Zopiclone withdraway

Posted , 23 users are following.

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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  • Posted

    Just dropped in to wish you all good luck and to say that you can get off Zopiclone if you really want to. I was on the stuff earlier this year and was forced off it by my GP. I tapered down to 3.75mg Zop then switched to Mirtazapine 7.5mg, which I have just stopped taking. I found the first 3 days off Zop were the worst, then it was a gradual improvement in sleep quality and general health. A positive attitude is vital though because worry and fear will make things harder. I have a book on cognitive behaviour and it has helped alot. You must try and feel a confidence deep inside that you will win through in the end. I wish you all good health.
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    • Posted

      Hi Sunlover--thanks for the update.  your words ring true.   What is the name of the cognitive behavioral book you have?  i have found what i've read about it very helpful, always looking for more.  
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  • Posted

    Can I make a suggestion? Dropping both Diazepam and Phenergan is way over the top. Mixing 2XPhenergan and Lords knows how much Diazepam as well is well over dosing.

    Just one Phenergan will do the trick without the Diazepam or Zopiclone. If you take it about an hour or so before you lay down you will find it creeps up on you just like normal sleep does.

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    • Posted

      I looked at a lot of online info and got in touch with an organisation called 

      CITA (Counselling and Information for Tranquilliser Addiction). Seem to have had success with the Diazepam crossover method as long as you start tapering the D one mg at a time. The helpline also mentioned using Phenergan no more than twice a week as being helpful. So right now, I'm focusing on getting long term Zopiclone out if my system

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    • Posted

      Curious to know how useful CITA were. Do they prescribe directly, or do they work through your local doctor? Or do they work with local groups? I've had no luck with my doctor, in fact I wrote him a formal letter and posted it today, asking why he had offered no help apart from a repeat prescription! Wish you sucess with your battle against the zops, its not easy.

       

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    • Posted

      Keith, I left a message on the CITA helpline last MOnday and someone phoned me back. Quiet helpful, she was very definite about not trying cold turkey and advised an equivalent dose of 9mg Diazepam crossover at bed time (to my 11 mg Zopiclone) She also mentioned taking Phenergan to supplement if necessary, but no more than twice a week. They don't prescrible, but there's an official letter provided on the website for you to print out and take to your GP, explaining the method. It's based in England, though and I'm in Scotland. My GP gave me the diazepam prescription and is seeing me tomorrow so I feel that's pretty helpful.  I've been zop free for just three nights now and I got about five or six hours of sleep on nights two and three. Really amazed about that. 13 years on this drug every single night. I'd like to start reducing the diazepam by 1 mg a week from next Monday, or preferably faster than that, but I don't want to rush this.  It's pretty clear to me though already that I feel better not taking the z. My eyes are clear (have increasingly had a horrible 'chemical', buzzing sensation around my eyes with the drug) and I don'[t feel toxic like I did. And that's with just five hours sleep as opposed to about 7 hours I was getting with Zop.  I can't believe it so far, but taking a day at a time.
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    • Posted

      Hi,. My gpo refused to give me diazepam as she said it was addictive. When i asked what else i could take she said try nothing at all, so that was it, i have changed doctors and for the time being am buying online. No support whatsoever.
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  • Posted

    Hi......have been following forum.....I too took too many zopiclone....and for past year have had numerous physical ailments resulting in hosp admissions and lots of tests....once these came back negative I began to suspect zopiclone as I seemed to fit a lot of side affects....I am left with chronic abdo pain ...for which I need morphine !!!!...... I got most of supply off internet and was too ashamed to admit to my lovely GP.....sooooo I decided to stop..........and so I went cold turkey.......after a couple of nights I would sleep part of it while listening to audio books....I was not too concerned about sleep..believing eventually my body would sleep....I wanted other physical probs to stop ie kidney infections ...horrid taste ....sweats ++++ abdo pain and nausea.......it now a month off them....I have some but no wish to take ....I am gradually picking up physically but I know it will take time....so i am off it ........and gradually picking up physically ...memory tons better ........so go for it and be not afraid of an odd night with no sleep???don't stress??your body will cope......thank you and good luck to one and all   .......xx

     

