tapering off zopiclone

Posted , 9 users are following.

hello all, i am currently on 7.5mg zopiclone a night my gp halfed this with out assisting with tapering , worried! i have an appointment this afternoon to discuss this i have written everything down as dont have a printer hope this will be fine? . could anyone please tell me do i have a right to be referred to a specialist in helping people taper off? then i can do it the right way ..help xxx

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  • Posted

    Hey. I am sure it will be fine that you have written things down. Since you are on a low dose just cutting it down by half I am sure will not be too bad. You could suggest it happens every second or third night and go back to the one 7.5mg every other night. Another thing you could try is Rescue Remedy losenges from a pharmacy I have found works really well for me and you can take as many of them as you like. I am not sure about specialists but you could Google it to see if one is in your area. Also do ring the helplines on Keith's links and the last link I put onto MidnightLadies. There must be a mental health line in the UK too you could ring with your concerns. Take care of yourself and be kind and gentle towards yourself too. It will not always be like this - you will get through. xo
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  • Posted

    Unfortunately, I think you will find that you don't even have a right to change your doctor without your current doctor's consent.  Likewise, it will be up to him or her to decide if he or she wishes you to see a specialist. Asking if you might may be a different matter.

    Remembering your past posts in other threads, I think one might well point out that as long as you think there's a chance of your coming of sleep medication, it's almost certainly the path your doctor will take.

    As I said before, if you think a certain path is hopeless, you must point that out.

    Remember too, that your doctor is under pressure from above to get people off sleep medication. Any idea of taking action against him or her is only making his or her situation more uncomfortable and difficult. Do try to discuss your problem as openly and honestly and as realistically as you can.

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    • Posted

      Hi Robert,

      I'm new to here, so I don't know if you are UK or not, but if so, you can change your NHS doctor whenever you like and you don't need to give any reason at all. You just ask to be taken on at the new surgery and fill a form in (just your details so that your records can be sent over.)

      I'm aware this thread is old but it gets thrown up to my zopiclone tapering query so others will read it too.

      I have been taking 7.5mg for several years but need to come off them because I now realise from doing plenty of research that it's not proper sleep that you get with them, it's closer to being knocked unconscious. I already have awful nightmares on them so I'm wondering if it will be worse for me coming off them, or easier.

      I have a few Clonazepam left over from aeons ago so I'll eke them out to taper off.

      I remember I saw someone on here suggesting reducing some nights and not others to start with, I think you'll find you'll get nowhere that way, you need to plan a constant dose followed by a slightly lower dose.

      If it's practicable, I'd do it over no more than 3 weeks so that you don't develop a second addiction plus save a little of the valium back to have a very tiny amount for four or five days on top of the three weeks gradually reducing (3/4 then 1/2 then 1/4 of whatever your dose )

      I will do it before my doctor suggests it as he is bound to soon. Very big hugs to anyone attempting to beat this nasty chemical.

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    • Posted

      Hi! I was so surprised to get a reply, that's really kind of you.

      They only contact your old surgery to request that the notes are forwarded. Nothing personal is said and I have had the opportunity to see this for myself. The new doc knows where you have come from but not why. You don't have to tell him if he asks but being honest won't do any harm as it's all confidential. No-one should ever be concerned about changing doctors. I know it feels stressful but only until you've spoken to your new GO. If you have the choice, go for a surgery with several doctors so that you can find one you get on with.

      The area that you can choose from has become quite small but if you're in a city, there will be a reasonable choice.

      To the lady who previously asked if you have a right to be referred to someone to help you coming off, 100% no, this should be something you can sort out by talking with your GO but if they're not helpful, you could ask for a referral to a pain specialist or whoever you want but this is up to the GO, it's his/her budget and will only refer if it's necessary in their opinion. It can take many months though, to get an appointment.

      This is a really great site and I'm so pleased I found it. The support is such a help, especially if there's no-one you can talk to about it.

      I start my Zopiclone - monster challenge tonight :-)

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    • Posted

      I think some changes came in in January 2015, certainly, it seems relating to seeing a doctor in a different, possibly further away, area. The only evidence I can find now though of needing your previous doctor's consent is from a document called "Understanding the reforms... Choice and any qualified provider" by the BMA dated April 2013. To quote from it:

      "... reforms aimed at providing patients with more information to facilitate a ‘real choice’ between GPs, allowing them to change GP “without any hindrance at all”,  and the introduction of GP fundholding ..."

      My current greatest fear of changing my GP is if I moved to a different area and found one that thinks I'm better off going without a zopiclone and the sleep it provides, or one who thinks restless leg syndrome isn't a medical condition.

