using) Zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg 2000-2018 and 7.5mg 2018-present

Currently AD-free for one year, as of 12 August 2022, taking 7.5mg zopiclone nightly and occasional antacid Omeprazole.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Altostrata said:

see at least 100 melatonin tablet products on iherb. I'd buy any of the melatonin supplements they carry, but I most frequently buy NOW and Source Naturals brands.

Hi Altostrata.

When I search melatonin on iherb I’m only shown one pure melatonin product which is a capsule, everything else is a more general blended sleep product with lots of other ingredients. Maybe they can see I’m in the UK and offer a narrower range?

 

I’ve had a look at the other outlets and it doesn’t look as though they ship to here, but I’ve messaged them.

 

Many thanks for your help. I’ve got a small supply which will last a little while.

Uninterrupted Use of ADs from 2000 to 12 August 2022*

2000-2007 paroxeteine (Seroxat/Paxil); zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg.

2006-7 slow taper from paroxeteine of 18 months. *AD-free for 3 weeks.

2007-2018 trimipramine (tricyclic AD), accelerated taper due to unavailability of drug, last dose January 2018. 

2018 mirtazapine (Remeron) for 2 weeks, discontinued and took amitriptyline (tricyclic)for 2 weeks. Cross-tapered to:

2018-19 escitalopram (Lexapro). Zopiclone increased to 7.5mg.

2019 -2022 Venlafaxine (Effexor) reaching 75mg April 2019 having cross-tapered from escitalopram after a year. Began tapering off venlafaxine Sep2020. 56mg (9 Sep 2020); 37.5mg (Jan2021); 28mg (Aug 2021); 19mg (Feb2022); 9mg (Jul2022); final dose 12 Aug2022. Uninterrupted and continuing use of zopiclone 7.5mg. (Omeprazole (antacid) introduced January 2021 - now used if and when needed).

“Z drug” Use  Uninterrupted use 2000-present (still using) Zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg 2000-2018 and 7.5mg 2018-present

Currently AD-free for one year, as of 12 August 2022, taking 7.5mg zopiclone nightly and occasional antacid Omeprazole.

 

 

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15 hours ago, BigCat said:

am a bloke, but have frequently been dismissed by others as "a drama queen".  I am not gay or especially effeminate, but even if I was, what difference should that make?   In old psych speak we were simply sensitive or artistic, even neurotic was better than this misogynistic term.  

Morning.

It’s unbelievable that in some quarters any kind of mental health issue is still seen as a weakness of character more generally experienced by women! I’m sure this goes a long way to explaining why suicide rates are historically so high for men, they are conditioned to be too ashamed to get help for their illness. I’ve certainly come across this attitude in people I know.

Uninterrupted Use of ADs from 2000 to 12 August 2022*

2000-2007 paroxeteine (Seroxat/Paxil); zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg.

2006-7 slow taper from paroxeteine of 18 months. *AD-free for 3 weeks.

2007-2018 trimipramine (tricyclic AD), accelerated taper due to unavailability of drug, last dose January 2018. 

2018 mirtazapine (Remeron) for 2 weeks, discontinued and took amitriptyline (tricyclic)for 2 weeks. Cross-tapered to:

2018-19 escitalopram (Lexapro). Zopiclone increased to 7.5mg.

2019 -2022 Venlafaxine (Effexor) reaching 75mg April 2019 having cross-tapered from escitalopram after a year. Began tapering off venlafaxine Sep2020. 56mg (9 Sep 2020); 37.5mg (Jan2021); 28mg (Aug 2021); 19mg (Feb2022); 9mg (Jul2022); final dose 12 Aug2022. Uninterrupted and continuing use of zopiclone 7.5mg. (Omeprazole (antacid) introduced January 2021 - now used if and when needed).

“Z drug” Use  Uninterrupted use 2000-present (still using) Zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg 2000-2018 and 7.5mg 2018-present

Currently AD-free for one year, as of 12 August 2022, taking 7.5mg zopiclone nightly and occasional antacid Omeprazole.

 

 

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Hello stressor, goodbye sleep!

 

It was all going so well. My wider family is a source of stress and next weekend we’re all getting together at our house. Yesterday we paid my parents a quick visit and the night before the lovely fuzzy sleeping feeling I’ve had for nearly a week at bedtime just wasn’t there. Initially I was sleepy but my brain did its old job of fighting it. I nodded off twice for about 30 minutes but kept jolting awake. I’d already cancelled this visit once so in desperation I had an extra crumb of Zopiclone. I was asleep in 6 minutes and slept for over five hours.

