Zopiclone withdrawal and diazepam

Posted , 13 users are following.

Hi. I've posted before but not about this specifically.

I'm in a real mess with medication and suffering with terrible anxiety and depression.

I've been taking Zopiclone for 6 weeks. Initially 3.75 and it helped but then stopped working. So doc said go up to 7.5. I've been on that for two weeks and barely getting two hours sleep.

Crisis team had put me on diazepam in July as was struggling with adapting to meds which I'm now meant to be reducing to change.

I need off the Zopiclone as I've been dry retching everyday since mid August and increasingly getting metallic and burning sensation in mouth which worsens as the day goes on.

My gp has set up a plan for me to taper off using diazepam. Last night I followed the plan and took 4mg diazepam with 3.75 Zopiclone.

Today I tried to rest and came round in a nightmarish panic with my head burning. 

I tried to stop the Zopiclone cold turkey last week (but using only 4mg diazepam) and ended up in sheer terror on the second night, unable to stay still, with thoughts of self harm, cold numb feet, and the same burning head.

Ended up with an ambulance here and a gp coming out. She said restart the Zopiclone.

But I want off it. 

Questions are:

Am I experiencing withdrawal after just one night on half dose?

Is it going to get better?

Anyone else had those kinds of withdrawals from Zopiclone?

I also need reassurance that upping my diazepam dose to get through this and while I'm sorting out medication (could be months) be ok? I know they're addictive. I'll be on @16mg a day. My gp is supervising and telling me I will eventually get off all this stuff. 

I'm scared. 

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  • Posted

    Hi nikki

    I was on zopiclone for 5 weeks recently. I just came off them a few days ago. My experience with them was horrible, at 1st they zonked me out and I slept like a baby. After a few weeks, I started getting anxious and restless during the day. Now, I do suffer from GED and depression, so I thought I was just going through a bad spell of generalized anxiety and went to my Dr. and she prescribed a anti depressant and a short script for adivan. I continued to take zopiclone as directed, 7.5mg with my other meds. My anxiety and restlessness was getting worse during the day, plus I was starting to wake up really early and couldn't get back to sleep. This went on for a few more weeks and my anxiety got worse and started earlier and earlier in the morning. I would go to work and my day would be almost unbearable. My anxiety was so bad I thought I was loosing my mind, I felt like my nerves were pulsating out of my skin, I could barely stand it. Thats when I googled zopiclone and found this site and read other peoples experiences and immediaqtley made another Dr. appt. After telling her my findings, she agreed zopiclone wasn't a good med for me anymore. Some people can tolerate it well, others not so well. It woks well for the short term but the longer you take it the more dependant you can become. Some people can tolerate it longer than others. Long story short, I was prescribed another med more beneficial to me and have been off zopiclone for my 2nd day. I already feel the anxiety subsiding but it's still there, it could take a week or so but I was assured it will get better. Hope this gives you some insight. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you Mike.

      Yes I feel dreadful. Thing is I did before taking it anyway so can't work out if it's that returning full force or withdrawal. Or the diazepam! 

      Can I ask what you were prescribed? 

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    • Posted

      I wish I could tell you which one is causing it. And I understand and can relate to how you must be feeling. I'm still feeling the effects of withdrawl from zopiclone today but it's much less intense today than 2 days ago when I was in agony. 

      I was taken off the zopiclone and prescribed Mirtazipine 15mg for depression, anxiety and insomnia.

      I told my Dr. I dont want to be on anymore hypnotic type sleeping pills as I have a addicitve personality. Anyhow, I took my 1st dose last night and actually slept really well. It didn't zonk me out but made me drowsy enough to fall asleep. Only downside is that I still feel a bit drowsy this morning.

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    • Posted

      Hi Mike, thanks, I'm already on that one at 15mg rolleyes hardly sleep on it. Tells me there's something really out of whack with me. I'm pleased it's helping you. It does help a lot of people. 

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    • Posted

      Well it helped last night but we will see how it goes day by day as I seem to develop a tolerance to most meds fairly quickly.

      So your on zopiclone, diazapam and mirtazipine? Anything else?

      Only reason I ask is maybe it would be beneficial to try a new Dr.to try and balance some of this out for you.

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    • Posted

      Those plus escitalopram 10mg.

      I've seen a psychiatrist and meant to be tapering of escitalopram, meant to have stopped Zopiclone cold turkey which I tried, then stop Mirtazipine and start Sertraline!

      All the while using diazepam as my anxiety and restlessness is so severe.

      It's all a mess.

      I was on pregabalin for 9 months low dose with escitalopram then came off that quite quickly in June. Then all this kicked off.

      Three months nearly of insomnia, medications, misery!

      My gp wants me off everything but told me to use the diazepam for now and we'll taper that eventually. 

      I'm truly stuck. Can't even get past the Zopiclone. 

       

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    • Posted

      I'm also on escitalopram 20mg. I take in the morning and now mirtazipine at night. I take 1mg adivan during the day that I need to come off of. I'm in a bit of a medication mess too but I guess 1 med at a time right. Start with the zopiclone and I know it's rough but it will get better day by day. I just had a massive flare of anxiety and it's awful. I hate being like this but I will not give up.

