Beginning to come off zopiclone.

Posted , 8 users are following.

Hi There,

I have been taking sleeping medication for around 8 years now and I'm at the point where I am trying to come off them. For the past 4 (ish) years I have been on zopiclone at 7.5mg every night. It's always worked pretty well and I've never had the need to increase it or go beyond the perscribed dose. Yet, I don't like that I am dependant on a medication and am eventually wanting to be medication free (currently also on Mirtazapine 45mg and a couple of physical drugs).

I started to cut my dose last night after chatting with my GP and had 3.75mg. I didn't sleep very well and the night seemed to last forever! But I did sleep so I guess thats positive. However I feel very out of it today...tired, unrested, headache with a bit of dizziness. Are these normal? I get very anxious about changing things and have to admit scared myself a little silly when looking at withdrawal symptoms especially things like seizures and hallucinations. So I guess I am asking for reassurance and other peoples experiences of coming off Zopiclone. How long did the whole withdrawal thing last?

Thanks in advanced.

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  • Posted

    Zoplicone is addictive, and you will get some withdrawal effects - mostly sleeplessness and irritability - which of course go hand in hand anyway. Best to cut down slowly as with any sleeping meds.

    Lots of Luck.

     

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  • Posted

    I have been taking 7.5 for a year, I went to my DR and she was helpful, said I can go to 3.75 for a month along with a different drug, she said though, the other drug was really not going to help and it could something else to deal with later, so we opted for 3.75 with the option if I felt a bad night might happened I can take a 2nd one, so far it works, in fact I dont have the aftertaste, I feel better in myself and on half the does.

    she told me to take 3.75 at bed time, to go to bed later, 1am instead of 11.30/12 and if im not asleep in 30 mins to get up for 30 mins and do something ( ihave a bowl of cornflakes, a drink and use the laptop ) go back to bed with the idea its a new sleep , wow, im out like a light for 7/8 i dont have to get up early these days

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  • Posted

    A year ago I ws made to come of zops by my gp. I cut down to 3.75mg a night but didn't sleep and felt like a zombie all the time.  She then put me on to mirtazapine because I felt anxious all the time.mthat didn't work either and I had had enough so I bought of the Internet just once. After that I changed surgeries and got another more sympathetic gp who continued to prescribe them. I don't see the problem if you dont abuse them. Therein lies the problem. They have been abused a lot and have got a bad reputation and have now been classed a c drug I think.  Personally, i. Am quite stable just taking one a night and manage ok.  Doctors have been advised to wean patients of them even if they don't want to, which is a shame for elderly people who rely on them and others of course.  If I have to come of them again I know that I wil feel depressed and have to go on medication anyway. You may be ok without them.
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    • Posted

      Exactly, my Dr won't give me another 3 weeks on 1 whole zopiclone as he has done this once & now I have to come off half in 3 weeks then quarter, I don't know why I couldn't have stayed on one whole one he reckons it damages your brain

      rubbish I have a better memory than my nephew who isn't even on them

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  • Posted

    I was and still am fine taking them, but for me it didnt seem right, metal taste, forgetinging things and blurry eyes, it cant be good in the long term so for me I wanted to come off and I feel 100% better for the 3.75 and I sleep just as well but with less meds
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  • Posted

    I'm in a similar place Soutwestie. I think overall I'd of been fine continuing them because I didn't get any adverse side effects - although I don't know that for definite because I don't really remember a time where I wasn't taking something - but I want to just see if I can manage without. My doctor has said a similar thing about perscribing one or two 3.75mg a night so the option would be there if things got particularly terrible.

    Vivien58797 I hear what you're coming and I think if you can regulate and be honest with yourself than thats fine. I think thats part of the worry that i have, is that I know I get really unwell when I don't get my foundations right and sleep is a big one for me. I suppose that I'm quite lucky in that I have an amazing GP who supports me either staying on them or not. He was really good yesterday and telling me to not put that pressure on myself and if I can't manage without them then thats fine, nothings lost and I just go back on them. It does make it easier.

    So far the fogginess and headache has eased a little bit this afternoon but really glad that I didn't have things in my diary to do today.

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  • Posted

    Ness88.

    You are the one who has to decide, but I can say that once I decded to do this and I was buying them online at a price with prescription, its got to be done this way in the UK, but I knew I wanted to come off, I didnt feel right.

    My GP as I said gave me the option of an antidepressant but said you would be on 2 things and we chatted about it, she said to try and see, she was always there, well Honstly, I have no bad effects on this, 3.75 once you take it works as well as 7.5 I didnt think it would, I did take 7.5 a couple of times, WHY, because I have a painful back, in my head I needed 2 pills, but did I.

    My intention is to take 3.75 every evening, try and sleep, if not I get up potter about go back to bed ? next week, well, maybe sunday i want to try the odd night without one, hey, if I dont sleep after a couple of hours i will take one, but you have nothing too loose here, your GP will prescribe and monitor you, you take 1 3.75 if you reall need 7.5 take a 2nd one , but I give it upto an hour to work . i also write down what I take and why and how I feel and how I sleep.

    how do I feel today, great, because I can sleep with 3.75 and Im not getting the blurred eyes or head.

