Zopiclone awful withdrawal symptoms

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Been on zopiclone about 12 years, taken 1/4 tablet every night for about last 3 years after husband ill. Very unsympathetci new gp refused give me any more said would have no probs coming off them had to just stop. Tried October last year awful anxiety and insomnia , real problems driving and developed phobias about some things .some days felt I didn't want to go on anymore. Turns out just stopping worst thing I could have done

Had a packet left and got some off internet so 6 weeks into gradually weaning off them, down to 5 nights a week, anxiety still not good, and insomnia still problem. Just feel no end to it at the moment just wondered if anyone else could give advice as to how long before symptoms start improving. No help from gp so just getting help off internet. Did contact addiction centre who said the dosage makes no difference the withdrawal symptoms will be just as bad if you've been on them while like me. Taking Passion Flower drops in evening to help sleep. These drugs are absolute hell to try and get off!!

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    You are suffering from the incompetence of both your new and old GP's. Zopiclone is a Z Drug which is treated in much the same way as benzodiazepines and should be tapered slowly. Even the drug manufacturers say that it should only be used short term. Unfortunately no one can tell you how long the withdrawal symptoms will last because it is very different for everyone - some people recover quite quickly but others take a lot longer.

    The thing is though, people do heal from these hideous drugs though most are no longer on line which is understandable - Benzo Buddies (a forum) has a long list of success stories that can give you hope.

    You will find that anxiety and insomnia are common symptoms of withdrawal. I suffered from both and my sleep is still erratic almost 8 years free.

    I am surprised that you can tolerate Passion Flower drops - many people can't tolerate any kind of supplement at all. When I worked as a moderator on a forum called TRAP, which has since closed, the policy was to advise people not to take anything while in recovery but to eat whole foods without additives, drink lots of filtered water, rest and find ways to cope with the insomnia. I wrote a book on the topic because withdrawal is a tough gig!

    To manage my insomnia I learned to relax by listening to meditations, talking books, doing Adrenal yoga on my bed or other things that didn't require much brain power - I didn't have much 😃

    Even if you are not sleeping you can choose to relax your body and it will still get rest - I know its hard but it is really important to not let the anxiety get the better of you.

    This is an opportunity to learn new ways of coping and new ways to grow as a person.

    Please try to stay positive and trust that you will heal from this. ❤️

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    • Posted

      Totally agree re the doctors, new GP wanted to put me anti-depressants! Just very difficult when you virtually have to work out your own schedule. Initially tried supplement containing B vitamins but seemed make anxiety worse. The passion flower does seem to have calming influence, also a chamomile tea before bed. I occasionally take a phenergan, and tried rescue remedy night time last night. I am gradually reducing the passion flower just needed something. I have been almost having OCD type symptoms, had course of CBT did nothing, but come to realise it's actually anxiety causing it so CBT no use. I am trying various relaxation techniques and do Pilates anyway , just difficult to see any end to it at moment. What is the name of the book you wrote is it still published , if you are allowed to mention it on this forum? Good to know other do eventually come out the other side.

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    • Posted

      Anti-depressants cause even more problems in the brain and studies have shown that they usually don't work well anyway. I have seen reports that there is a link between AD's and the mass shootings in the USA so be very glad that you didn't accept to script!

      Phenergan helps some people once in a while short term but that also seems to create problems after a while. Rescue Remedy is a better way to go but it never worked for me though other people swear by it.

      While your body is in turmoil CBT is going to be of limited use at first but you will learn valuable life skills and I would recommend that you persevere with it.

      Much of my eBook, which is purchased through my website, focuses on skills that I learned along the way, not through CBT but other techniques but to be honest I am not sure if I can mention the name of the book here either - you may get a clue from my profile that I posted on this site.

      Loads of my friends who I met on TRAP are living functional lives. I was functional in that I went to work, around a year after I finished my taper but it took me longer to fully recover. There are so many reasons that recovery varies so please don't feel disheartened by peoples stories.

      Here is a link that may give you hope https://www.benzo.org.uk/success.htm

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    • Posted

      i have ordered a book that got glowing reviews to help with withdrawal written by someone who went through it. i only take maybe 1 PHENERGAN a weeks, and the rescue remedy occasionally. Very concious don't want to get over reliant on them. i have looked at benzo buddies already, some post are a bit depressing when people seem to take months to improve. I do get very down some days as am waking about 4am every day and getting max 4 hours sleep. CBT didnt work for me so won't go back to it, i did have few private sessions with a counsellor that were a lot more help. just seems no end to it at moment, but helps to read other peoples posts.

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    • Posted

      I couldn't find any clue to your book so any other tips welcome. I'm trying 7/11 breathing, and visualisation where you try imagine more positive aspect to you phobias, OCD thoughts. CBT therapist said I should imagine worst case scenario keep replaying it which I found very counter productive and made me worse. Dappled in mindfulness but didn't work for me. Even when I take my 1/4 zopiclone still don't sleep well so maybe that's positive sign they are clearing from my system. As your post states I am functioning but not real " living " life at the moment but live in hope will eventually improve.

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    • Posted

      It's withdrawal that's horrific not the drugs. GP"s very wrong to force people to come off them with no advice on how to cope with withdrawal. I was told, originally non-addictive, Gp making me come off them said they just had a placebo effect and would have no trouble coming off them, she in effect caused a lot of my symptoms by telling me to just stop.. I took very little and managed to have reasonable amount of sleep on them, now feel miserable most of the time and awful anxiety as well. They need re-educating about these drugs and should be a personal decision as to whether you stay on them or not.

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