Weaning off zopiclone

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Have decided to wean myself off Z ( with support from doctor ) ..has anyone done this successfully ....I've been using them for about 4 years 

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  • Posted

    Hi, there is something called the Ashton protocol and people seem to have followed it successfully. I dropped all Z almost 3 weeks ago not following any protocols. Been on them for 20 years, but never on a high dose and used them mostly for sleep. After discovering that I only took one mg I decided to go off totally. So far so good. I am not a doctor and I am not giving any advice, just telling that it obviously can be done. My head is clearer and my sleep is not as good as with the Z, but I fall asleep very quickly, wake up more times per night than before, but that’s all so far.

    good luck! It’s worth it!

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    • Posted

      Hi again, I was on Valium, 2 or 5 mg. I very seldom took 10 mg per day, most of the time maybe 2.5. I never considered myself as addicted, but must have been. I mean, I took the pills during so many years. I reduced the dose myself. 5 mg in the evening became 4, then 2.5 then 2 and finally 1.

      Sometimes I took 1 mg during the day when’s stressed. Even twice per day. I always tried to keep the dose very low. And then I just decided to quit.

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    • Posted

      Hi again Thank you for your reply.

      It sounds as though you have been very careful in handling this situation and have a lot of knowledge about it.

      I do not know what you do next in order to reduce the dose etc. However it sounds as though you know what to do.

      ?I don't think most people realise what horrible drugs these benzos and opiates are but hopefully are becoming more and more enlightened and seeking alternatives such as counselling, psychotherapy, meditation, mindfulness, yoga etc.

      Thanks once again.

       

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    • Posted

      I have got into habit of taking 5mg at night to help sleep.   I usually need 1 or 2mg in day before i go out.   You have done a great job tapering.   I would like to try same.   Did you have any help or just do it alone.  I am also almost off anti depressant but i feel so,scared of things, cant do what i used to like and generally not great.  I am concerned that some say the diazepam causes this, do you think thats true?

      any help on cutting regime would help.

      thank you

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    • Posted

      sorry to butt in. Yes the benzos can make you feel like this. They act on the receptors in the brain causing people to become addicted unknowingly and demotivated. They suppress dopamine and endorphins and that is why people do not feel like doing anything .

      ​They are terrible drugs. Just  terrible. Any withdrawal has to be done very slowly as it is dangerous to go cold turkey.

       

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    • Posted

      I did it by my own. I was not even consciously trying to taper. I just wanted to have less and less and when I finally just had one mg I decided to get off.

      So far I have no idea what or which of my problems are caused by diazepam. My memory got really bad and I hope it will get better. I was scared when I heard that diazepam could cause dementia. Now they don’t say that anymore, it was never truly verified.

      Twelve years ago I was diagnosed with a very bad burnt-out syndrome. Somehow I like to think that it could have been even worse if I had not had the diazepam, it helped me a lot. My burnt-out syndrome has left me with an easily trigged anxiety and brain fog and many physical symptoms. 

      I dont take any anti depressants anymore, even if I sometimes feel that I need them. But I have decided to try to totally avoid any brain medication.

      Again, I’m not a doctor and can’t give any real advice. The Ashton protocol is said to be reliable. I browsed through it and it looks like to be more helpful for people who have been on higher dosage.

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much.

      yes i agree Ashton seems its more for higher dosage drops.

      i am going to try to get off this if i can, im just scared.  Today im feeling bad  and just dont know if i can get through all this

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    • Posted

      Hi Yes you can get through this. Lots of people have so why not you.

      Try to keep positive and think how much better you are going to feel off this stuff .

      Exerccise helps because it stimulates the production of endorphins which are the bodys natural pain killers and anti depressants.

      Focusing on small tasks such as washing the dishes but slowly is not onlt a distraction but alters your mindset as it gives the brain something to focus on and dispel negative thoughts. If you go for a walk then walk slowly for the same reason. Breathing exerises are another means of re focusing and changing ones mindset.

      Take care .

       

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  • Posted

    Yes, google the Ashton plan and show it to doctor.

    its the most tried and trusted method.

    its no good just reducing dosage, that doesn't work, 

    hopefully your doc isn't doing that.

