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  1. Hi, Just curious if anyone can provide some help. I've had a rough 2015. I was in the ER with a couple of incidents of low sodium. As some of you might know, Lexapro and other SSRIs contribute to that. I've been on Lexapro for 15 years. I also had a night time drinking problem. My Dr told me to quit Lexapro in June which I did cold turkey. They didn't tell me otherwise. I had dizziness for a month but that's it. I tried it back up on my own in September but quit after a week cause of the symptoms. Then with my Dr's help I quit booze. Forgetting about the issues with low sodium he strongly urged me to go back on it cause I would be stressed from quitting booze. I did and gave it up 12/3/15 cause of the side effects again. I had some withdrawal from being on it for only a week. Anyways, due to incredible anxiety and insomnia for a week straight I went back to Lexapro on 1/1/16. Part of the stress is due to a new job opportunity to start in January if I want it. High stress gig. I was given meds to help with the low sodium issues. My long winded question is this? Was the stress due to withdrawal or a relapse of stress? I don't know which is the answer I want but I'm scared cause I'm not myself and have been in bed for weeks. Christian
  2. Hi, everybody. I've been off citalopram for eight weeks now, but I'm still taking Zolpidem. This is my history with medication: On 2012, I started having panic attacks after the loss of a loved one. I had had a few in the two previous years, but I didn’t understand what I was feeling and they were undiagnosed. My GP prescribed 0.50mg of Alprazolam twice a day. I took it for a couple of months, got better and stopped. On 2015, when I was getting my Master’s, I started suffering from anxiety and severe insomnia (which I had always been prone to throughout my life). My psychiatrist prescribed 20mg of Citalopram. After an initial period of increased anxiety, I felt like I was myself again. I gained maybe five or six pounds, but had no other side effects. I took it for six months and stopped after I got my degree. I tapered slowly and was fine for about six months. On September 2016, after a bad fight with my husband and while we were going through a stressful period, my insomnia returned. I took Zolpidem (started with 10 mg, then took 12.5) and sometimes Clonazepam (0.25mg or 0.50) to cope. After two months with no real improvement I told my psychiatrist that I wanted to take an antidepressant again. This time, she put me on 10mg of Lexapro (liquid form). I was on Lexapro for about six months, until May 2017. During this period, a lot of weight, almost thirty pounds. Then, I started tapering off very slowly, one drop every two weeks. Every time I started taking one less drop, I would be fine for a couple of days, then felt very anxious, then would go back to feeling normal. On September 2017, my insomnia returned. I also felt very anxious, had gloomy thoughts, would cry for no reason. I went back to taking Zolpidem and Clonazepam to cope (same dose as before). I also tried between 2mg and 5mg of melatonin for a while but felt no difference whatever. And I also tried meditation and exercise more steadily than in my previous attempt to quit. This time, I only stayed off antidepressants for four months. On January 2018, I went back on 20mg of Citalopram and stayed on it for a year. I gained maybe 5 or 6 pounds (on top of all those other ones that I had already gained, and which I never lost), but had no other side effects. I started sleeping well again, but had to take Clonazepam occasionally as well, especially near my period. Then, on January 2019, I lowered my dose to 10mg of Citalopram. I didn’t feel any difference. On October of the same year, I lowered my dose to 5mg and started taking 5mg of Zolpidem to prevent my insomnia from coming back. After six weeks, on November 25, I quit the Citalopram. I had a couple of days of insomnia even with the Zolpidem, but was fine otherwise. Then, on January 2nd, my insomnia came back. Even with the Zolpidem and 0.25 or 0.50mg of Clonazepam, I was sleeping badly, crying a lot. Then, I was fine again for a couple of weeks. I’ve been exercising more regularly, which I think helps. I also went back to therapy, which I had quit three years ago. Today I had possibly the worst day of this process this time around. I’m having PMS, which always makes my anxiety worse. Even with 5mg of Zolpidem (which I’ve been taking every night for months), I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and couldn’t go back to sleep. When I tried to take a nap in the afternoon (which I know isn’t advisable, but I was just so tired), I started getting palpitations, my hands felt cold and I had to pee five or six times in one hour. I took 0.25mg of Clonazepam and now I feel better. I don’t want to rely on meds all my life, but when I’m feeling this way, I confess that I miss my antidepressant. I wonder if quitting was the right choice or if I should just stay on it. I don’t want to offend anybody by saying this, but am afraid that my doctor (who I will see again in four weeks) might push me to go back on medication. Maybe this isn’t fair, since she was always very supportive when I wanted to stop and I was the one who asked to go back the last two times. I don’t want to ask again and that’s why I’m here. I’m sorry if I rambled on!