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  • Posted

    How are you finding the tapering off the zopiclone? I today been to see my gp, he has given me 6mg of diazepam to take for 2 weeks then down to 4mg then 2mg am worried I won't sleep, been 2 days without zopiclone after having it for 5 years.
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  • Posted

    No am starting it tonight, I am so tired I just want to sleep, but scared the diazepam won't work, or it may make me feel unwell 
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    • Posted

      you will love the effects of diazapam :-) you will be fine tammy ! listen to some nice relaxing music and have a nice bath before u take it..you will sleep like a dream and feel great! please let me know how u get on :-) x 
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    • Posted

      I've only had one precription for diazepam – I was allowed 4 tablets for what was expected to be 2 fairly heavy sessions at the dentist. In the end I used 3 tablets for what ended up as 3 sessions and the 1 remaining tablet when I had double-glazing installed. This was on top of taking Zopiclone.

      My experience from the dental sessions was that I sat in the dentist's almost as if it were the hairdresser's. However, the next day I scarcely bold enough to answer the front door. But I think that might have been coming back down from the dentist rather than drug withdrawal, since I didn't get quite like that after the double-glazing was installed.

      I doubt you need be too surprised diazepam hasn't helped – nitrazepam is no longer strong enough to get me to sleep and that's a benzodiazepine used specifically for treating insomnia.

      Are you aware of the term "paradoxical reaction"? If not, look it up – you'll find that it's often found with benzodiazepines.

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    • Posted

      keep it up tammy u may find u will sleep tonight , i didnt feel sick on them .. have u heard of the ashton plan?  i have sent it you . how many zopiclone were u on? xx 
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    • Posted

      Hi Julie I feel terrible today, I kept my partner awake most the night, thank god he is supportive. I used to take 2 x 7.5mg sometimes 3 even took it during the day, my gp said I was the first case he has ever had with zopiclone addiction, he had to contact ad action to find out how they taper off the zopiclone as he didn't know what to do, hence the 3 x 2mg of diazepam for 2 weeks then 2 x 2mg then down to 1mg, it worries me that I will then become addicted to diazepam. They told me the zopiclone was already out of my system and they was not really working for me, but I used to sleep so for me they worked. Today I feel anxious and that's why I was prescribed zopiclone in the first place as I couldn't sleep and it was making my anxiety worse sad x
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    • Posted

      hi tammy u was on a high dose of zopiclone i was on 1x7.5mg each night! i dont feel they have given u a high enough dose of diazepam! the gp gave me 4x 2mg of diazepam have been taking 2x2mg like you dont want to become addicted to them! you will be worrying about sleeping with out zopiclone so that in its self will stop you sleeping.. what do gps know hay! go back at see them tell them whats happening and how many u was on aday of zopiclone. how can it be out your system on a hight dose like that.. crazy gps! how can they say that ur not addicted to zoplicone? crazy xx
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    • Posted

      I've been taking Zopiclone at 7.5mg a night since 2005. Last year between the end of May and end of June I managed to go without them, two days during February this year and one day about a week ago. Other than that I've been taking them every single night.

      As I understand it, Zopiclone is quite a clean drug and clears out of your system well and completely. I don't seem to have any withdrawal symptoms when I don't take them. The problem is, if I don't take one I almost certainly won't sleep or, if I do sleep, it will only be for a couple of hours, simple as that.

      I feel sure I'd leave them in the drawer if I knew I didn't need them. To me, trying to deprive me of them would be like trying to stop the medication before the condition is cured – something scarcely practised in any other branch of medicine, I would have thought.

      I was given nitrazepam (as Mogadon) on top of amitriptyline a few times in the early 1970's when I first moved away from home and was studying in a rather different environment than I was used. So none at all from 1972 until 1987 when I again got a prescription for nitrazepam since I wanted to go to London to take some tests for a job. So, from 1987 to the early 2000's I had a prescription for about 15 nitrazepam tablets, Zopiclone from the early 1990's, about every couple of years. That is, I took one on average about every 40 nights or so, which is somewhere around the average for someone not getting a proper night.

      In 2002, the landlord for the property I was living in changed and I ended up with a deep-freezer running in a kitchen above my bedroom 24 hours a day with the tenant also taking in washing and starting the washing machine at 6am six mornings a week when it would vibrate the glass fittings in my en suite bathroom and the mirror in  my bedroom more loudly than about a dozen alarm clocks going off at once. The machine was not turned off again until about 11pm. At about the same time I got connected to the Internet and you no doubt know how easy it is to write something in a forum only to find out a number of people have spotted you made a bit of a silly mistake of some sort!

      2½ years ago I was able to move to where I live now. I had thought I might be able to relax and sleep better again. It has not really been the case. I'm wondering if it will come with the years, whether I'm damaged for life, or whether increasing age will take its toll even if my original problem does eventually ease.

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