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    • Posted

      I have the Ashton plan here.  You saynthere is no good just reducing dosage but that seems to be what Ashton is advocating, small reductions with gaps in between.  Have i misread this and is there something i need to know?  I thought dropping down slowly, maybe by half a mg every month or so would be the protocol, can you advise if this is correct.?
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    • Posted

      i personally just stopped the zopiclone and went cold turkey, to be honest i was expecting really bad withdrawal as i have been on zopiclone for 27 years, i had reduced sleep for a few nights and so decided to just stay up one night and not go to bed , the following night i went to baed, the first time in 27yrs that i had a natural sleep, i was so different the following days to come, felt so alert and fresh, the GP i saw advised me to just stop them, he said they would have had a placebo effect after taking them for so many years, he was right,

      i would advise anyone to just go for it and keep trying to get off them. Nothing will happen to you and by replacing them with something else is just adding to the problem as you then have to give those up

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    • Posted

      Sorry, i have replied to you in error i think.  It is valium i am on, not zopiclone.   I did have zopiclone for a while, maybe six months but that was three years ago and came off it.  I am looking for valium reduction now.
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    • Posted

      Hello, I just read your article. I ve been taking Zopiclone for 1.5 years usually in 2 doses of 3.5 mg (7mg pill cut in 2)  one at 10pmand another at 2 when I wake up. I ve started getting dizziness and lightheaded problems. CT scans and MRI scans turned out negative so I want to get off the Z drug to see if maybe thats causing the problem. I just want to know after the 9 months now that your off , have you experienced any withdrawel effects, nausea, unsteadyness, etc.  Thanks
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    • Posted

      I have not experienced any of these side effects and substituted it to get some sleep. I tried Melatonin, Amitriptyline+ HC 10mg but settled on Quetiapine 25mg. There was one more med but can't remember the name.

      I hope this helps.

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    • Posted

      hey steve I have experinced those symptoms, did you have an respiratory problems by chance or problems being active after taking it for awhile. I didint know much about the pill but I took 7.5 zop for lmost 2 months and then i asked the doc for something else and gave me lovely trazdone. not know the effcts of just stopping one med, i did and been off it for almost 6 weeks, but hve all kinds of nightmarish symptoms with just 50mg of trazadone i m trying to come off.

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    • Posted

      50mg Trazodone is nothing, I thought that the lowest doze is 100. I don't think that it gave you any side effects, must be something else.

      I am taking 100mg + 25 Seroquel after coming off Zopiclone which I took for years.

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    • Posted

      i took zoplicone 7,5 for 2 months almost before and quit cold turkey cause my lovely doctor didnt tell me about tapering, he just told me take traz to taper. I quit taking for am month now, i am wonder if it's form this. And ya I do get dide effects from not taking traz ore than 24hrs like burred vision and headaches. I take a little traz and it helps go away., Just dont know if all the side effcts from this

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    • Posted

      I have noticed that Steve. I still take Zopiclone but trying to reduce. Taken them long, about 4 years. You can get dizzy, tinnitus, anxeity etc. The wierd thing is that the symtoms gets worse when decreasing the dose. I usually take 1.70 tablett (havnt been able to sleep at 1.5 tabl) but now trying to reduce. How are you doing now?

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    • Posted

      Hello Anne, It's been tough, I ve been tapering off and now trying to go a few days without Zop. I find I can sleep the next two days without zop but then up all night the 3rd. Then I take a half the next night if i don t fall asleep by 3 am just to get some shut eye for the next day. I ve done this now a couple of weeks but the nights Im up all night lying in bed can be long and frustrating.

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    • Posted

      I understand. Its good you can sleep though. I manage to sleep on 1.5 tablet (thats 11 mg) last night. Do you notice if you get worse (the next day) when decreasing ?

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    • Posted

      Just decrease very slowly and slowly replace with something else. I tried Amytriptiline, Zopiclone, Melatonine but settled on Quetiapine 25mg+Zopiclone 100mg. Works for me.

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    • Posted

      Trazodone alone didn't do it for me. Check with your Dr. and experiment until you settle on one of 4 possibilities. We are all different but I settled on 100mg Trazodone and 25mg Seroquel.

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