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Very interesting to read the discussions on this forum. And especially helpful for me since I am on day one of stopping zopiclone and feeling a bit wobbly after just one night of no sleep (well, actually about two hours in fact), nightmares, sleep paralysis episode and sweating. I've been on Zopiclone since 2001, having been given it as a last resort after several years of chronic insomnia. I started with 3.75 and have increased roughly every four years. Now I've been taking 11mg, supplementing the 3.75 dose still prescribed for me with internet orders every few months. Somehow I couldn't admit to my GP's that I was doing that. I'm now retired and living a stress free life, so all the presenting circumstances for insomnia A&E way in the past. When I moved to a new life in a peaceful island environment at th end of 2012 I decided to come clean with my doctor about using internet 7.5 doses. But I've continued to take the 11 mg dosage until now. I haven't slept naturally for at least 14 years so I'm very scared of stopping. But the effects of the drug have got worse and now I want to stop. For a long time, my brain has felt foggy, I have a horrible hangover for half the day, really fatigues, forgetful and speech stammer. I've been reading up since last week and this is the most informative and supportive forum I've found. I looked at the CITA site and the adivice seemed to be not to go cold turkey but to do a crossover to an equivalent dose of diazepam first and then reduce from there.
I met with my GP yesterday and he is supportive and has given me 2 mg pills of diazepam to make the tapering easier. He's also going to monitor me and see me once a week to check progress.
i feel really scared about this, for all the same reasons I've read here. Zopiclone has given me the security of going to bed and knowing I will lose consciousness. That's been huge and I've traded that off against the feeling of being dulled, impaired and drugged in my daily life. I've done lots of amazi things over these last 13 years, lots of achievements, but all against a background of feeling crap.
Last night was my first night without Zopiclone. I took 9 mg Diazepam at bed time (probably too late I think) and set up relaxation cd I've been using, a radio, a corner of my spare room to curl up in with my book instead of lying in bed sleepless. I was awake until around 3.30, when I think I slipped into a two hour dose. But had mini hallucination about the radio playing ( it wasn't) and me ripping the batteries out (I didn't) I also had a nightmare, which I've never had before, and some sleep paralysis on waking from it. My temperature went up and down too, with some sweating.
i will go on with this but would so appreciate any support or ideas. Many of you know too well how savage the effects are of acute insomnia and I know I'm in for a rough ride. I've bought some Phenergan but didn't take it yet. I'm also sending off for 5 HTP.
So that is night one over. Any words of encouragement welcome. I'm not at all sure I can do this, with a supply of Zopiclone still in my bedside drawer. But being sleepless and not on the drug feels better than sleeping badly with it.
I'll keep you posted....
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