  3. Greetings all, Around July of last year i suffered a direct blow to the temple (by far the worst pain I've ever felt in my life) which lead to me having a concussion, shortly after that I smoked what I thought was weed with my roommates but it turned out to be a drug called Spice. These two events led to me having hallucinations one day and I checked myself into a hospital. Long story short they didnt diagnose me with anything they just doped me up with 8 different medications some of the ones i can remember are Abilify, Depakote, Risperdone, Zyprexa, Ativan, Vistril, and Lithium ( i can't recall the other drugs names). I was on so many meds I don't remember the first two days I was there. Long story short they held me against my will for three and a half weeks before I was able to get a different doctor and get released. Since my release I have felt emotionally numb i cant feel happiness or joy, sadness nor pleasure. I feel like I have lost some intelligence, as well as vocabulary and my creative ability. Prior to being given I was very creative all my life I enjoyed writing music and poetry, I also loved playing sports mainly football, Working out, Playing video games and watching movies. I no longer get any enjoyment what so ever from anything i once found interesting. I find it hard to carry on a conversation I feel socially unconfident due to the fact that I feel like i cant think like my brain is just an empty slate. I get major headaches that occur pretty much everyday, I have insomnia (I can fall asleep just fine but wake up at the same time every night which is 3 am). Also I have experienced a tremendous loss of libdo and interest in sex like i just dont desire it anymore, I really feel like I lost myself and I'm scared that I wont get my pre-med self back, I have been doing everything in my power to get my life and old self back I have been seeing a pdoc who prescribed me zoloft which I feel isnt working and also trazodone to help with sleep. I have also been going to counseling sessions weekly which has helped a little. I have done extensive research and have come across many people who are experiencing the same things that I am and we all have the same question can the brain recover from antipsychotics and if so how long does it take??
  4. Am frightened Weened MYSELF off zyprexa and buproprion SIX WEEKS ago and am very sick. 24 7 headache for SIX weeks and NO SLEEP. Anxiety and manía off the charts. I keep thinking with each day i will get better. Will I? Dont want to go back on. Feel like getting worse. No money. No Insurance. Not working. Huge medical debt. Can not go back to Dr who did this to me. Will this get better? On both 4 months. On MANY MORE through the years. In January stopped 15yr opiods and 10yr benzos use. Is this zyprexa? 5.5 months off benzos and opiods is it that? Taking 10mg zolpidem to try and escape hell on earth and this headache NOT WORKING. Afraid to stop that too. Frightened to be in hospital or back on meds trying to get off of. SIX WEEKS! Can anyone tell me this will get better? Please? Living a nightmare.
  5. Hello, I did a relatively quick taper from Lexapro using 1 mg per week water titration from 10mg with my final dose mid-November. Acute withdrawals lasted a couple weeks then subsided. Around Christmas the weeping and depression set in with a vengeance. At the same time insomnia started. I could not sleep unless I took 50mg of Seroquel. i am still battling the insomnia but ironically last night I slept 7 hours without having to take meds. Today is my 5th day of reinstatement on 5mg of Lexapro. Seroquel as stopped a week ago and replaced with Ambien, which I have not taken for 2 days. The insomnia is taking it's toll on me. My T3 thyroid is starting to go low, I am having cold temperature intolerances, hair is falling out, strange "feelings" in my hands and legs from time to time, and inability to relax or make myself comfortable. It's like I am always in a restless state. Since I have reinstated the weird feeling in my hands and legs are subsiding and are more flair up in nature. I felt relaxed when I woke up this morning and when I layed down last night. I do have the typical startup anxiety/tiredness that is all too familiar. the head fog is very bad also. How long will I know whether or not this reinstatement is going to work? Also, how long should I stay at 5 mg before I go to 10 mg and plan to hold there? I did not want to reinstate but the insomnia will put me to an early grave if I do not get it under control. Dr. Shipko's blog also scared the crap out of me. If I would have read that back at the end of last year, I would have never goin off in the first place.
