zopiclone withdrawals and WTF? help !

Posted , 16 users are following.

Hi all, so a tiny bit background. I'm 33 years old, male. In my 20's i had a really bad problem with anxiety and drinking (to stop the anxiety)

Anyway FFW 10 or so years im living an almost perfect life, amazing wife, NO anxiety, living in Melbourne, Australia but my workload is getting a bit stressful (but stress I didn't mind THAT much) I see my GP, who is English, and tell him I'm not sleeping well and he prescribes me Zopiclone. Says it isn't addictive and he has it himself sometimes. I tried it- WOW amazing I thought. I got 8 hours no questions asked and didn't even feel bad the next day.

BUT

FFW again 3 months, my wifes job took us to Germany (no problem I LOVE Germany) but maybe I was feeling I didn't belong, a bit alone. But that was no problem cos my anxiety was completely under control anyway so who cares, right?

Uh-oh. Just last week my wife went on a work trip and I didn't know if it was  seperation anxiety or what but I felt so anxious. I started drinking a lot but that (it really doesn't at all) help. I basically lost a week, it was like a zopiclone blackout (in retrospect) Anyway, I was due to pick her up yesterday, which I did, but I thought I'd stop taking Zopiclone because I'd had a few rough days and it didn't seem to help. 

WOW

What followed? (and still is!) the most incredible withdrawal symptoms i've ever experienced, like they are in tune with you. I am sweating like crazy (like buckets every second) and my anxiety is through the roof. I've been like this for four days now and my wife is back and I feel like she's come back to some kind of weirdo.

I read up on so much stuff online (it was like the only thing i could do, dont know if it makes you feel better or worse...) but i found this huge forum of people all going through my crap, all because of Zopiclone! Why did I not know this? Are British GP's on some kind of wage-hike to give this out? It's awful!

Any suggestions? BTW I have been drinking LOADS to help the Zopiclone anxiety subside and let me tell you now it isn't the answer, it does not help one bit, as soon as I lay down I get the sweats!

Does this sound familar to anyone?

Lee

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  • Posted

    Morning Lee,

    in answer to your question this is exactly what I experienced. It's depersonalisation. 

    You MUST wean yourself off very very slowly. Do not stop taking them cold turkey. I ended up in a psychiatric ward. Don't do it!

    "The Ashton Manual" is now well recognised print it out take it to your doctor.

    I recommend weaning with the zopiclone rather than with Valium. 

    I was told they weren't addictive either. They are.

    i read on here a professor on radio four had said that withdrawal from zopiclone is worse than heroine. As it can take up to ten years to leave your system as apposed to heroine which leaves the body in a week.

    There is clearly a big hush up about this as it is an epidemic as bad Valium in the fifties. 

    Make an emergency appointment with your doctor now as you may have seizures. I did. One lasted eight hours and I sat in a wheelchair in A&E fitting in a corridor in the hospital.

    You have to tell your doctor how to treat this as some are still ignorant or are complying with budgets or statistics. None of my doctors knew. I had to tell them every step but I had to scream and fight for it. I would hate to think anyone would suffer like that. It might take you a year to get off it it but it will be safer for you in the long run

    Most importantly It is possible. Take control of it now before it controls you.

    best of luck and if you need any more help or whatever I'm happy to help.

    You will be ok. Don't panic! Easier said than done.

    xxx

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    • Posted

      I've been on it for over 5 years straight .....now they want to stop prescribing with no help other than saying for me to pop into my local walk in signpost clinic ......I get a lot of bad symptoms most days now and then I have to take it in the day too sometimes .....help