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    • Posted

      Sounds like we're a right pair Mike! I hate this mess. I understand how you feel with the anxiety flare. Know that I am having them through the day and am fighting too!

      Is adivan lorazepam?

      My fear (well one of many!) is that I wasn't stable at all before I took the blasted Zopiclone and it's maybe been sedating me and now I'm gonna get withdrawals and higher anxiety!

      One med at a time as you say. I just miss being me, I can't hold a conversation as my mind is always racing and all enjoyment has gone.

      Thank you for responding as it's really really helping knowing I'm not alone in this scary place. 

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    • Posted

      No your not alone at all, I think there's a lot of us in this boat. Good thing about zopiclone, it clears from the body rather quickly, thats why withdraw sets in so fast, which means they shouldn't last long (so I've been told) but I believe today I'm still going through them. It's not nearly as bad as 2 days ago. It's hard for me to tell what I'm withdrawing from right now as I cut my lorazepam (yes Adivan) down. I found i had memory problems very early on after taking zopiclone, my brain was always foggy the next day. I thought it would go away but it never did. 

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    • Posted

      It's confusing isn't it, what's causing what. That explains though why withdrawals hit so quickly, the speed  it clears. 

      Dreading bedtime soon and tomorrow. It's tough anyway without Zopiclone withdrawal too.

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    • Posted

      when it get close to bedtime, I dread it too and my anxiety flares up. Every night is like that, if I don't take anything to help me sleep I'll stay up all night long. I hope you get some shut eye, just remember the withdrawl will get better each day. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you Mike. In bed now and dreading meds. I'm only trying to cut down to 3.75 from 7.5 until I stabilise and it's rough. I hope you get some shut eye too and the withdrawal eases soon. As you say, it will. Check in tomorrow. 

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    • Posted

      Hey Hon, Hope you're getting some rest. Advice only, I'm a chef not a doctor. I'm not trying to scare you, only help. If your GP wants you off all meds, you actually have a very, very good one. Most are not so lucky. Listen to this doctor, almost ALL just keep adding meds to 'cure' the consequences of the 1st med, and you'll only get worse. BUT you have to help yourself and get educated about these drugs. I am only educated about the benzo, diazepam. I don't think the others are benzos, but I don't know for sure. Benzodiazepines are one of the most dangerous meds to take. Whatever you do, DO NOT STOP ANYTHING COLD TURKEY. But if you've only been on the diazepam 2 months, you REALLY should talk to your GP about getting tapered down off that. You have likely hit tolerance to it, meaning it is doing zero good. The longer you stay on it, the harder it will be to get off. It is also likely CAUSING alot of your symptoms. Do not taper ANYTHING too fast. You may have to get really good at cutting pills into 1/4s, or even 1/8s. Some meds have a liquid form which makes it easier. What appears to you as a small cut could actually be a MASSIVE one to your brain and body. 

      Suggestions; You MUST become educated on these meds. NOW. Get paper and pen, and start. One sheet for each med, take notes. RxISK. Wikipedia. BIC(benzodiazepine information coalition)..  Everything Matters; Beyond Meds. Join benzo buddies. The people there will help you, and there are thousands. You are NOT alone. Learn the difference between addiction and dependence, two very different things. This is dependence, and there is no such thing as an addictive personality. You are likely more sensitive to meds. Up your nutrition, it's a HUGE factor in healing. Do anything possible to lower stress. The sites I gave you are trusted, and very knowledgeable. I wish I'd found them a year before I did. Don't wait like I did, I'm about 75% healed, have taken zero meds in a year. You DO heal, but do it smart, and patient.  Best of luck to you, stay strong.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Jean. I understand all that you're saying. Unfortunately my gp wants me to UP the diazepam in order to get off the others first!! I've gone from taking 8 a week to 14 and now 35 this week in order to get off the Zopiclone! I've told him my concerns and he says it's ok we can taper off them eventually but I'm not happy. I feel truly stuck. All the mental health people and gps I've spoken to have said just use them and taper off the others. I don't know how to taper the diazepam while tapered the others. I've read the Ashton manual notes about it. So o know how to do it practically but I'm in such a state. 

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    • Posted

      Jean, what were you taking and how did you do it?

      I have restlessness and get terrible intrusive and ocd thoughts when I try to get off anything. I have a health condition called ME which is severely limiting too and am trying to keep things going as a single mum. Any experience appreciated x

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    • Posted

      Hi nikki,

      I'm okay today. Didn't have the best sleep last night but did get some shut eye. 2nd day on this mirtazipam and it's making me feel really jittery and weird. I haven't taken anything else yet today but may end up taking half a Adivan. I'm worried because I've been on adivan for a few months now and I don't want to get dependant. This anxiety is just so darn unbearable sometimes.

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    • Posted

      Hi Mike

      That's good you're doing ok. But I understand the thing about the Mirtazipine. I get that too but haven't been able to work out if it's that or something else I'm taking! 

      I've been on diazepam since early July so understand your concerns about dependance. But I'm nowhere near a stable enough place to taper it yet so I'm trying not to worry about that. 

      Yes, damn anxiety!! I've not been able to leave the house for a few days. 

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