 

Last night, after the visit (which was fine but stirred up worries for next weekend) sleep wouldn’t come. After half an hour I dropped off but only for 15 minutes. I then lay awake for an hour before taking a second 0.75mg of melatonin. I was asleep in 10 minutes.

 

Why can’t I be like my husband? If he were spending his final night on death row he’d still sleep like a baby! I can’t help but worry that it isn’t withdrawal that’s causing this but my intrinsic nature. It was because of insomnia that I was put on these drugs in the first place..

Uninterrupted Use of ADs from 2000 to 12 August 2022*

2000-2007 paroxeteine (Seroxat/Paxil); zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg.

2006-7 slow taper from paroxeteine of 18 months. *AD-free for 3 weeks.

2007-2018 trimipramine (tricyclic AD), accelerated taper due to unavailability of drug, last dose January 2018. 

2018 mirtazapine (Remeron) for 2 weeks, discontinued and took amitriptyline (tricyclic)for 2 weeks. Cross-tapered to:

2018-19 escitalopram (Lexapro). Zopiclone increased to 7.5mg.

2019 -2022 Venlafaxine (Effexor) reaching 75mg April 2019 having cross-tapered from escitalopram after a year. Began tapering off venlafaxine Sep2020. 56mg (9 Sep 2020); 37.5mg (Jan2021); 28mg (Aug 2021); 19mg (Feb2022); 9mg (Jul2022); final dose 12 Aug2022. Uninterrupted and continuing use of zopiclone 7.5mg. (Omeprazole (antacid) introduced January 2021 - now used if and when needed).

“Z drug” Use  Uninterrupted use 2000-present (still using) Zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg 2000-2018 and 7.5mg 2018-present

Currently AD-free for one year, as of 12 August 2022, taking 7.5mg zopiclone nightly and occasional antacid Omeprazole.

 

 

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  • Administrator

You may be able to purchase supplements such as melatonin to be shipped to UK or other countries at:

 

iHerb https://www.iherb.com/info/globalshipping

 

Vitacost https://www.vitacost.com/international-faqs-united-kingdom

 

Life Extension https://www.lifeextension.com/vitamins-supplements/shipping/shipping-information

 

Piping Rock https://pipingrock.com/pages/international-shipping

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Updating after last post.

 

Sleep:-

I can't tell you how effective the low-dose approach to melatonin has been. 0.75mg at 9pm has meant that even when I have WD symptoms such as racing heart and mind, I feel sleepy and I've been dropping off within 15-20 minutes. I have another 0.75 lined up on my bedside table, but I've hardly ever needed to take it. Even when I wake up to use the loo (often 2-3 times a night), I'm back asleep after 3-4 minutes. Also on several occasions I've woken at 5/5.30 (usually my mind would start racing and my night's sleep would be over and done with) and nodded off again for another 1-2 hours! I get between 6 and 7 hours now. Thank you Altostrata for suggesting this and long may it last, and thank you for the suggestions as to where to buy in the US, I now have some from Spain brought back by a friend.

 

WD symptoms:-

So I'm 13 months without ADs now. I have some symptoms every day, most usually racing heart & mind, feeling sensory overload (sound and light) and stomach issues. I'm also quite ratty and can be argumentative. The difference now is that I'm really feeling these things are a different issue to my sleep. This is such a shift for me as it has enabled me to stress less about getting a good night and so I sleep better. Another really maddening WD symptom is compulsively biting the inside of my mouth and picking at my cuticles. I do it when I'm reading and when I'm watching the telly, but I don't do it if I knit. I've taken to wearing a mouth guard it's so bad.

 

Exhaustion:-

When I'm having a good day and have tons of energy, like many of us, I want to do as much as possible. It might involve catching up with chores, shopping, gardening, sorting stuff out or having a day out. Whatever it is, it completely wipes me out. It's making me feel like an old lady.

 

No panic attacks for a couple of weeks now, not even of the milder variety.

 

All in all, I'm really feeling positive, and as though I can get through this. Then I'll be ready to start tapering off the Zopiclone!

 

Uninterrupted Use of ADs from 2000 to 12 August 2022*

2000-2007 paroxeteine (Seroxat/Paxil); zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg.

