Lustral for anxiety...??

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hi all,

I have real trouble getting to sleep / staying asleep at night and have been prescribed zopiclone which generally works but I don't want to become dependent on it.

I'm starting a course of Lustral 50mg tomorrow which I know may cause sleep disruption in the first few weeks, but am I right in thinking this will help me sleep in the long run due to the settling of my anxiety in general?

Currently on Anatriptylin 50mg and feel like a zombie in the mornings! 

Please offer me your success stories!! 

Many Thanks!

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi David, unfortunately I don't think there is any medication which will do what you want and also not give you side effects.  Maybe a better approach would be to deal with the root anxiety rather than the symptoms of anxiety? This could mean either medication or therapy. For me therapy is far more effective than medication, and there are no physical side effects.  I think if your anxiety is controlled so too will your sleep issues 
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply - I'm seeing a therapist once a week to try and break down the problem which has actually existed for some years but I've never dealt with it properly. Certain elelments of anxiety creep in now and again and really take hold, like the sleep issue. I haven't been on any sort of AD long term but through therapy and the right medication I'm determined to beat this and hoping the lustral eventually helps ease the anxiety levels too. At the moment life is very difficult just doing the normal things.
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  • Posted

    Hello David,

    Forums like these are meant to help not just the poster but anyone who comes onto the forum with similar issues. So what I am saying is not necessarily your case. 

    Many people feel that prescriptions are THE cure for all of one's ills. Unfortunately they come with side effects and they tamper with the fine workings of the system, possibly creating other issues. Many people also think that taking medications proves that they really are not well and therefore deserving of more attention, kindness and sympathy. And isn't it easier to pop a pill rather than exercise or watch one's diet or get to bed earlier, all lifestyle changes? You don't want to fall into either trap...but most people want what they think is the easy way out.

    Having said that, of course, many medications are absolutely necessary. But for most cases, lifestyle changes are the first course of action. For example, diabetes can be cured.,...with diet. I cured my own serious arrythmia 20 years ago with vigourous exercise 6 days out of 7. My cardiologist said it would come back for sure...and it hasn't. Cholesterol problems are handled with a statin pill when the alternative is to lower it by increasing fibre and eating more fruits and vegetables...which are also good for cancer prevention. 

    I agree wholeheartedly with jmcg below who says that a better approach is to deal with the root anxiety. Get to know your own self better. Become intuitive and figure out what is causing your anxiety. Is it certain toxic people or situations? Is it poor general health? Is it what you eat or drink? Is it low serotonin production in the brain which is the body's natural happy hormone? Do you have some unresolved issues a therapist could help you with? Do you feel like a failure in general or a success? Do you have a good support system; family, friends, girlfriend? Do you get plenty of exercise...a proven serotonin booster and therefore HUGE stress buster.

    Here are my suggestions:

    1. Eat well. How about starting your day with a fruit smoothie of maybe 6 strawberries, a half a banana, half an apple, maybe even some raw spinach and celery. That's 3 servings of fruit...which gets you well on your way to the recommended 6 - 10 servings of fruit and vegetables per day. You can create your own smoothie as you like it. Add non-stimulating protein powder. The breakfast of the gods! You really set yourself up for a great day eating right.

    2. Visit your local health store and stock up on protein powder, B vitamins which are good for the nervous system, Omega 3...very important for anxiety and depression. Here is a link with suggestions:

    3. Whistle a happy tune ...and look up the lyrics on line (Disney). They can become your mantra. Walk with confidence. if you don't feel good about yourself, do something about it; diet, buy a new wardrobe, take a class, plant a garden, get in shape.

     4. Ignore slights and avoid stress inducing people if you can. 

    5. Do things that make you laugh which increases serotonin levels. Watch Mr Bean reruns!

    6. Get your eyeballs out in the light without sunglasses. That improves mood. But as the sun sets, lower your lights and relax. Get at least 7 hours of sleep...or 'in bed' time.

    7. Take your daily vitamin D supplement especially in winter.

    8. Talk to the naturopath at the health food shop about taking St John's Wort. Read up on it before taking it.

    9. And very important: eliminate ALL tea, coffee, colas, chocolate and alcohol.  They are all stimulants. If I have a cup of tea, I feel what I would call a sense of something bad is going to happen... I do drink decaffeinated green tea. No problem there. 

    10. Seek help. Don't try to tough it out. Take control. Join a group. It's incredible how a supportive group of people who are handling the same issue, can be a positive influence on you. Good luck, David. You can do it. It's all in your hands.

    Patient Moderator would like to draw the authors attention to Thank you.

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    • Posted

      Hi Robin - thanks for your post - very helpful and I take all of your points.

