I recently decided that I wanted to reduce the number of meds that I have to use every day. After seeing that Ambien is one of the drugs they actually test for in the drug screens many of us take, I decided Ambien is the one I want to reduce and hopefully discontinue. I spoke with my Psych (who prescribes it to me...he was thrilled that I wanted to do it) and then got permission from my PM (the are really tough on getting clearance for any med changes).
I have been using 20 mg of the Ambien nightly for a very long time. On a few occasions, I have done some pretty stupid things like order from ebay or having strange conversations when I could not sleep.
Anyway, I don't want to come off of all my meds...it's nothing like that, but I just wanted a little more control over what I 'have' to take. So, the the melotonin is my transitional drug of choice. I realize it is another medication but I don't think the effects are quite the same.
I thought I'd give you all the update to let you know where things are going and how it is working for me. I bought several strengths of the Melotonin and started with the lowest (3mg) nightly, along with one of the normal two ambien. For the first night or two, I noticed some slight withdrawal feelings and anxiety both day and night, but the sleep was somewhat different...I guess you could say a little more restful. It wasn't much of a change, but it is starting to change more now. After a few more days I'm feeling much more rested. My husband says I'm much more grouchy at night though and that I'm acting like a "witch" before I go to sleep.
Next week, I'm going to break the ambien in half and try to take only 1/2 of one ambien instead of one. I'll probably up the melotonin to two during the transition and then take it to the lowest dose possible once I am done transitioning. After a few days to a week, I'd like to take a night off from the ambien and see how I do. If I need more time, I'll certainly take it. I have enough of this stuff in my "med safe" that I should never have to refill again....if this works. I could even take it "as needed" without refill for over a year. That's because my Dr had me filling it at the 20 mg, but taking 15 for almost a year. We upped it when I started having some issues and too much pain to sleep. Now, I think that it is not helping and is perhaps causing a less restful sleep cycle than before.
It's sort of an experiment (approved by my Dr's) and a way to see if more restful sleep can help break the pain cycle or at lest reduce the pain in some way. So far, I'm starting to notice that my muscles don't feel like I've been keeping them clinched up all night...so I guess that is progress.
I'll keep you posted on how it goes. I'd love to leave behind a mind altering drug if at all possible. I believe in meds (as I'm sure you all know), but I'd love to leave ambien if I can.
Wish me luck! If you want me to keep the posts on this up periodically, please let me know. If not, then I won't take up the space on the board.