Weaning off Ambien and Flexeril

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MT Lady
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 955
   Posted 6/30/2010 7:51 AM (GMT -7)   
I am in the process of weaning myself off Ambien and Flexeril. I use to take one each, for the past MANY years, over ten, at least. I'm now taking melatonin. It's been about 3 or 4 nights and it's not working at all. I'm just wondering if anyone else has had experience weaning from these drugs and if you have any suggestions? I can barely function during the day because of lack of sleep
thanks
Miriam

Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, scoliosis, back problems, hypothyroidism.


MsBunky
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 6/30/2010 8:24 AM (GMT -7)   
MT Lady,

Is your doctor aware you are weaning yourself off the two drugs? Has s/he given you any instructions on how to do it? I guess my other question is "why" are you doing it.

I understand Melatonin can take a bit of time to work, but I don't really know much else about it. You might want to ask your local pharmacist for some advice as well about the weaning off of the two drugs and the use of the melatonin.

Good luck...I hope you're able to achieve what you're aiming for.

hugs,
Pam
Conditions: Fibromyalgia, Severe Myofascial Pain, Chronic Pelvic Pain (with permanent muscle damage), Femoroacetabular Impingement (CAM and Pincer), Reynauds, IBS, Surgical Adhesions, Ophthalmic Migraines, Severe Hot Flashes (both Surgical Menopause and medication related), plus physically unable to vomit due to the Nissen, and I have extremely tiny veins with a lot of scar tissue...a joy when it comes to having to give blood or get an IV started

Surgeries: Appendix, Uterus, Nissen Fundoplication for GERD, Left Ovary, Gallbladder, Right Ovary, TVT

Medications: Oxycontin, Cesamet, Tramacet, Cymbalta, Flexeril and Clonidine plus Laxaday, Vitamin D and a Multi-Vitamin daily


MT Lady
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 955
   Posted 6/30/2010 8:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes my doc is aware; no he had nothing really to say about it. The reason I want off is simple...I am SICK TO DEATH of all the medications I take. Any time I walk into a doctor's office -- and I have several specialists -- they in addition to their nurses are amazed at the laundry list of meds I take. I feel as if that's all doctors do...throw pills at us because they don't know how to fix us. I'm not touching any of the heart medications that I am on.
I am also VERY depressed. I realize that it is common to be depressed along with FM. I just realized lately, wll my rheumy mentioned it to me, that several of the drugs I take cause an increase in depression because THEY ARE DEPRESSANTS, including pain medications, Ambien and Flexeril. Why on earth would I want to stay on medications that increase depression?
Sorry, I can hear the tone of this and don't mean to be nasty...I just feel as if 22 years of running to specialists, thinking I was doing the right thing and now feeling all they did was send me into a tailspin. I just want help freeing myself from some of these prescription meds...
thanks

Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, scoliosis, back problems, hypothyroidism.


sotiredoffibro
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Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 1556
   Posted 6/30/2010 9:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi MT Lady, I am hoping that you are on an anti-depressant to help with the depression. I have never taken Ambien. For years I was on Valium, flexeril, and cyclobenzaprine. At the time I was working and tired all the time. I realized that the meds werent keeping me from being tired so why bother taking them. I stopped all three and for me there were no side effects to it at all.
I was off them for over a year. Then when I could no longer work in October of last year, I started having problems falling asleep at night with too many thoughts running through my head. Last month I decided to take the valium again just to help me get to sleep but I only take one pill at night before I go to bed.
I understand how frustrating it can be to take so much medication and I hope that it works out for you.
Gentle Hugs
Shirley
DX: Fibro, Gerds, COPD, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, High Blood Pressure, and Depression.
When I get where Im going dont cry for me down here. (Brad Paisley & Dolly Parton)


vestabula
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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 6/30/2010 9:24 AM (GMT -7)   

Hey there M...

I know how you feel about wanting to get off all the meds, and yes some of the things we are prescribed with very little thought are counter productive, interfer with each other and make things worse.  Most doctors know squat about OTC vitamins, herbal supplements etc. and I would talk to your pharmacist about mixing Melatnonin with Celexa.  You want to keep your seratonin levels on an even keel right now.  You know I am thinking of you and wish you the best.  It's hard.

Huggies

D


fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: valium Advil
 
Reach out and touch someone.  If they don't touch you back it's because you still  have brownie batter on your face.


upbeat
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 240
   Posted 6/30/2010 9:40 AM (GMT -7)   
I weaned off Ambien a couple of years ago after being on it for two years. It was not easy! I ended up taking something else to ease the insomnia, I used benadryl and a muscle relaxer. For me it was like I never went very deeply in sleep and dreamed all night long. It took a couple of months to balance out my sleep.
 
Have you just stopped the ambien? Or did to titrate down? I was only on 5mg so I just went to 2.5 for a couple of weeks and then off.
 