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    • Posted

      Dorothy, I so recognise what you're saying. I've felt increasingly ill with this drug but somehow kept trading off the fact that I could feel secure in (mostly) getting off to sleep. Yes, i've been so terrified of going back to no sleep and all the effects of that, as if I would die of it. I look forward to having a short term memory again, and also stopping my numerous car bumps and falls (again, have kept ignoring these, in denial about zopiclone being partly responsible) . I feel I can take steps to manage getting only a few hours sleep, as long as those hours are drug free, But still have to complete the diazepam crossover and reduction! Thanks for your support, you've been so brave.
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  • Posted

    Good luck with your plans, a very brave and strong willed person! (well more than me thats for sure).

    All the best

    Paddy

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    • Posted

      Thanks Zaphod. I appreciate that. Don't feel very brave at the moment but trying not to think about the past or the future. Just today. Do I feel better or worse today? So far the answer is better. Good luck to you as well.
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    • Posted

      I must admit that I am a bit of a whimp when it comes to withdrawals (from anything), so initially as soon as I found out I would only be getting 1x7.5mg Zopiclone a day instead of the 2x 7.5mg I have been taking for over 15 years, I cut half of what I had and took 1 & 1/2 x 7.5mg for a week, and then went to 1x 7.5mg Zopiclone and 1x 5mg Diazepam at night. Seems to be working, and I had no problems dropping the dosage of Zopiclone.

      All this I had to work out myself, as my GP didn`t even bother to inform me that my prescription was changing at all.

      More than anything else I am terrified of falling back into Insomnia, and that leading to me starting drinking Alcohol again to knock myself out. With me that is the fast track to disaster. :-(

      All of you that are deciding to stop taking Zopiclone altogether I salute you.

      Hope everyone ends up with a good sleep pattern eventually.

      Paddy

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  • Posted

    Hi Everyone

      Zaphod, I think it is the fear of insomnia that perpetuates it, that was certainly the case with me. When I learnt the trick of altering the way I thought about not sleeping I lost the fear and was able to regain a normal sleep pattern ( after several months of trying). It is not easy and i still have bad nights but they don't frighten me as much anymore.   

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    • Posted

      Hi Sunlover,

      I have no doubt that Zopiclone is likely to have little physical effect on me after taking it for so many years. Probably all Pschological, but as a doctor once said, "if Psychological works, then that`s good enough".

      Unfortunately, I don`t want to even risk falling back into my old ways which caused me to end up, bankrupt, divorced, sacked from work, very nearly homeless, and having a heat attack aged 37.

      So as long as I can get away with it, I`ll keep taking the Zopiclone.

      Thanks for the kind thoughts though.

      All the best

      Paddy

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    • Posted

      Hi Zaphod.  I also had been taking Zops for many years, and  as previously mentioned my gp stopped prescribing them. After many sleepless nights and trying different things, none of which worked for me, i have decided to buy of the internet as long as i can affort it that is. I only have to take one 7.5mg a night and i am ok the next day. I dont see the harm in taking them as long as you dont abuse them, but unfortunately the docs dont see it that way. How come you are still getting them from docs. Are you in the UK. I also will keep taking the Zops as long as i can get them. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Vivien,

      Yes I am in the UK, I still get my prescription from my GP. I think this is only because they were originally prescribed by a Consultant Psychiatist, who passed the job over to my GP when he retired. Considering the other meds I take, Morphine, Diazepam, ans a zillion other anti depressants and stuff to keep my heart beating, plus I have a diagnosis of BPD ontop of that lot. I think my GP`s are happy to prescribe them , mostly, just to keep me quiet.

      Also, I have always stuck rigidly to my prescribed dose, never bought any off the net, and never asked for more (ie. the dog ate my Zopiclone or whatever), so I have not given them any indication at all that I am abusing them.

      Paddy

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    • Posted

      Also, I should say that it took the best part of 20 years to get where I am today, most of it extremely unpleasant and a couple of very messy and truly intended suicide attempts, this has led to being sectioned 3 times, and having to buy a new carpet more than once (I won`t go into anymore details than that).

      My GPs know, that Insomnia is the first of a very short road to disaster in my case, and I think the prescribing of Zopiclone is better than the alternatives for both GP and myself.

      Paddy

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