2006-7 slow taper from paroxeteine of 18 months. *AD-free for 3 weeks.

2007-2018 trimipramine (tricyclic AD), accelerated taper due to unavailability of drug, last dose January 2018. 

2018 mirtazapine (Remeron) for 2 weeks, discontinued and took amitriptyline (tricyclic)for 2 weeks. Cross-tapered to:

2018-19 escitalopram (Lexapro). Zopiclone increased to 7.5mg.

2019 -2022 Venlafaxine (Effexor) reaching 75mg April 2019 having cross-tapered from escitalopram after a year. Began tapering off venlafaxine Sep2020. 56mg (9 Sep 2020); 37.5mg (Jan2021); 28mg (Aug 2021); 19mg (Feb2022); 9mg (Jul2022); final dose 12 Aug2022. Uninterrupted and continuing use of zopiclone 7.5mg. (Omeprazole (antacid) introduced January 2021 - now used if and when needed).

“Z drug” Use  Uninterrupted use 2000-present (still using) Zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg 2000-2018 and 7.5mg 2018-present

Currently AD-free for one year, as of 12 August 2022, taking 7.5mg zopiclone nightly and occasional antacid Omeprazole.

 

 

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  • Administrator

Good to hear about the melatonin! And good to hear of the other improvements. Getting some sleep is a big step forward.

 

Please let us know how you're doing. 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I'm two weeks further in.

 

I am still in the same window! This is the longest ever. The melatonin has been a game-changer. Some nights I have a second 0.75 but mostly I don't need to.

 

I've been feeling so much better that yesterday brought me up short. We haven't had people over for dinner for a long time, but I felt bullish so 6 friends came over for lunch. My husband and I really went for it, we were cleaning tidying and cooking all Saturday and it continued through yesterday morning. Usually I'd be relaxed, they're friends, we've done this so many times before, but by the time they arrived I was beyond exhausted, full of cortisol/adrenaline, head buzzing, not able to think straight about which of my many tasks I needed to do first. By the time we'd sat down for lunch, I didn't want to eat a thing. The afternoon went well, everyone else was drinking of course while I nursed my 'Nozecco' (sob), a good time was had. Me, I just found the noise and laughter jarring, I was boiling hot. Every time I opened a door or window, a chilly-willy closed it!

When they left, 6 hours later, I felt wrecked, physically and mentally.

 

Sleeping last night was not great. I didn't feel the lovely relaxed sleepiness the melatonin usually provides, not even after the second crumb. Then I just nodded off after about two hours and was woken up by a massive thunderstorm.

On reflection, six months ago I wouldn't have been able to cope with entertaining at all, and no sleep would have been had afterwards, whereas I scraped 6 hours last night.

 

When you don't feel dreadful, you think you're cured - I'm clearly not, but I'm getting there.

 

Uninterrupted Use of ADs from 2000 to 12 August 2022*

2000-2007 paroxeteine (Seroxat/Paxil); zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg.

2006-7 slow taper from paroxeteine of 18 months. *AD-free for 3 weeks.

2007-2018 trimipramine (tricyclic AD), accelerated taper due to unavailability of drug, last dose January 2018. 

2018 mirtazapine (Remeron) for 2 weeks, discontinued and took amitriptyline (tricyclic)for 2 weeks. Cross-tapered to:

2018-19 escitalopram (Lexapro). Zopiclone increased to 7.5mg.

2019 -2022 Venlafaxine (Effexor) reaching 75mg April 2019 having cross-tapered from escitalopram after a year. Began tapering off venlafaxine Sep2020. 56mg (9 Sep 2020); 37.5mg (Jan2021); 28mg (Aug 2021); 19mg (Feb2022); 9mg (Jul2022); final dose 12 Aug2022. Uninterrupted and continuing use of zopiclone 7.5mg. (Omeprazole (antacid) introduced January 2021 - now used if and when needed).

“Z drug” Use  Uninterrupted use 2000-present (still using) Zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg 2000-2018 and 7.5mg 2018-present

Currently AD-free for one year, as of 12 August 2022, taking 7.5mg zopiclone nightly and occasional antacid Omeprazole.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

I’m still here.

 

The trend is very slow improvement with some big hiccups now and then.

 

The melatonin continues to work well. My sleep is so much more reliable than it has been for years, but any stress/worry/excitement keeps it out of reach.