I am taking trazadone to sleep now and I really like it. I wake up and don't feel like I was run over in my sleep! :-)
 
Hope you feel better soon.
Fibro dx 2004, RLS, raynauds
Ultracet, Robaxin, Neurontin, Lidoderm patch, Vit D, CoQ10, Mag


MT Lady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 955
   Posted 6/30/2010 9:48 AM (GMT -7)   
I was taking 10 mg of Ambien and a Flexeril earlier in the evening. I just stopped the Flexeril and cut the Ambien in half for about a week, and then stopped it three nights ago, but added melatonin which has done nothing. I am using my Ipod, listening to music I love, using meditation, etc...nothing works. The sleep I am getting is very, very light. This is where I was 22 years ago, right before being diagnosed with FM, and that is when I began the lifetime use of all these drugs. I would love to be able to sleep without the use of pills. Maybe it is just not possible? Maybe I'll try the Benadryl... I have to do something...I am a complete mess. this no sleep for three nights has really sent me into a major flare. I work at home, medical transcription and I can't even do that..I cannot concentrate, can't sit, can't even sleep during the day...I'm exhausted but I go to lie down and just lie there, eyes keep popping open...
by the way, someone asked if I'm on an antidepressant and the answer is yes, Celexa, am weaning off of that too because it caused such a huge weight gain. I am holding at 10 mg of Celexa for now.
Miriam

Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, scoliosis, back problems, hypothyroidism.


Sheila1366
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 384
   Posted 6/30/2010 11:57 AM (GMT -7)   
I hope that you are able to get some sleep.
Fibromyalgia,arthritis,raynauds syndrome,gastroparesis,IBS,depression,severe costochondritis
 
God and Family is my life.


MT Lady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 955
   Posted 6/30/2010 1:27 PM (GMT -7)   
okay so the Rheumy called back and we talked about the weaning process. He told me not to stop two meds at once, to get back on the Flexeril for at least two or three weeks until my brain/body gets used to being without the Ambien, and then miss one Flexeril per week, and go off slowly. I guess I'll listen to him since this isn't working at all...
thanks everyone
Miriam

Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, scoliosis, back problems, hypothyroidism.


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40590
   Posted 6/30/2010 2:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Miriam,

I was wondering if quitting two meds at once was a lot. I am glad that you are back on the flexeril. I go through stages where all the medications get to me, but I figure if it aint broke don't fix it. It works for me so that is where I stay. My biggest fear though is what if I can't get my medications. I try not to think about that. It just brings on panick attacks. Because I take so much. But like I say, it works.

I often do a trick when I can't sleep. It sounds stupid but it works for me. I try to force myself to hold my eyes open. When I try to do that, I find myself falling asleep. I guess it is like reverse psychology to me. But like I said, it works for me.

I hope that you get some sleep soon. Sometimes we have to look at the big picture and find out what is working for us. Welbutrin is an antidepressant that causes you to lose weight, you might want to talk to your doctor about that. And what about the Savella? It is suppose to be an snri and helps with pain and fatigue. By taking that, you might be able to illiminate a couple of others.

Anyhow, I hope that you feel better. Take care.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


MsBunky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 6/30/2010 2:57 PM (GMT -7)   
MT, it wasn't my intention to criticize what you were doing - or why you were doing it. I was simply concerned that you were weaning yourself off drugs when the process of weaning can be very difficult on the body. I'm sorry if you took my message the wrong way. I'm glad you've spoken to your rheumy and you have a plan.

Good luck...I hope you feel better soon.

Pam
Conditions: Fibromyalgia, Severe Myofascial Pain, Chronic Pelvic Pain (with permanent muscle damage), Femoroacetabular Impingement (CAM and Pincer), Reynauds, IBS, Surgical Adhesions, Ophthalmic Migraines, Severe Hot Flashes (both Surgical Menopause and medication related), plus physically unable to vomit due to the Nissen, and I have extremely tiny veins with a lot of scar tissue...a joy when it comes to having to give blood or get an IV started

Surgeries: Appendix, Uterus, Nissen Fundoplication for GERD, Left Ovary, Gallbladder, Right Ovary, TVT

Medications: Oxycontin, Cesamet, Tramacet, Cymbalta, Flexeril and Clonidine plus Laxaday, Vitamin D and a Multi-Vitamin daily


MT Lady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 955
   Posted 6/30/2010 6:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Pam,
I'm not upset with you and I'm sorry if I sounded like I was. I really appreciate everyone's input, I really do. I'm just very very tired and extremely CRABBY! I'm sorry if I wrote something that caused you to think I was upset with you...fingers crossed we ALL sleep well tonite,
Miriam

Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, scoliosis, back problems, hypothyroidism.


bwfm
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 442
   Posted 7/2/2010 11:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi MT from another MT (not working anymore due to FM):

I was on Ambien and then Ambien CR for 5 years. Over the years it became less and less effective, and there at the end I was taking one Ambien CR, two Soma, and two trazodone. And not sleeping; sometimes it would still take hours for me to get to sleep. I got good sleep, but I decided I couldn't take the middle-of-the-night binge eating anymore, so on a Wednesday about two months ago I didn't take any Ambien CR. Wednesday night I didn't sleep. Thursday morning I slept about 1 hour. Friday morning, I slept 2 hours, but they weren't consecutive. Saturday night I slept 3 hours, and Sunday night I slept 5 hours because I was utterly exhausted. I saw my sleep/pulmonary doctor on Monday after being off the Ambien CR 5 nights. He was very surprised and proud of me; he had told me last year I would never be able to get off the Ambien because I had been taking it so long.