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  • Posted

    Hi Lee I dnt think doctors have a very good idea when it comes to weaning off these meds. This forum is your best bet. I havnt slept for 10 days without having a drink with my other meds to knock me out. My doc told me to go down from 7.5 to 3.75 for 14days couldn't sleep at all on 3.75 so doubled up.. I'm in Turkey where they act as if it's recreational drugs so having a real hard time of it.. hopefully sorted today. Goodluck
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  • Posted

    hi lee i know the feeling i have been on zopiclone for a number of yrs now they dont work so i have been upping the dose i started taking two 7.5 kept going up doctors telling them they are not working lol he said i wil stop giving them you then wow what i said you cant do that i cant sleep so he pe prescribed them back to me also saying dont take more than one you are over dosing  only problem was in the end i was taking five 7.5 a night so was running out then had to try and go without them  i was like a druggie i was searching everywhere to see if i could find one , anyway my daughter took me up and told him he carried on has normal ,so my sister came with me at this time i had been given another doctor i told her the truth at what i was doing because i was getting them off people i know aswell ,she said i was addicted to them and tried me on something didnt work and so on i had got to see her last week to see how i was getting on because she said we will go through them all to see what works ,well she wasnt on had to see doc i normaly see what did he do said theres nothing else i can take so gave me zopiclone back i dont believe it but there you go and yes i think i am right in saying you do get addicted to them i can only think it is like heroin                           lynda
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    • Posted

      Oh dear. I know the feeling, too.

      Don't go round in circles with diffeerent GPs.

      Finda your local refer-yourself drug addiction clinic and they will help you, They have helped me after forty years of addiction. A doctor way back when told they world that benzos were more addictive than heroin.

      He was derided at the time, but he was right, of course. Getting off them is SOOOOOO difficult. I'm in the middle of a good tapering off method with an expert doctor supervising it. BUT I HAD TO FIND HIM!!!!! Oh, some GPs are totally out of their depth here. I don't know why - it's a growing problem which they must see every day! Good luck and hugs, Lynda. Keep us posted.

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  • Posted

    Yes, it sounds horribly familiar. No, British GPs are generally very against prescribing sleeping pills. Heavens, your GP is sadly misinformed if he told you zopiclone wasn't addictive. Are you kidding me?

    STOP DRINKING!!! It will make things worse!! Take a zopiclone (assuming you have any) and you will feel better. THAT IS THE SHORT-TERM SOLUTION.

    Welcome to the community of benzo and Z addicts. We're all trying to help one another. You have obviously, and accidently, joined us. I say 'acidentally' because this is your GP's fault, not yours.

    Get yourself some help from another doctor - and by the way, your first doctor sounds like he could do with some help, too. You can only come off zopiclone by tapering very slowly, generally with a different drug which lasts much longer in your body than zopiclone does. Don't stop suddenly, whatever you do - you will feel awful (as you've already discovered) and the tapering off must be prescribed and supervised by a doctor who is an expert in addiction. The best of luck to you. Keep telling us how you're doing - I really want to know and I'm sure others do, too.

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  • Posted

    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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  • Posted

    I had similar withdarwal symptoms - nightmares and daytime depression. I stopped my withdrawal then saw my GP and he gave me a low Amytripiline. This has stopped the nightmares and daytime anxiety. I also take Valium but have tapered off this. It has been a walk in the park compared to ther times I have tried to stop. It is over 8 weeks since I took Zopiclone and I feel 100% better. Hope this helps
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  • Posted

    It certainly does. Especially the sweating which is itself what makes you not sleep. I get ear acupuncture which gives me a break from nausea and anxiety. You should try it!
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  • Posted

    I stopped Tami g zopoclonr cold turkey and had the most awful time with hallucinations s and dreams where I saw a friend in my bed a D thought he had broken into my apartment in the night do sent him a x at hi g email accusing him of breaking in whereS it was a dream. Do lost a friend..I had sleepless nights and trembling. .I am now on Mertz zine and find I g it much better.

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  • Posted

    Same as you I only been on them 4 weeks but ran out

    Whilst away and my head will not settle, can't sleep or so it seems and continuously worrying about stupid things

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  • Posted

    Lee, I don't drink or do recreational drugs and I am going through the same.  So it is not either of those doing it.  I truly understand why you feel out of it.  It is horrible what it does to some people.

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  • Posted

    Am on zopiclone, tryptizol and bromazepam. I am yet to have a clue of where when and how I can do it. Anxiety and depression have visited the weak and the vulnerable. 

    Any stating point idea?

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