 

Feeling bullish, we started to look at booking a holiday for next year. There then followed two nights of bad sleep and that hung-over, swimming head and irritability I’m so familiar with. Holiday plans went back on hold.

 

Will I ever stop jumping at sudden noises, or finding loud spaces unbearable? I often have to go somewhere else when my husband is watching one of his films - the soundtrack is always the same, shouting, explosions and pounding music. As for loud drunk people in restaurants/pubs shouting over the loud music…

 

I see the misery others are going through on here, and my issues seem paltry next to theirs. I’m grateful for the progress I’ve made and I feel the worst of withdrawal is behind me. I’m looking forward to posting in the “Successes” thread, but it won’t be for a while yet!

Uninterrupted Use of ADs from 2000 to 12 August 2022*

2000-2007 paroxeteine (Seroxat/Paxil); zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg.

2006-7 slow taper from paroxeteine of 18 months. *AD-free for 3 weeks.

2007-2018 trimipramine (tricyclic AD), accelerated taper due to unavailability of drug, last dose January 2018. 

2018 mirtazapine (Remeron) for 2 weeks, discontinued and took amitriptyline (tricyclic)for 2 weeks. Cross-tapered to:

2018-19 escitalopram (Lexapro). Zopiclone increased to 7.5mg.

2019 -2022 Venlafaxine (Effexor) reaching 75mg April 2019 having cross-tapered from escitalopram after a year. Began tapering off venlafaxine Sep2020. 56mg (9 Sep 2020); 37.5mg (Jan2021); 28mg (Aug 2021); 19mg (Feb2022); 9mg (Jul2022); final dose 12 Aug2022. Uninterrupted and continuing use of zopiclone 7.5mg. (Omeprazole (antacid) introduced January 2021 - now used if and when needed).

“Z drug” Use  Uninterrupted use 2000-present (still using) Zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg 2000-2018 and 7.5mg 2018-present

Currently AD-free for one year, as of 12 August 2022, taking 7.5mg zopiclone nightly and occasional antacid Omeprazole.

 

 

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  • Administrator
10 hours ago, NotQuiteMyself said:

Will I ever stop jumping at sudden noises, or finding loud spaces unbearable? I often have to go somewhere else when my husband is watching one of his films - the soundtrack is always the same, shouting, explosions and pounding music. As for loud drunk people in restaurants/pubs shouting over the loud music…

 

In this stage of hypersensitivity, staying away from unpleasant stimulation is a good idea. Eventually, your sensitivity will calm down, be patient and take care of yourself.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 1 month later...

…and last night I forgot to take it for the first time ever.

 

I’ve never felt like this before and am not sure what to do.

 

I fell asleep straight away - I was exhausted. I slept for 40 minutes, then 50 minutes, then an hour, and that was it. I felt wide awake, bored and very calm. Insomnia usually turns me into a frantic mess. This was 2.30a.m. I gave up trying to sleep at 4.15 and read. I got up at 5.30. I didn't even realise I’d forgotten to take the Zopiclone until three-ish.

 

This is my first post on the Benzo-related section of the site. I apologise for not introducing myself properly, but I have never missed a dose of Zopiclone before and am terrified about withdrawal symptoms. I’ve seen some scary information in the past about how dangerous it is to go cold turkey, but this wasn’t intentional! Should I take a dose now? Should I wait until tonight and then take my normal 7.5mg? Should I take this as an opportunity to cut my dosage - I was going to start tapering in the new year anyway.

 

I feel weird in a way I don’t recognise: really awake, but there’s a tight band round my head and my eyes are raw. I feel spaced-out, but everything also feels hyper-real. I’m very used to tapering from ADs, but this is new to me and has taken me by surprise. Any thoughts would be very welcome.

 

I added a bit at the bottom of my blurb in anticipation some time ago, hope it makes sense.

Uninterrupted Use of ADs from 2000 to 12 August 2022*

2000-2007 paroxeteine (Seroxat/Paxil); zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg.

2006-7 slow taper from paroxeteine of 18 months. *AD-free for 3 weeks.

2007-2018 trimipramine (tricyclic AD), accelerated taper due to unavailability of drug, last dose January 2018. 