      However, I feel that I am so obsessed with this sleep anxiety that lifestyle changes alone will not cure it. Lying awake at night exhausted but still unable to sleep (for me) is the worst form of mental torture and I'm at my wit's end as to what to do for the best. My heart just pounds as the hours tick by.

      The anxiety is linked to lack of self-control which I've experienced in other situations where I feel 'someone else' is taking over and wants to torment me to the point of exhaustion. This doesn't happen all the time, but usually in the worst set of circumstances i.e. in professional situations or like now, really needing restful sleep to remain operational. Just a few weeks ago I was sleeping fine and running my own business as usual - I knew had anxiety challenges but nothing like this.

      I have a small window for hyper arousal my therapist has told me - i.e. easily alarmed - this is something I need to manage and I'm not sure how because the nights just seem to creep up on me and I enter panic mode.

      Back to the medication - having read up extensively and speaking to my GP I've (almost) concluded that I should opt for Lustral and ride out the side effects and further sleeplessness in aid of a more restful mind in a few weeks that’s keeps me away from the negative thoughts leading up to bedtime.

      If you would have said to me 6 weeks ago that I would be posting this message I would have looked at you very strangely - I quite literally do not what to do.

      I desperately, desperately ... just want to be able to fall asleep and stay asleep naturally for a few nights so I can continue facing my other challenges. At the moment my life is being ruined and I will speak to anyone out there who can help!!!

      Thanks again for your reply.

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    • Posted

      Hi David,

      I am sure that changing time zones is not helping your situation. 

      So, I gather that you have cut out all stimulants and it has not made a difference. Personally, if I drink a coffee even in the morning, at night I have a hard time falling asleep and once asleep it's not a restful, restorative sleep.

      If you are anxious...not because of coffee, colas, tea etc....then maybe you do need medication.

      Have you had your thyroid checked? This can cause anxiety.

      And are you taking any other medication? Look them up to see if side effects can cause anxiety.

      Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Hi Robin,

      I was prescribed anatriptylin 50mg and Bedranol (beta blockers) 80gm at the same time... This is my sixth day but probably foolishly I've only taken two Bedranol as I wanted to use running as a therapy and I find Bedranol hinders that but I will take the required dosage from today.

      ive had two coffees today normally more like 4 so probably a good idea to cut these out too.

      and probably should mention I've been on zopiclone 3.75mg for sleep for a month. It generally works eventually but now have anxiety over addiction!

      never had a thyroid test but may do so.

      Whats your most effective anxiety relief method?


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    • Posted

      David, When you take any medication, you must check the side effects. Bedranol's side effects are sleeplessness!!!

      If you are taking beta blockers for arrhythmia, then definitely you should never drink coffee or any stimulants. I had a serious case of arrhythmia and was on the maximum dose of sotacor/sotalol 320 mg. The cardiologist told me from the start that for the rest of my life I should never drink coffee or tea or colas. I should not eat chocolate or be in cigaratte smoking environments. I was able to cure my arrhythmia through daily vigorous exercise. 

      But I suspect you are taking beta blockers for another reason; anxiety maybe?

      I didn't check yoour last medication to see what the side effects are. You can do that. Be very careful about prescription medications. They can cause  serious side effects. I tell my children to never take anything into their bodies without researching it. I urge you to do the same.

      I think this is the solution to your issues. I certainly hope so. It may take a few days to get the drug out of your system. You may want to get off a medication under a doctor's supervision. I'm sure you can phone the drug company to see if it is dangerous to abruptly stop a medication. I do knwo in the case of beta blockers, one should taper it off. Let me know how it goes.

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    • Posted

      Hello Robin...apologies for the delay. Just an update, up until 4 days ago I was actually sleeping normally again and continued with amitriptyline at night and didn't need beta blockers or sleeping tablets. I was functioning normally again and enjoying life. Then one night had a restless night and it went downhill again.

      I'm trying to remain calm and use the techniques I used to pull myself out of it last time I.e. Doing normal things, occupying myself and remembering I'm not an insomniac, I'm just prone to anxiety in certain situations. Once I slept easier on one night, my pattern improved very quickly and I wasn't thinking about night time anxiety.

      Anyway, I'm determined to fix it again, my doctor has prescribed me another a month of 50mg amitriptyline for night time use with a review at the end of August. I've been on them for 3 weeks now and noticed they helped me sleep but only when I wasn't anxious at night. I haven't noticed much anxiety relief from them yet but to be honest if I sleep well, many of my anxieties disappear. Am wondering whether sertraline may be the long term solution to moderate my anxieties...

      i just want want to enjoy life without inventing problems all the time...flies in ointments that I (or my subconscious) seem to put there!

      thanks for your interest again...

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