  6. Hi all, I had been taking 2mg/night of pimozide, an antipychotic for a skin infection from last Sept-Nov 2017. By mid-November, my brain snapped into wakefullness and I did not sleep for 2 months straight. I stopped the drug completely because insomnia was a side effect then later turned into a withdrawal effect. Its been about 4 months of chronic insomnia now. In the first two months of insomnia, I tried herbs, alcohol, sleep hygiene, meditation, exercise, several sedating antidepressants: lorazpam, seroquel, etc. , none of which worked. I then tried Ambien/zolpidem which worked ocassionally at high doses then lost its effectiveness with a many side effects: nausea, dizziness and nightmares. I tapered off all of these since they did not work. The next month, I had some sleep 2-4 hrs/night cycling CBD oil, Ultra PM (Phenibut) and tryptophan. However now after a month of use, they are all losing their effectiveness and am needing to up the dosage to see if they will continue to work. I also tried neurofeedback therapy for 2 months but it did not resolve insomnia and was very expensive about $4K for 3x/week. I tried taking Mind Lab Pro a nootropic blend during the daytime to see if to could help repair brain, but instead has had me up 4 nights straight, when I was sleeping a little prior to taking this. Was too stimulating, trial and error I guess. I am considering reinstating pimozide to see if it will help bring my brain back into balance from withdrawal, but I am fearful that it could make insomnia worse since insomnia happened as a side effect during taking it regularly. Any thoughts or advice on antipychotic withdrawal, reinstating and how to beat chronic insomnia without meds?
  7. I'm new here and appreciate the time people take to help others who are struggling! As of June of this year, I discontinued paroxetine after slowly reducing to about 1 mg. Now I'm having severe anxiety and insomnia again. It's so bad so that I went to the Dr. to get a prescription. She prescribed lexapro (generic) and ambien (generic). Now after reading more about lexapro I don't think it's a good idea to take this. I might just try the ambien because of the severe insomnia, constant waking and feeling of dread. The Dr. is very cautious with meds, and knows I don't want to be on this stuff. But, she thinks it's more important that I get rest even if I just take the meds for a short time. But I know the risks. I've tried every natural supplement under the sun--nothing works. I've tried ibuprofen and a little benedryl but it doesn't help much. Should I reinstate paroxetine to 5 mg instead of lexapro (generic)? Or just try 2.5 mg of ambien (generic)? i desperately need sleep.
  8. Hello, On March 29, 2017, I was prescribed 10 MG Ambien at ER after 3 nights of no sleep due to racy thoughts, and extreme anxiety that made me shake and my muscles twitched. I thought I was gonna die. Next day, I was prescribed 1 MG Lorazepam for anxiety. after a month, I cut Lorazepam to 1/2 pill and cut the Ambien to 1/2 pill too but was told by doctor to not cut the Ambien and just cut it after 6 months. During those months taking the pills, I experienced all side effects (extreme headches and weird sensations on my forehead, neck and ears, ramdom pain and pulses all over my body, fatigue, anxiety, more heart palpitations, abdominal pain, weightloss, etc.) The muscle twithcing did not disappear. I went to different doctors and complained about my symptoms, they said it was just stress and anxiety and told me to just take more of the Lorazepam. My blood test showed I was low in Vitamin D, low Iron, low HDL cholesterol & had slight dehydration. Everything showed "normal". I'm now taking supplements Vit D3, comfort Iron, Magnesium Glycinate, Sodium Ascorbate (non-acidic Vit. C), Omega 3 Fish Oil, some Whey Protein. I have asked my family doctor on getting off the pills and she said that I could just cut them and I won't have withdrawals since I've only been taking a small dose of Lorazepam. Starting June 26, 2017, I started cutting the Lorazepam dosage by cutting/weighing the pill deducting 0.02-0.03 MG everyday and the Ambien 0.3-0.4 MG everyday too. Since cutting the pills, I've had 0 sleep on some days which occurred every 2-5 days, extreme anxiety, heavy muscle twitching on my legs and back, extreme fatigue, depression plus all the other symptoms I had while on the higher dose of the drugs. These horrifying misery that I don't want to experience again. The Lorazepam went down to 0.22mg and Ambien to 8.2mg but my husband (who helps with the cutting/weighing) have since added doses everytime I get 0 hrs. of sleep. Since 2 nights ago, I've been taking 9.4MG Ambien (Zolpidem) and 0.27mg Loarazepam (ativan). I need help/guidance on how to taper properly, all the tips you can give on what to do to survive withdrawal and lots of encouragement (and love) to get off these drugs and heal. I want to get my old self back, the energetic, bubbly, hardworking mother of 4 that I used to be. Not the sickly, depressed, unfunctioning woman that these drugs have turned me into. I'd specially encourage those who have tapered off Ambien & Ativan successfully, to please post your tips. I appreciate any and all help that you could extend!!!
