Zopiclone withdrawal help or advice needed

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I am a 63 year old man who has been retired since I was 55. I have struggled with anxiety and insomnia all my life but managed to hold down a successful professional career. I found retirement hard as I had no support for my sense of ‘worth’ and too much time on my hands.

I have been taking Zopiclone for over 7 years and often with alcohol. I have tried many times to stop this cycle as it has cost me many friends. In March this year I quit both for two months without any major side effects apart from depression during the day and nightmares that seemed to know exactly which insecurities to target. However I hung on in there and managed to lose over 2 stone in weight and I felt  a lot better and proud of myself

I had a relapse in July and have just started what I see as my ‘recovery’ again. However this time I am finding it much harder mainly because of the nightmares which scare the life out of me. If I manage to get through the night though I can put them behind me and have a reasonable day although fighting the depression is a daily challenge. I am however taking 2 x 7.5 Zopiclone about every other night if the nightmares prove to be too much for me.

I feel very alone in this struggle as I buy the drugs off the internet and have not shared this struggle with anyone.  I am hoping to share my struggle here and would appreciate any help or advice I could get

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28 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Nigel,

    Sorry to hear of your struggle, I have been exactly where you are, I too took Zopiclone with alcohol, it was like yourself because of anxiety and low self esteem, I became determined to get of the Zopiclone as I found that they gave me worse anxiety the next day, usually in the afternoon fueling my dependency, I had to slowly reduce my intake by cutting the tablets in half and then only every other night, I have been free of them now for just over a year and the nightmares and withdrawals have completely stopped, it took a lot of dicipline and focus but I'm now free, like you I didn't let my wife or friends know I was even taking the drugs let alone addicted to them. Stay with it mate, it is so worth it, I now don't get night night mares and know now that a bad nights sleep without them is far better than a good nights sleep on them. I still enjoy a good beer, probably far too much my wife would say, but the monkey known as Zopiclone is finally of my back.

    I wish you well with the journey, and one way I learnt to help me quit was to grow hate for the pills, condition your mind to have real contempt and anger for them so much so that you don't want to be anywhere near them, it helped for me.


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    • Posted

      Thank you David, I do hate the pills as they have caused me so much grief, I have lost friends and self respect. I will try a taper - I am not keen on trying the Ashton method as I don't want to cross over to diazepam and I know my Doctor won't give them to me. It's the night mares I fear the most - they are overwhelming at times and I wake up in the night gripped with fear.

      It is a hard struggle but one I am determined to win. Hearing from others like yourself is a comfort as I thought I was on my own.

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    • Posted

      Well! I had two terrible nightmares last night so maybe i don't notice how often they come!

      Please reconsider the diazepam. because it has a very long half-life it's always recommended for coming off zopiclone, which has a very short half life.

      I'm a nurse and I have found the diazepam method is working. I tried for two years to reduce zopiclone (with zopiclone) until I saw a specialist who immediately put me on to diazepam. I was lucky. A lot of people do not get this opportunity.

      Good luck anyway and let us know how you're doing, whatever you decide. One thing bothers me - it's VERY hard to cut zopiclone up and they only come in two doses anyway, and the short half life is a very real problem. Diazepam comes in three doses and has a lot of prescribing latitude.

      But you can only do your best.....................love Tess xx

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    • Posted

      thank you Tess,I am going away for a week then plan to start my taper when I return. My Dr won't prescribe me diazepam and I am wary of finding other scources.

      The support on this forum is invaluable and I will keep you updated

      Last time I quit I had horrible daytime depressions - this time I hope to move carefully to stop them

      Many thanks xx

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    • Posted

      Well......................I've already explained why you got horrible daytime depressions - you were withdrawing from zopiclone.

      Enjoy your holiday. Print off the Ashton Method and show it to your GP.

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  • Posted

    Hello Nigel,

    I am 61 years old and I stumbled across your message. I have been prescribed 7.5 zopiclone for the last fifteen years and I truly sympathize with you. I asked my GP to give me an alternative as I becoming more tolerant to them. H e tried zopiderm but I found these less effective. Subsequently I went back to zopiclone but doubled the dosage. This left me running out after two weeks so I had to spend the following two weeks with nothing. I did not get a restful sleep (no REM or dreams). The first two or three days I couldn't sleep and when I finally got my next batch I too suffered with nightmares. Its seems silly but 3.00 or 4.00 am waking up I was terrified. Not a pleasant state of affairs. I told my GP that I was taking 15mg every night. As you said doctors seem to change their minds from time time time. I suffer with other medical problems and was taking 400mg of morphine twice a day for over twenty years, then three years ago he decided to cut me off from opiates all together and put me forward for cognitive therapy , (CBT) which done me no favours a tall so now I am having more and more hospital admissions to get the pain relief I desperately need. Surely it would save the NHS a fortune if I just had pain relief at home, although my GP had my interest at heart. one of the other partners wanted me to be removed from the patient list as he considered me a drug addict. I agree but it was no fault of my own.

    My own GP went on to suggest suggest that I cut my zopiclne dose down to 3.75mg but it did not solve my problems. Like yourself, I too buy zopiclone on the internet or other "sources" which are expensive to buy (£2 per tablet) as I have no alternative. I am not too bothered about addiction . I'd rather have a good nights sleep and not feeling so dreadful and grumpy the following day. I have taken up to five tablets at time - I would not encourage this as the side effects are not very pleasant (hallucinations and confusion) I have a compulsive personality which doesn't help matters. I am an alcoholic but I am pleased to say I am in my 23rd year sober which was much more difficult to quit, It would be destructive to carry on increasing the dose of zopiclone.

    I would be interested to know where you order your tablets from. I pay .89p each if I buy 100 at a time and a couple of pounds postage and packing and they are delivered in three working daysThe price goes down if I buy more but I don't quite trust myself! I once bought 1,000 for £500 and ended taken them all within two weeks. So now I try to limit myself. You never really now exactly what you are buying ie the ingredients and strength.

    I sincerely hope your find a solution in the near future as insomnia can be terrible. Feel free to contact me if you think I can supply any further information.

    Best regards

    Stephen (Surrey)

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  • Posted

    new here. id like to know how to wean off zopiclone. been on .5 for approx 2 months. I still dont sleep using zopiclone and do not want higher dosage. just want to get off them.

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