2018 mirtazapine (Remeron) for 2 weeks, discontinued and took amitriptyline (tricyclic)for 2 weeks. Cross-tapered to:

2018-19 escitalopram (Lexapro). Zopiclone increased to 7.5mg.

2019 -2022 Venlafaxine (Effexor) reaching 75mg April 2019 having cross-tapered from escitalopram after a year. Began tapering off venlafaxine Sep2020. 56mg (9 Sep 2020); 37.5mg (Jan2021); 28mg (Aug 2021); 19mg (Feb2022); 9mg (Jul2022); final dose 12 Aug2022. Uninterrupted and continuing use of zopiclone 7.5mg. (Omeprazole (antacid) introduced January 2021 - now used if and when needed).

“Z drug” Use  Uninterrupted use 2000-present (still using) Zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg 2000-2018 and 7.5mg 2018-present

Currently AD-free for one year, as of 12 August 2022, taking 7.5mg zopiclone nightly and occasional antacid Omeprazole.

 

 

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  • Moderator

Hi @NotQuiteMyself,

 

I merged your topic over here to your main thread. The benzo tapering board doesn't get a lot of traffic and it will be easier to have everything here in one place.

 

9 hours ago, NotQuiteMyself said:

I’ve seen some scary information in the past about how dangerous it is to go cold turkey, but this wasn’t intentional! Should I take a dose now?

 

I would not consider this cold turkey and I would go ahead and resume your normal dosing schedule this evening. 

 

9 hours ago, NotQuiteMyself said:

I feel weird in a way I don’t recognise: really awake, but there’s a tight band round my head and my eyes are raw. I feel spaced-out, but everything also feels hyper-real.

 

Although, it's possible these are WD symptoms, these symptoms could also be related to loss of sleep from missing your dose. Do you typically sleep well?

 

9 hours ago, NotQuiteMyself said:

Should I take this as an opportunity to cut my dosage - I was going to start tapering in the new year anyway

 

I would start tapering when you feel ready for it. Depending on how busy your Christmas/New Year is, you may want to wait. How are you feeling post-taper from your AD?

 

This is the information we have related to tapering zopiclone:

 

 

 

2003-2009 on and off various SSRI's for short periods, Ativan prn

2010-2011 Ativan, up to 1.5mg/day - tapered off without issue

2013-2021 ativan 1-1.5mg 10-12x/month, daily starting Oct 21 to help with buspar WD

2016 - Effexor 75mg, short-term

2021 Mar -Jun Buspar ADR at high dose, tapered 3 months

2021 Aug Wellbutrin 150mg for 5 days (ADR), then MIrtazapine 7.5mg for 7 days (ADR)

Oct 22/21 - Direct switch ativan to clonazepam (don't do this)

Tapered clonaz Oct/21 - Apr/23 0.25mg - 0mg!

 

Supplements: omega-3, mag-glycinate, vitamin D

 

"Believe that your tragedies, your losses, your sorrows, your hurt, happened for you, not to you. And I bless the thing that broke you down and cracked you open, because the world needs you open" - Rebecca Campbell

 

*** Disclaimer: Please note, my suggestions/comments are based on my own personal experiences. Please consult a knowledgeable practitioner to discuss decisions regarding your medical care *** 

 

                                                             *** Please do not send me PM's ***

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1 hour ago, LotusRising said:

would not consider this cold turkey and I would go ahead and resume your normal dosing schedule this evening. 
 

 

Many thanks for your reply, Lotus.

By 9am I was feeling really rough, so went back to bed. I then started to get really nauseous, so decided to take some Zopiclone. I took half a 7.5mg and got about 90 minutes sleep. When I got up, all of the new, weird symptoms had gone and I just felt exhausted, which is a feeling I’m very familiar with.

Uninterrupted Use of ADs from 2000 to 12 August 2022*

2000-2007 paroxeteine (Seroxat/Paxil); zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg.

2006-7 slow taper from paroxeteine of 18 months. *AD-free for 3 weeks.

2007-2018 trimipramine (tricyclic AD), accelerated taper due to unavailability of drug, last dose January 2018. 

2018 mirtazapine (Remeron) for 2 weeks, discontinued and took amitriptyline (tricyclic)for 2 weeks. Cross-tapered to:

2018-19 escitalopram (Lexapro). Zopiclone increased to 7.5mg.