    Now I want to find out why i cant sleep, I seem to wake with a snore as I fall asleep, with the zop i dont, nor do I wake up for a pee 6 times a night

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    • Posted

      It helps that I do get to decide and that the decision is not being forced on me by someone else. It does make me feel more in control. You have a good philsophy going on and maybe thats why it's working for you because you have taken away that pressure. Hopefully I can apply the same and manage with a smaller dose.

      It's weird I'm kind of excited to see if I can do this.

      I find that with the Zopiclone I am in a deep sleep rather quickly. So it could be in your case that the reason why you wake up with a snore or to use the toilet is because you are still in the light sleep phase when you do and so it's easier for you to wake up.

       

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  • Posted

    Im not sure where you live, but If I can help let me know, on here, FB of something, I dont what other things you have to take, I was shocked to find that I had taken sudefed for my hayfever on the one night I stopped a zop and found out sudefed keeps you away, so tonight be positive, go to bed, 1 3.75 pill, relax and if you can sleep get make a drink and go back to bed,  hope it works
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    • Posted

      Thank you smile It helps to know that I'm not going through this alone.

      I live in the UK.

      I have a pretty epic night time routine already so I think just stick to that and see how it goes.

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  • Posted

    yes, if it works, I was going to bed and I am late person, so I wake up around 9am or so , so I have to go to bed late, im good around 1am
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  • Posted

    Hi ness, i do feel for you. I have been taking this med on and off for around 6yrs (hormone related peri-menopause. I have always taken 3.75 and rarely have had to take a double dose. I do not believe it is addictive and you get withdrawal from it. I can take it 5 nights in a row. Then it may not be necessary for me to take it for a couple of weeks. However, i do think that you can rely on it therfore being addicted psychologically. If you tend to be an anxious person, you can worry yourself sick about it so a vicious circle begins. How about asking your doc to refer you for cbt? Dont know what age you are, but you could ask for blood tests to check hormones as well. Finding sympathetic doc is key. Good luck x
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    • Posted

      I think there is both a physical and psychological element to it. I've not had natural sleep sleep since I was in my teens and prior to meds would go several days without sleeping at all.

      I've been in contact with mental health services for over a decade so have pretty much done all the therapy out there. I do know that the way I think is definitley going to be contributing to things but I am in the right mind frame to give this a go now.

      I am only 26 so my hormones should be fine but I have fornightly blood tests anyway for another problem. I actually saw my nurse today for bloods and she just told me to take it easy on myself and see how things go for now as I'm still trying to rebuild my life back up after being in hospital for a long time.

      Thanks for the luck. I will defintiely be holding on that smile x

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  • Posted

    I have been on these tabs for around fifteen years now and before that all sorts of other sleeping tabs.  I am nearly seventy years old now so can't see the point of changing and disrupting my life if I don't have to.  Others on this site previously have given these tabs up after being addicted to very large doses and I have to admire their courage and tenacity, but it's not for me. I don't want to feel ill which is what happens if I try to give up. Best wishes to all who achieve their aim.  
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    • Posted

      I'm not judging and I can honestly see why you wouldn't want to disrupt your life in that way. I've only had several days here or there in the last few years where I didn't take them and it was awful. Zero sleep makes me slightly manic the day after and then comes the crash which can last a few days. I think when you've been on something for so long and you're happy to be on it and you're not suffering anything bad from it then you make those choices.
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    • Posted

      There is one thing which always scares me about being reliant on any sort of sleeping aid, and I suppose is a practical issue if your'e doctors aren't all fully informed about it.  What if you become incapacitated in someway so that you cant actually communicate that you need these drugs, otherwise you'll suffer awful withdrawal effects.

      Maybe if you have an accident while abroad, or a stroke, or any number of problems.  I know its not that likely, but it is an issue which scares me, which is why I am determined to come of diazepam now - with my doctors managing it.

       

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    • Posted

      It's an important thing to think about. It's not so bad here un the UK because all our information is now computerised and can be accessed wherever you are. That obviously would have a list of your medications. Yet I suppose that worry would apply to any medication that a person would need, or an allergy to a med that someone has.

      As for being abroad, hopefully you would have someone with you who would know and failing that there are apps that you can get on your phone where you can store medical information now.

      I think the reliance thing though is whats fuelling me. I guess it doesn't really matter what your motivation is as long as its strong enough to get your through.   

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    • Posted

      Yes, absolutely. Its not good being reliant on these things. It causes other practival problems.  For example, I cant drive - the DVLA have revoked my licence because I self prescribed diazepam, and told my doctor.  I wished for a very long time that I hadnt done, but I do see the sense in it, and now my doctor is being really helpful in getting me off it.

       

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