  9. I'm having a bad problem right now involving Remeron, Ambien, Xanax, Benadryl, Anxiety, Insomnia, GI problems, and fibromyalgia. I have a history of ambien use. 2 years ago I used 5-10MG of Ambien every night for 9 months. I started gradually having mild anxiety and depression throughout the 9 months so I decided to quit and then I did a 3 months taper. It was probably too fast because I had terrible anxiety throughout the process and it never stopped after I jumped. I was clean for 4 months. Then 5 months ago I had an incident which has since plunged my life down the toilet bowl and I have been terribly ill ever since, lost 30 pounds, and my anxiety and panic disorder has transformed into full blown agoraphobia. It started when I took an antibiotic for an ear infection. I had an allergic reaction and I had to start taking 50-75 mg of Benadryl every night. The next day I started a 5 day course of a different antibioitic, took corticosteroids, and took 0.25mg xanax to get to sleep. All was fine until 3 days later when I suddenly got chest/back pain, gastric burning, and a panic attack. This started a 5 month cascade of gradually elevating anxiety and gastric symtoms which was misdiagnosed as GERD. I went on many medications including prilosec, zantac, benadryl, antacids, tylenol, an experiment with librax (about 8 pills), and a few doses of muscle relaxer. I was on a cycle of using Xanax every 3 days and Benadryl every night. Every 3 days I would have a panic attack and take 0.25mg of Xanax, which has an interaction with Prilosec so it was probably actually more like 0.5mg. The gastric symptoms would strangely improve whenever I took the Xanax and then deteriorate over the next 3 days until it was time for the next Xanax. My nightly dose of 25mg-75mg Beandryl also helped and I would typically be better in the beginning of the day and then deteriorate throughout the night until it was time for the next Benadryl. At the time I thought Benadryl was just an antihistamine and did not know that it was also an anticholinergic and a mild SSRI. 3 months ago the gastric symptoms went into a constant steady state with no remissions and I started having wierd muscle twitching and electric sensations. So I went on a witchhunt to remove all of my medications in suspicion that one of them was causing my GI symptoms, which had eluded my GI doctor and all of his tests. First I got rid of the prilosec, zantac, antiacids. This didnt help. Then I tried to get off the Benadryl and that's when the **** hit the fan. Muscle stiffness and Insomnia from trying to quit Benadryl drew me back to Ambien. It started with 1mg doses and then quickly went to 2 and then 5 in a matter of days. The first day off Benadryl I had terrible anxiety and I was immediately in a state of having extreme insomnia and after a couple nights of taking Ambien or missing sleep I also had fibromyalgia, which further prevented me from sleeping as I could not find a comfortable position to sleep in. I've never had fibromyalgia in my life. For the next 2 weeks I would flop between different combinations of Benadryl and Ambien as my condition continued to deteriorate. I was averaging 2 or 3 hours of sleep per night. 2 weeks ago I saw a psychiatrist sleep doctor who Prescribed Remeron 7.5mg. I started by cutting it to 3.75mg which worked wonderfully for the first 5 days. I didnt need any Ambien and was getting 9 hours of sleep. However, I had side effects like dry mouth, dehydration, weakness, exercise intolernce, anxiety, suicidal ideation, memory issues, binge eating on junk, and daytime tiredness. Then on the 6th day I was having muscle stiffness, muscle spasms/twitches, and insomnia. I could not sleep on 3.75mg. After a drink (i dont normally drink), a hit of weed (i dont normally smoke), and then another 3.75mg to bring it up to 7.5mg, I STILL could not sleep. I could not sleep until I added 2.5mg of Ambien, and then I slept for 3 hours. This situation might have been amplified by having a steroid trigger point shot and a sedated procedure 2 days prior. Nevertheless, it scared me away from Remeron. I was scared of the side effects, the dose escalation, and possibly Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome. I also quit