The next day (Tuesday) after my doctor appointment, my nephew committed suicide, so I didn't sleep at all that night as I was trying to make plans to attend the funeral, do the laundry, etc., and of course my brain wouldn't shut off. I slept about two hours Wednesday afternoon before we left on our trip (a 21-hour drive). I slept about 45 minutes on our trip. Just too upset. We got into town around 11 p.m. I took 1 mg Xanax to calm myself and then a little later I took my usual two Soma and two trazodone. It worked! So now about an hour before I go to bed, I take Xanax, and then right before I hit the bed I take the Soma and trazodone. It works more nights than not. I think the Xanax calms down the anxiety I feel about not being able to sleep, so that when I take the other medicine, that medicine is allowed to work. If you've been an insomniac a long time, you know the anxiety you feel when you HAVE to be able to sleep on a particular night, like before trips or having an early doctor's appointment.

Also, something this doctor told me made a lot of sense to me. He asked if I was a clock watcher. I told him yes, and he asked why. I told him when I was working I wanted to know how long I had been up and how many hours I had to get to sleep before I had to get up. He again asked me why. I didn't know, it was just a habit. A habit I've kept even though I have no set schedule to keep now that I'm not working anymore. He said the best thing I could do was to turn my clock radio around so I couldn't see what time it was. If it's dark, it's time to sleep; if it's light, it's time to get up. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I know it's dark and I should just go back to sleep. Once he explained all that to me, it made perfect sense, so my clock radio is permanently turned away from me, and I can tell that it has helped.

MT Lady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 955
   Posted 7/3/2010 7:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi bwfm
and welcome to our little part of the world! And, another MT! I'm not sure how much longer I will be doing this either...I'm finding it more and more difficult...just too painful to sit for any length of time...well....as you so well know...
Thank you for your information. I feel as if I could have written it, not that I take the same meds, just the whole history of sleep or lack of it.
I am off the Ambien, thankfully. I haven't taken one in over a week. I am just taking one Flexeril and one Ativan (Lorazepam 0.5) and for five nights, it took me hours to fall asleep. Last night was the first night I went to bed and fell asleep. I don't remember lying there at all! Amazing! and I stayed asleep for SIX HOURS...I can't tell you how much better I feel today...
And yes, do I know about the binge eating from the Ambien. I can't tell you how many years I felt so much shame in that, thinking it was just me. I couldn't stop myself to save my soul. There were times I had aleady gone to bed and fell asleep, woke up within a half hour got out of bed, got dressed and went down to eat...Since stopping Ambien, there has not been one night of that, not one. I don't even think about it. I know the medication is right for some, but certainly not for me and I am so thankful I was able to walk away from it.
I am seeing a psychologist and she suggested that I make my bedroom my "sanctuary"...fill it with things that calm me...whether it's music, or books to read, a little waterfall, etc. I use a fan for white noise. I also moved out of my bedroom that I have shared with my husband for 30 years. His snoring is incredibly LOUD and I've tried everything to muffle the sound - iPod, etc...nothing worked. THIS IS WORKING! I know he feels bad, but you know, sometimes you just have to put yourself first, which is a problem for many of us.
Okay, I've rambled enough...again thank you for sharing your story...thank you so much and I'm so happy for you that you were able to free yourself from Ambien...
bless you
Miriam

Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, scoliosis, back problems, hypothyroidism.


Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17101
   Posted 7/3/2010 8:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm really praying, Miriam, that you reach your goals.  I wouldn't want to be taking all that medication either.
 
I'm sure you know all about sleep schedules.  That's what I do.  I go to bed around the same time every night and get up around the same time every morning.  It's also good to only use your bedroom to sleep.  If you sit in bed, work from bed, watch TV in bed, that makes it harder to fall asleep.  But, if you primarily sleep in bed, your body does eventually respond.  I wake up around three times each night, run to the bathroom, but fall back asleep as soon as I get in bed.  When I get out of bed in the morning, I never go back until I'm ready to sleep for the night.
 
I'm really proud of what you are doing.  We all need some meds to help us but there are some good supplements that can help us, too.  My doctor tolerates supplements but leans more towards medications.  I think they learn that hard and fast rule in med school.  But, after doing research, I am finding some simple supplements that do help me live a good life with fibro.  And these are things I was deficient in.  So, keep on keeping on and you will be successful at this.  We are here to help you.
 
Sherrine
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

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