2019 -2022 Venlafaxine (Effexor) reaching 75mg April 2019 having cross-tapered from escitalopram after a year. Began tapering off venlafaxine Sep2020. 56mg (9 Sep 2020); 37.5mg (Jan2021); 28mg (Aug 2021); 19mg (Feb2022); 9mg (Jul2022); final dose 12 Aug2022. Uninterrupted and continuing use of zopiclone 7.5mg. (Omeprazole (antacid) introduced January 2021 - now used if and when needed).

“Z drug” Use  Uninterrupted use 2000-present (still using) Zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg 2000-2018 and 7.5mg 2018-present

Currently AD-free for one year, as of 12 August 2022, taking 7.5mg zopiclone nightly and occasional antacid Omeprazole.

 

 

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1 hour ago, LotusRising said:

Although, it's possible these are WD symptoms, these symptoms could also be related to loss of sleep from missing your dose. Do you typically sleep well?

I sleep pretty badly although things have been much better since I started taking low-dose melatonin on Altostrata’s suggestion. I do feel what I experienced today was Zopiclone WD, it was all new to me and the first time I’d forgotten a dose in the 24 years I’ve been taking it.

Uninterrupted Use of ADs from 2000 to 12 August 2022*

2000-2007 paroxeteine (Seroxat/Paxil); zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg.

2006-7 slow taper from paroxeteine of 18 months. *AD-free for 3 weeks.

2007-2018 trimipramine (tricyclic AD), accelerated taper due to unavailability of drug, last dose January 2018. 

2018 mirtazapine (Remeron) for 2 weeks, discontinued and took amitriptyline (tricyclic)for 2 weeks. Cross-tapered to:

2018-19 escitalopram (Lexapro). Zopiclone increased to 7.5mg.

2019 -2022 Venlafaxine (Effexor) reaching 75mg April 2019 having cross-tapered from escitalopram after a year. Began tapering off venlafaxine Sep2020. 56mg (9 Sep 2020); 37.5mg (Jan2021); 28mg (Aug 2021); 19mg (Feb2022); 9mg (Jul2022); final dose 12 Aug2022. Uninterrupted and continuing use of zopiclone 7.5mg. (Omeprazole (antacid) introduced January 2021 - now used if and when needed).

“Z drug” Use  Uninterrupted use 2000-present (still using) Zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg 2000-2018 and 7.5mg 2018-present

Currently AD-free for one year, as of 12 August 2022, taking 7.5mg zopiclone nightly and occasional antacid Omeprazole.

 

 

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1 hour ago, LotusRising said:

would start tapering when you feel ready for it. Depending on how busy your Christmas/New Year is, you may want to wait. How are you feeling post-taper from your AD?

I’’m going to start the taper in January. I have a houseful until then. 
My post-taper is going pretty well 16 months after my final Venlafaxine dose. I have long windows and occasional waves which are still debilitating. Alcohol seems to be permanently off the table and my sleep is unreliable, but I’m grateful for how far I’ve come. Thank you so much for the link and for taking the time to message me, I am so grateful - I was in a bit of a panic this morning.

Uninterrupted Use of ADs from 2000 to 12 August 2022*

2000-2007 paroxeteine (Seroxat/Paxil); zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg.

2006-7 slow taper from paroxeteine of 18 months. *AD-free for 3 weeks.

2007-2018 trimipramine (tricyclic AD), accelerated taper due to unavailability of drug, last dose January 2018. 

2018 mirtazapine (Remeron) for 2 weeks, discontinued and took amitriptyline (tricyclic)for 2 weeks. Cross-tapered to:

2018-19 escitalopram (Lexapro). Zopiclone increased to 7.5mg.

2019 -2022 Venlafaxine (Effexor) reaching 75mg April 2019 having cross-tapered from escitalopram after a year. Began tapering off venlafaxine Sep2020. 56mg (9 Sep 2020); 37.5mg (Jan2021); 28mg (Aug 2021); 19mg (Feb2022); 9mg (Jul2022); final dose 12 Aug2022. Uninterrupted and continuing use of zopiclone 7.5mg. (Omeprazole (antacid) introduced January 2021 - now used if and when needed).

“Z drug” Use  Uninterrupted use 2000-present (still using) Zopiclone (Imovane) 3.75mg 2000-2018 and 7.5mg 2018-present

Currently AD-free for one year, as of 12 August 2022, taking 7.5mg zopiclone nightly and occasional antacid Omeprazole.

 

 

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