Claratin 10mg, which I'd be taking for years while going on an antihistamine witchhunt and suspected I had 'Histaminosis'. For the next 4 days I would use Ambien 2mg and then 5mg and then two nights at 10mg, and I was still only getting 3-5 hours of sleep. I was hoping my GI symptoms would go away, if I was on just Ambien for a while. They didnt. Soem of the twitching was still there too. My psychiatrist told me to go up to 12.5mg of Ambien CR. Hell no. I was already possibly getting addicted to Ambien and didnt want to cement that with a long course of high doses and cement this addiction after everything I went through over the past 2 years. Over the last 2 nights I did an experiment where I 'reinstated' Remeron at 1mg and used 1mg of Ambien. One to initiate sleep and one to maintain sleep, instead of using an unnecessarily large dose of a long acting drug to initiate sleep or an unneccessarily large dose of a short acting drug to maintain sleep. Miraculously it worked. On only 1mg of remeron and 1mg of Ambien I have gotten 9 and 10 hours of sleep during the previous 2 nights. However, today I am again having some issues with minor twitching and electric sensations throughout my body, which I woke up with, and after thinking of it too long I am having bad anxiety. I don't know whether I am having a withdrawal from Ambien, a withdrawal from Remeron, side effects of Remeron, a withdrawal from one of the previous drugs (I havent had Xanax in 2 weeks), etc. After having only about 10 or 15 doses of Ambien at an average of 3-4mg per night, am I already addicted? Am I KINDLED? Do I need to taper Ambien in order to avoid seizures or brain damage, regardless of Remeron? For how long - a week, a month, months? Am I having some rare side effect syndrome of Remeron and need to go back on just ambien? Do I need to taper the tiny dose of remeron I took for a week? Do I need to go back on Benadryl or Xanax? Did I get addicted to the Xanax every 3 days? I feel like I urgently need a professional to work all of this out and tell me which doses of what I need to take over what time frame in order to avoid harm or seizures and assure me that I'm not having Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome or something like that. I want my life back. I know these all look like tiny doses and time frames to you guys but I feel like I'm going insane, or I'm going to die. What do you guys think?
  10. Hello all, About three weeks ago I had a panic attack right as I was falling asleep. I only slept four hours each night the next two days. I learned that my family has had a history of anxiety issues, and because I was having trouble calming down, I was prescribed 50 mg trazodone to be used once a day, and 10 mg zolpidem tartrate to be used as needed for sleep. These did help me sleep, but I was still only getting consistently 6 hours of sleep a night. So, I talked to a counselor and saw a doctor. They both recommended a SSRI, presuming that the anxiety was the reason I wasn't sleeping as much as I had previously, so I was perscribed 25 mg sertraline HCl (Zoloft). After taking it for four days, I decided that the long-term side effects were pretty scary (brain zaps, "lower IQ," memory issues, weight gain), and that given that my anxiety was pretty mild by this time, I decided to stop taking it and try to go with just cognitive behavioral therapy. (I'm in grad school BTW.) I've found that I can't fall asleep without trazodone (now it's been about three weeks taking it), so I'm considering tapering. Do you think the insomnia is really because I don't have the trazodone, or is my sleep anxiety playing more of a role than I am giving it credit for? Should I reconsider Zoloft? I'm not really worried about having another panic attack, but I'm not sure whether I should take a combined therapy/medication approach to the anxiety or just try to do it with only therapy. Your advice is much appreciated. (you can delete my post in the tapering forum)
  11. Hi, I have been on Paxil 40mg for 22 years. I have also been on Ambien 10mg for 7 years. About three weeks ago I reduced the Ambien by half to 5mg. Once I am off the Ambien I plan on tapering off the Paxil.
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